BBC News – In praise of bokeh: the dilemmas of TV filming

Bokeh is a Japanese term used by photographers to describe that pleasing effect where the background of a photo is defocused, often into blobs or hexagons, while the subject is razor sharp. It’s what you need a real lens for, and it’s produced by the effect of the little blades that open and close the aperture, letting the light onto the sensor.

If you’re sharp-eyed you will notice bokeh has suddenly splattered onto your TV screen, as journalists have begun to use Digital SLR cameras to shoot video (trailing by about two years the practice of activists and demonstrators). Normal TV cameras, costing maybe five times as much as a Canon 5D MkII , don’t really do Bokeh. They’re designed to keep more of the scene in focus, and to maximize clarity over moodiness.

An interesting diversion from an unexpected source.

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