Every videographer knows that a plethora of variables influence the image quality of any given shot. The best aperture, shutter speed, gain, filters, and so on all work together to make an image that is not only technically good (in-focus, well-exposed, etc.) but also emotionally effective, whatever emotional effect you might be going for.
Focal length is a variable that often poses problems for newcomers, since its effects on images can be subtler than the effects of other variables. Basically, focal length is the length of the lens being used. Most camcorders today feature zoom lenses, which allow you to change the focal length easily.
Zooming out from a subject to take in more of the scene or to "back up" shortens the focal length (sometimes called using a wide-angle lens). Zooming in on a subject to "close in" lengthens the focal length (sometimes called using a telephoto lens).
Focal length affects many aspects of an image, including the apparent distance between foreground, middle ground, and background, the way motion registers (toward or away from the camera), and the depth of field.
Focal Length And Perceived Distance
The actual distance between foreground, subject, and background may remain constant, but the perceived distance can be stretched or compressed with different focal lengths. In …