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.

Olympus Stylus Tough TG-870
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-870
from $337
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
21 mm
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 60fps
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather

Learn more about the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-870

Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 (Lumix DC-FZ82)
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 (Lumix DC-FZ82)
Zoom Great zoom Help
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
20 mm
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons

Learn more about the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 (Lumix DC-FZ82)

Nikon DL18-50
Nikon DL18-50
from $1,095
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
18 mm
Aperture Wide aperture Help
Movie format Shoots UHD movies Help
UHD @ 30fps

Learn more about the Nikon DL18-50

Casio Exilim EX-ZR5000
Casio Exilim EX-ZR5000
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
19 mm
Battery life Great battery life Help
430 shots
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies

Learn more about the Casio Exilim EX-ZR5000

Green arrow See more of the top wide-angle digicams


Showing 10 comments

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