I am learning how to shoot DSLR video and am struggling to get my 5D Mark III to focus on EVERYTHING.. It always wants to focus on only one specific area creating Depth of field on everything else and I would just like it to focus on everything.. How can I achieve this?

Like when someone is walking towards the camera I'd like it to stay focused on that along with the background.

2 Answers 2


There are three answers to this question.

Number 1: use a much, much smaller sensor size. Every factor of two smaller means you can use half the focal length and enjoy an effective 2 f-stops of depth of field at the same aperture value. Thus 35mm to m43 means you can use a 25mm f2 lens and get the same depth of field as a 50mm f4 lens. A 2/3" video camera (broadcast standard) means you can use a 12mm f2 lens and get the same depth of field as a 50mm f8 lens. A 1/3" video camera (old prosumer standard) means you can use a 6mm f2 lens and get the same depth of field as a 50mm f16 lens. And you still have the light-gathering benefit of an f2 lens.

Number 2: use a tilt-shift lens to move the plane of focus. It could be that the "everything" you want can be achieved that way. See this link for examples of photos and setups.

Number 3: be careful when composing images so that you never have objects closer to the lens than the closest in-focus point, and neither do you have objects further than the farthest in-focus point. This requires you to actually have control over your scene.

But really, a FF35 camera is usually chosen precisely because it offers very shallow DOF. You are fighting against nature to try to get a deep depth of field.


The easiest way is to close the aperture down to something like f/8. That should expand the depth-of-field to encompass a wide range. Also, being farther from the camera can help, as well. Note that you'll need to increase the amount of light to compensate for such a small aperture.

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