## Webcam Focal Length

Is there a formula for calculating the required focal length for a webcam given the width of the field of view and the distance away from the subject the camera is?

Also is there a relationship between the focal length of a webcam and the 'fish-eyedness' or distortion of the picture?
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 Most webcams say the specs right around the lens, so you shouldn't need to calculate anything if you just wanna know what is focal length is.
 No, I wanna know what focal length webcam I will need to fit an object of a given width from a given distance away into shot

## Webcam Focal Length

 Quote by joeyar No, I wanna know what focal length webcam I will need to fit an object of a given width from a given distance away into shot
I think you're confused as to the technical meaning of 'focal length' in photography

Recognitions:
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 Quote by joeyar No, I wanna know what focal length webcam I will need to fit an object of a given width from a given distance away into shot
That's not quite enough, you would also need to know the size of the imaging chip.

 Quote by joeyar Is there a formula for calculating the required focal length for a webcam given the width of the field of view and the distance away from the subject the camera is?
Yes of course, because the triangle formed between the imaging plane (having a distance f) is similar to the triangle formed by the view frustum.

f = focal length
d = distance to object
W = desired width of viewable area at distance to object
w = width of imaging plane (CCD size)

(W/2) / d = (w/2) / f

So,

f = (w/2) / ((W/2) / d)
= w*d / W

Of course, you need to know w but this should be something you can look up in the camera specifications. Focal length is adjustable.

 Also is there a relationship between the focal length of a webcam and the 'fish-eyedness' or distortion of the picture?
Yes, radial distortion is more pronounced with wider field of view. However radial distortion is an effect of low quality lenses so it doesn't follow a particular geometric relationship. Typically removing for radial distortion requires calibration against known images of straight lines and then minimizing some energy function to find the radial coefficients that cause the lines to appear straight, which can then be used to apply an inverse transformation to undo the effects in future images.

Recognitions:
Homework Help
 Quote by junglebeast w = width of imaging plane (CCD size)