Compact camera that can get the shortest depth of field?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by pubius, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. pubius

    pubius TPF Noob!

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    I know that in general, p&s cameras have too short a focal length, and too limited ap. settings to get a small depth of field. Wondering if anyone knows one that gets closer to being able to achieve smaller d.o.f without shooting macro way up close. Thanks for anyone's help.
     
  2. myopia

    myopia TPF Noob!

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    sony makes a 2.8 cybershot w/ 8.1 mp. that's all i got to help.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'm assuming you mean digital. If not there are several fixed-lens compact film cameras that would fit the bill. Otherwise I think the majority of fixed-lens compact digital models have f/2.8 or slower lenses. The Canon Powershot G6 has an f/2.0-f/3.0, and one of the Panasonic FZ models had a constant f/2.8, so that might be the best you can get in compact models. I'll give the usual advice here and say an SLR with a fast prime lens is the best way to achieve shallow DOF, but obviously a dSLR may not be the right choice for you, in which case the Powershot and Panasonic are both highly regarded.
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately that's the biggest I've seen also. :(
     
  5. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure my Canon A85 can open up to f/2.8 but it seems when ever i use it the depth of field isn't anywhere near as shallow as it is when using my SLR
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Even though some digi-cams can open up to F2.8....part of what determines DOF...is the size of the recording medium...and with all the compact digi-cams...the sensor is very small.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    As I understand it, it's not the size of the sensor directly, but the short focal lengths they have to use. The f numbers are a ratio, not a direct measurement of size. f2.8 on a 50mm is an opening about 19mm in diameter. On a 9mm lens (one camera I looked at has a range of 5.8mm-17.4mm for its lens!), f2.8 is only 3mm. 3mm on a 50mm lens is f16! Cropping comes into play, which might enlarge the effective area in focus; but still, f16 is a huge difference from f2.8, even if you crop in quite a bit.

    As an aside, f2.8 on a 300mm lens is a whopping 107mm across, which is why large aperture telephotos are so expensive. That's like having an f.45 on a 50mm lens. It would be more than twice as wide as it is long!
     
  8. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I dont use P&S cams myself but its unessesary to have a wide aperture to put the background out of focus, simply move closer to the subject and focus on what you need sharp, the BG will be out of focus.
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    frankly in these days of digital editing short depth of field is over rated.
     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Why is that? I find that adding it in Photoshop looks fake to me. Software is great for a lot of things, but smooth dof transitions is not one of them. That's why I don't care for using PS to try and emulate the LensBaby.
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    That doesn't work so great with narrow apertures. Plus you choose a focal length based on how it looks, you may be limited on how close you can get.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was under the impression that the size of the projected image was a factor. Don't you get a shallower DOF with medium or large format, at the same aperture (ratio) than with 35mm? I could easily be wrong though.
     

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