Field of view

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In Photography, the field of view (also field of vision, abbreviated FOV) is the (angular or linear or areal) extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment.

Different animals have different fields of view, depending on the placement of the eyes. Humans have an almost 180-degree forward-facing horizontal field of view, while some birds have a complete or nearly-complete 360-degree field of view. In addition, the vertical range of the field of view in humans is typically around 100 degrees.

The range of visual abilities is not uniform across a field of view, and varies from animal to animal. For example, binocular vision, which is important for depth perception, only covers 120 degrees (horizontally) of the field of vision in humans; the remaining peripheral 60 degrees have no binocular vision (because of the lack of overlap in the images from either eye for those parts of the field of view). Some birds have a scant 10 or 20 degrees of binocular vision.

Similarly, color vision and the ability to perceive shape and motion vary across the field of view; in humans the former is concentrated in the center of the visual field, while the latter tends to be much stronger in the periphery. This is due to the much higher concentration of color-sensitive cone cells in the fovea, the central region of the retina, in comparison to the higher concentration of motion-sensitive rod cells in the periphery. Since cone cells require considerably brighter light sources to be activated, the result of this distribution is that peripheral vision is much stronger at night relative to binocular vision.