Short Description

Wide angle refers to the minimum focal length offered by the cameras lens. A short focal length provides wide angle shots allowing a wider field of view to be captured. The smaller the focal length the wider the shot. If you halve the focal length you double the width that can be captured. For example a 15mm photo will be twice as wide as a 30mm photo.

Wide Angle Photo Example

The following photo illustrates the differences in how much 15mm 18mm and 24mm focal lengths capture of a given scene relative to a neutral 50mm focal length. As you can see the wide angle focal lengths permit the photographer to capture a significant amount more.

wideangle Vancouver Cityscape at 15mm
photo of manufacturer model The following photo of Vancouver taken on a 5d MkIIat 15mm illustrates the different levels of wide angle focal lengths vs a neutral 50mm focal length. Original photo by The Real Darren Stone

Why Use a Wide Angle

Abandoned church at 18mm
photo of an abandoned church shot at 18mmThis photo demonstrates the perspective a wide-angle lens offers. While still fitting in the entire scene the short 18mm focal length emphasizes the church against the background. Photo by Kansas Poetry.

Cameras that are good at wide angle photos can be useful for capturing wide landscapes, taking group photos in tight spaces, architectural photos and much more. Wide angle lenses permit you to get very close to your subject while still capturing the background around them. Being able to get so close to your subject makes them very big and creates impact. Wide angle lenses provide artistic possibilities that are not possible with longer focal lengths. The longer the focal length the smaller the relative difference between foreground and background, this means if you really want to emphasize the subject a wide angle lens is the way to go.

Wide Angle Compact Digital Cameras

The following are great digicams with wide angle lenses.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70
from $210
Zoom Great zoom Help
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
20 mm

Learn more about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70

Nikon Coolpix L330
Nikon Coolpix L330
from $160
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
4 mm
Battery life Great battery life Help
370 shots
Panorama In-camera panoramas Help
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama

Learn more about the Nikon Coolpix L330

Ricoh WG-M1
Ricoh WG-M1
from $129
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
3 mm
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Battery life Great battery life Help
350 shots

Learn more about the Ricoh WG-M1

Samsung WB2200F
Samsung WB2200F
from $270
Zoom Great zoom Help
Battery life Great battery life Help
600 shots
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
20 mm

Learn more about the Samsung WB2200F

Green arrow See more of the top wide-angle digicams


Showing 8 comments

Criss (10:41 AM, September 15, 2014)
Thank you :)
Opi (4:13 PM, November 06, 2013)
Excellent instruction. Now if I can just remember this 15 minutes later.
Jish (7:21 AM, June 10, 2013)
Thanks a lot for the useful tips.. will help a beginner like me a lot...
rachid (1:50 AM, August 29, 2012)
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vishal (0:54 PM, July 20, 2012)
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