Digital image correlation (DIC) is now an extensively applied full-field measurement technique with subpixel accuracy. A systematic drawback of this technique, however, is the smoothening of the kinematic field (e.g., displacement and strains) across interfaces between dissimilar materials, where the deformation gradient is known to be large. This can become an issue when a high level of accuracy is needed, for example, in the interfacial region of composites or joints. In this work, we described the application of global conforming finite-element-based DIC technique to obtain precise kinematic fields at interfaces between dissimilar materials. Speckle images from both numerical and actual experiments processed by the described global DIC technique better captured sharp strain gradient at the interface than local subset-based DIC. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.