Choosing between the multitude of camera systems can be difficult in itself, but then choosing a lens set to accompany them deepens the hardship even further. There’s a sort of magic that needs to be had between a camera and a lens set to provide both practicality (in terms of focal lengths, speed) and “look” (in terms of aesthetics).
Abel CineTech have what they call the “Field of View Comparator” that allows anyone to select two camera systems, a lens, and see a visualization of a fairly accurate field-of-view. Here is a full screenshot of it:
The comparator runs the full gamut of camera and sensor options. It has selections from major digital cinema players like the RED One, RED Epic, Arri Alexa and even Sony’s new F3. But the comparator also gives you options of DSLR cameras, prosumer DV chip sizes, and traditional film exposure areas. It is remarkably comprehensive.
Not only does the comparator give a visualization of the field-of-views, but it also gives useful calculations. Some of these include a crop factor multiplier and the angle of the view in degrees. What’s great is that you can input any focal length possible on the chart and it will do all of this automatically. It will even give you data on the size of the frame itself.
This tool could be very useful for those investigating into some of the newer camera systems, allowing a visual comparison of the chip sizes to the Super 35mm standard. I also think it is important for camera assistants to know this knowledge on the most basic level in case the DP asks about crop factors or frame sizes. Knowing how a lens’ focal length will respond on different cameras is good information to know.
I find the Field of View Comparator to be a fascinating thing to play with. It takes some of the more dry statistics of these cameras like chip size or frame size and puts it into an easy visual representation. I also think it shows how far digital technology has truly come, where frame sizes from digital cinema cameras and even DSLR’s can size up against 35mm film which has stood at the pantheon of film technology for so long. About the only thing this comparator is missing is 15/70mm IMAX film and an iPhone app. Other than that, not too shabby. Visit/use the comparator here.