Digital camera depth of field question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JM, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. JM

    JM Guest

    I use an Olympus C5050 digital camera, which I like very much. I know the
    camera pretty well, and most often I get very good results. I've never used
    a DSLR.

    Last week a relative brought down his Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a couple
    of lenses. What struck me most was the depth of field effects he achieved
    on his shots, as compared to mine. The color and overal image quality were
    comparable, but his shots of my kids looked much better than mine, because
    the subject was in sharp focus, with the background out of focus.

    Is this a consequence of the lenses? Is there any way I can achieve similar
    results with my camera?

    Thank you,

    jm
    JM, Oct 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. JM

    Nikon User Guest

    In article <KkW6f.70217$>,
    "JM" <> wrote:

    > Last week a relative brought down his Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a
    > couple of lenses. What struck me most was the depth of field effects
    > he achieved on his shots, as compared to mine. The color and overal
    > image quality were comparable, but his shots of my kids looked much
    > better than mine, because the subject was in sharp focus, with the
    > background out of focus.
    >
    > Is this a consequence of the lenses? Is there any way I can achieve
    > similar results with my camera?


    Set your camera to aperture priority metering, and open the lens as much
    as you can.
    Nikon User, Oct 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. JM

    Roy Guest

    "JM" <> wrote in message
    news:KkW6f.70217$...
    >I use an Olympus C5050 digital camera, which I like very much. I know the
    >camera pretty well, and most often I get very good results. I've never
    >used a DSLR.
    >
    > Last week a relative brought down his Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a
    > couple of lenses. What struck me most was the depth of field effects he
    > achieved on his shots, as compared to mine. The color and overal image
    > quality were comparable, but his shots of my kids looked much better than
    > mine, because the subject was in sharp focus, with the background out of
    > focus.
    >
    > Is this a consequence of the lenses? Is there any way I can achieve
    > similar results with my camera?
    >
    > Thank you,
    >
    > jm
    >
    >

    Hi.

    It is unlikely you will get as strong an effect, but you may be able to go a
    little way towards it.

    I do not know your Camera, but if you try using its Zoom at its maximum, and
    focussing on something fairly close, you may see the background blurred.
    Also using a low ISO will cause the lens to use a wider aperture, and that
    will also decrease DoF.

    The main problem is that your camera will have a smaller sensor, and use a
    much shorter focal length lens that the bigger DSLR. The shorter the focal
    length of the lens, and the smaller the aperture, the greater the DoF.

    DSLRs tend to have greater DoF than similar 35mm SLRs, because they tend to
    use a shorter lens for a similar View.

    Sometimes limited DoF can be a distinct disadvantage, everything in
    Photography is some sort of compromise.

    Roy G
    Roy, Oct 24, 2005
    #3
  4. JM

    Bob Williams Guest

    JM wrote:
    > I use an Olympus C5050 digital camera, which I like very much. I know the
    > camera pretty well, and most often I get very good results. I've never used
    > a DSLR.
    >
    > Last week a relative brought down his Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a couple
    > of lenses. What struck me most was the depth of field effects he achieved
    > on his shots, as compared to mine. The color and overal image quality were
    > comparable, but his shots of my kids looked much better than mine, because
    > the subject was in sharp focus, with the background out of focus.
    >
    > Is this a consequence of the lenses? Is there any way I can achieve similar
    > results with my camera?
    >
    > Thank you,
    >
    > jm



    Great DOF is a characteristic of all digital P/S cameras.
    It is caused by the really short focal lengths of their lenses which is
    in turn a design result of their tiny sensors.
    In many cases I consider great DOF a feature rather than a fault.
    It all depends on what you are taking a picture of.
    As others have indicated, you can help yourself by shooting at your
    widest aperture.
    If you must have an out of focus background, you can always create one
    in Photoshop or other photo editor.
    However, if the DSLR bacground is out of focus and you want it sharp,
    you are out of luck. All the king's horses and all the king's men cannot
    bring it into sharp focus.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Oct 24, 2005
    #4
  5. JM

    GTO Guest

    The diameter of the acceptable circle of confusion is very different between
    the two cameras you mentioned in your post. Sure, depth of field depends
    also on focused subject distance, lens focal length and aperture.

    In any case, you can find more at http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/dof/. Your
    particular model is investigated at
    http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/dof/c5050.html.

    As a rule of thumb, the P&S cameras have a much larger DOF than a 35mm-based
    DSLR camera at a given FOV (field of view).

    Gregor

    "JM" <> wrote in message
    news:KkW6f.70217$...
    >I use an Olympus C5050 digital camera, which I like very much. I know the
    >camera pretty well, and most often I get very good results. I've never
    >used a DSLR.
    >
    > Last week a relative brought down his Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a
    > couple of lenses. What struck me most was the depth of field effects he
    > achieved on his shots, as compared to mine. The color and overal image
    > quality were comparable, but his shots of my kids looked much better than
    > mine, because the subject was in sharp focus, with the background out of
    > focus.
    >
    > Is this a consequence of the lenses? Is there any way I can achieve
    > similar results with my camera?
    >
    > Thank you,
    >
    > jm
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    GTO, Oct 24, 2005
    #5
  6. JM

    Mike Warren Guest

    Bob Williams wrote:
    > However, if the DSLR bacground is out of focus and you want it sharp,
    > you are out of luck. All the king's horses and all the king's men
    > cannot bring it into sharp focus.


    There are exceptions, of course. For a static subjects it is possible
    to take 2 or more pictures and merge in PS.

    --
    Mike Warren
    My web gallery: http://web.aanet.com.au/miwa/mike
    Mike Warren, Oct 24, 2005
    #6
  7. JM

    Lin Chung Guest

    JM wrote:
    > I use an Olympus C5050 digital camera...a relative brought down his
    > Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a couple of lenses. What struck me
    > most was the depth of field effects he achieved on his shots, as compared
    > to mine...Is there any way I can achieve similar results with my camera?




    Read here:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&thread=15548492
    For those unfamiliar with the digital camera scene, Canon A610, A620, and
    A95 referred to in the discussion are all point & shoot digital cameras, as
    is Olympus C5050 Zoom.

    --
    Lin Chung
    [Replace "the Water Margin" with "ntlworld" for e-mail].
    Lin Chung, Oct 24, 2005
    #7
  8. JM

    JM Guest

    "JM" <> wrote in message
    news:KkW6f.70217$...
    >I use an Olympus C5050 digital camera, which I like very much. I know the
    >camera pretty well, and most often I get very good results. I've never
    >used a DSLR.
    >
    > Last week a relative brought down his Canon EOS Digital Rebel with a
    > couple of lenses. What struck me most was the depth of field effects he
    > achieved on his shots, as compared to mine. The color and overal image
    > quality were comparable, but his shots of my kids looked much better than
    > mine, because the subject was in sharp focus, with the background out of
    > focus.
    >
    > Is this a consequence of the lenses? Is there any way I can achieve
    > similar results with my camera?
    >
    > Thank you,
    >
    > jm
    >


    Well, I wasn't working with all the information, and I've sinced helped
    answer my own question.

    I asked my relative what lens he was using, and he replied it is a Tamron
    18-200mm 1:3.5-6.3 macro. He pointed out that the pictures I was so taken
    with were shot from very close range. That fact, and the term "macro" in
    his lens description got me to thinking about the macro/super macro modes on
    my C5050, which I typically only use for specific close-up shots like ebay
    items, computer parts, documents, and similar stuff. I never think about
    using the modes on people.

    Well, I started playing around with the modes, with and without manual
    focus, and I started getting some very nice results. It appears that the
    DOF affect on these pictures was simply a consequence of the close range. I
    can do that with my C5050 - if I'll just remember to do it, and can do it
    quickly enough before the shot disappears ; )

    Thanks to all. GREAT information.

    jm
    JM, Oct 24, 2005
    #8
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