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On one hand they capture much more of what’s in front of them but the downside is they add a bubble like distortion to the image. It shows the same scene shot with both lenses so you can see the difference.(If you’ve always wondered why low budget films, even those shot in HD, don’t quiet look right it’s because the cinematographer or director used wide angle lenses throughout the whole thing, so everything’s in focus and the background becomes distracting, whereas Hollywood films narrow the focus on the subject.)So why don’t laptop web cams and iphone cams use telephoto lenses? Number 1, they’re more expensive and more bulky than wide angle lenses.
Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, show images without distortion but are way too “zoomed in” and compress near and far objects giving a shallow dept of field (subject is crisp, background is blurred) meaning it has to be focused just right or else the subject will be blurry. Number 2, they have a much more shallow depth of field so you either have to hold it the perfect distance away from your face and not move or make one that constantly auto re-focuses, which would get expensive.
Ten years ago if someone had told you that in 2011 everyone would have a webcam in their home or in their pocket, and that the cost of video chat was going to be zero, how many of us would have predicted that people still wouldn’t use it? This has been on my mind for 2 days now, so here’s what I came up with…Cell phone cameras, and web cam lenses are always wide angle lenses.
Despite web cams being embedded everywhere, we just don’t video chat the way Star Trek, Back to the Future, and all the other futuristic films of the past thought we would.
However, real-time video effects such as these are going to require some serious processing power, something that iphones and netbooks lack for now…Even if we are happy with the way we look… The right side is never a perfect mirror of the left.