Forgive me for my lack of camera knowledge. There's an option for sensor width which zooms the camera in and out. The focal length option seems to do the exact same thing. What is difference and functional purpose of these two similar options? (Note: it's slightly confusing when attempting to match cameras and one is different from the other even when checking to make the focal lengths the same. My confusion prompted this question.)


Cameras in Blender are made to resemble cameras in real world. The size of the sensor is important when you need to match content created with a real camera with your CG, and that happens really often. Obviously, you might have a hard time to match your camera if you don't enter the correct sensor size. You should search for it online for the specific camera model your content is captured with.

You may also be used to real world cameras so it is easier to reach some desired result if you already know what to expect from some settings or parameters because they match real cameras.

If you have a look, you can see that Blender even comes with lot of presets matching real cameras:

Camera Presets

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  • $\begingroup$ What would you (personally) set your sensor width to if you have no need to utilize it? Having 2 zoom options seems like it could get awkward especially when trying to keep a consistent feeling throughout an animation. Is know its probably up to preference but maybe there might be customary or general rules of thumb relating to the practice. I'm new to this so I'm a little aimless. $\endgroup$ – Collin Chamberlain Jan 30 at 10:43
  • $\begingroup$ I don't usually have the need to adjust it and just leave it alone with the default value that happens to be 36 mm. It shouldn't be a preference and you should use focal length for adjusting the zoom. This is how it is in reality as you cannot adjust the size of your sensor in a physical camera. Using sensor size for zooming would probably confuse anyone looking at your files if you need to work in a team or share your work. Unless of course you want to mess with your coworkers, then it's a great thing to do. :D $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Jan 30 at 11:41

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