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jmcgrane Feb 19, 2005 8:14 PM

I was looking for a good digi cam to document my artwork, get installation shots and use for digital slides. I only had a budget of about $500 so I settled on the Sony Cybershot 717. Its a great camera but seems to have an extremely shallow depth of field. I tried every conceivable combination of shutter speed and aperture and used a tripod but nothing seems to work. I noticed the aperture settings are very limited compared to 35mm cameras. Is this the reason why this is occuring or am I doing something wrong? Also is there any other camera with better depth of field or is this symptomatic of digi cams. Thanks much for any help in this matter. John

Meryl Arbing Feb 19, 2005 8:31 PM

Strange, usually it is the other way around. Digital photographers have a harder time achieving a good DoF.

Besides, if you are photographing art work isn't it all on one plane? Unless it is sculpture, DoF shouldn't enter into it very much.

In any case, you should be able to increase DoF by stopping down.

jmcgrane Feb 19, 2005 8:57 PM

Yeah- I forgot to specify the work is all sculptural. I tried stopping down all the way and then the work got blurry even with a tripod. It was a really long exposure though. Thanks for your help and any other thoughts would be appreciated.

eric s Feb 19, 2005 9:29 PM

Two things.

The 717 should have a larger DOF than 35mm. How large (deep) an object are you photographing?

Second, tripod and really good lighting. That will increase your shutter speed (allowing for larger aperture) and the tripod will help steady things.


normc Feb 20, 2005 8:50 PM

Sony makes two wide angle lenses for the 717 ( I have forgot the model numbers ) the most expensive one will zoom and focus.( Most W/A will not focus when zoomed out. ) This feature will enable you to frame your work for good composition. You will be amazed at how well this works, But then you will have to experiment with your lighting and aperature settings for good depth of field.

Another method would be to use the camera without a W/A and in very low light. You can then focuse with the focus assist lamp and see the red pattern as it is distributed on your subject, then have an off camera flash or a fill flash for taking the photograph.

Good luck

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