Why does the camera add 10 pounds?

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Is it just that people’s bodies are under more scrutiny when they’re filmed, or is there actually some kind of optical effect?

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It’s lens choice not so much the camera. Cell phones in particular will make your face look fatter if you’re shooting with the front facing camera. If you’re shooting with a dslr use a longer lens like a 100 mm and get back from your subject. Don’t use a 35 mm and shoot 3 feet back.

Cameras make a flat image, and you are not flat. Since some distortion in necessary, its a question of interpreting the distortion.

Wide field of view camera lenses focus in a hemisphere, sometimes this produces a pronounced “fish eye” effect but the effect is always present. Things closer to the camera are bigger than things farther away. That makes your nose and belly look larger (more pixels per inch of you) than your arms.

One solution is to use a narrow field of view lens, from farther away, but clearly that’s not happening in a selfie.