View Full Version : 5DII Focus detail on playing cards?

04-21-2009, 10:59 AM
Hi all,

I'm considering using a 5DII to shoot video of playing cards and would appreciate your advise and counsel.

The camera would be located about 3 feet directly above a standard card table, shooting straight down. Some cards would be faced on the table, while others would be held in a player's hand - held at about a 45% angle slightly over the table surface.

Any thoughts on the level of detail viewers would experience watching the video? Would they be able to see the card values for faced or angled cards (using standard or jumbo cards)? Or if the cards would be too distant, would a zoom-in during post render enough detail to compensate?

What lens would you suggest for this type of shoot?

Many thanks,


Lee Wilson
04-21-2009, 01:40 PM
Detail will be fine.

You will need a macro lens, something that can focus less than a foot or so.

04-22-2009, 09:46 AM
Detail will be fine.

You will need a macro lens, something that can focus less than a foot or so.

Oops, having thought about this some more I've come to realize that no camera could ever work within my poorly worded specs. Here's the deal:

Table width/height = 36 inches

Maximum possible NTSC standard TV resolution = 720 x 480 pixels

Useable pixels (10% overscan each side) = 480 x .8 = 360 pixels

Unfortunately, this only leaves us with 10 pixels per inch - making it impossible to determine the value of a card.

So it seems like the workaround would be to either zoom in on an individual's cards (scale up in post) or revert to an animation approach.

Assuming the former, what would be the correct fixed lens to capture the 36 inch table considering the narrow height dimension, a 4:3 ratio, shooting about 4 feet from the table? (most homes have 8' ceilings, tables are 2'3" off ground, so camera would be fixed about 4 feet away).

With my Canon 40D, my 28 lens needs to be almost 60 inches away to capture 36 inches (vertically), so I'd guess I'd need about a 20 lens for my 40D. Of course, the D5 MII has different geometrics.

So bottom line, shooting from around 4 feet away from target, what lens would you use to cover 3 vertical feet?

Thanks again, Michael

05-26-2009, 02:29 AM
That's why WSOP invented the rabbit cam.

Man, I don't know how many late-night hours I've wasted to watching poker on ESPN Classic...