Photograph Field of View and Pixel Size Calculator
How much can I capture in a photo, and how big will my pixels be?
Use this calculator to determine the approximate coverage (field of view) and the ‘ground’ pixel size of a particular lens and camera at a given distance.
Note this calculates for a plane parallel to the camera image plane. If the object/plane at a distance is at an angle to the camera image plane then this coverage holds only for the distance provided. Note that lens distortion is also not accounted for which will affect coverage a bit.
Typically this calculator is used in planning – that is, before you take photographs or maybe even before you have a camera. It has a general use for any digital camera photography, but two specific uses relate to photogrammetry in fabrication tasks:
- If you are doing photo-digitizing (digitizing patterns and templates) you want to know two things: a) with a particular camera and particular room size, what is the biggest pattern I can capture in one photo, and b) with a particular camera and distance from the pattern, what will be the best precision that I can get when digitizing edges of patterns.
- If you are measuring boat decks, where you might be working in a confined space, you need to check the camera will be able to see the details you want.
1.a) relates to the coverage calculation below, and 1.b) and 2. relate to the pixel size calculation below.
You may have a camera or maybe planning on buying a camera, and it can be useful to know how much it will capture in one photo, given constraints like distance from objects. And it may be useful to know how big the pixel will be on the object because this defines the precision. This will impact your camera purchase decision.
How to use the calculator
Mouse over the information icons to get a description of the inputs and outputs. You can look up your camera on google to find a specification sheet. Search something like “Nikon D7000 specs”, or “Canon M100 specs”, etc. If your camera has a removable lens you may need to get the lens focal length separately.
Pick your desired units (metric or imperial) in the third column for both inputs and outputs. As you change any value on the form, the calculations are done automatically and in realtime.