|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007)|
In film, a medium shot is a camera angle shot from a medium distance. The dividing line between "long shot" and "medium shot" is fuzzy, as is the line between "medium shot" and "close-up". In some standard texts and professional references, a full-length view of a human subject is called a medium shot; in this terminology, a shot of the person from the knees up or the waist up is a close-up shot. In other texts, these partial views are called medium shots. (For example, in Europe a medium shot is framed from the waist up). It is mainly used for a scene when you can see what kind of expressions they are using because of the camera being showing the face.
There is no evident reason for this variation. It is not a distinction caused by, for example, a difference between TV and film language or 1930s and 1980s language.
Medium shots are relatively good in showing facial expressions but work well to show body language.