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Old May 18, 2011, 6:51 PM   #1
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Default How DOF with ZS7

Hi guys,

I am very new to photography and recently bought the lumix zs7. Can someone help me with the settings/technique i need to use to be able to shoot objects which stand out in the foreground and the background is completely blurred. Been reading and watching tutorials about aperture, etc. but cannot get it on my camera. My aperture is set to F3.3 and trying to take a picture takes details in the whole picture, if I zoom, the F goes up and still nothing happens.
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Old May 19, 2011, 3:06 AM   #2
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First off all, don't expect to shallow DOF on that camera. But there are a few things you can do to get the most shallow DOF, those are:

-Set aperture at lowest
-Zoom as much as possible (even if aperture goes up)
-Get as close to your subject as possible
-Put your subject from a large distance of the back ground.

The larger your subject, the more distance you have to create between you and the subject and thus the wider the DOF (which we don't want)

If a subject is small then dof is easyer like for this picture:




But people are large and shallow DOF is harder to get with whole people in the shot. In the next shot the background is a little blurred (I was surprised too). But don't expect a lot more. (I haven't been able to reproduce this kind of shot ><)


Other ways to get a shallow DOF are lenses that have very low f numbers, like 1.8 or 1.4 or even 0.95 and larger focal lengths like 50mm (higher is even better, but than you have to stand a mile from your subject ^^)

Hope that helps a little, otherwise don't hesitate to ask more!
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Old May 19, 2011, 9:53 AM   #3
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There are 2 ways of achieving shallow depth of field
1) having smaller f number like f/2, f/1.4
2) having longer focal length (ie longer zoom)

since your camera dose not have smaller f number the only option you are left with is longer focal length.

do the following:
1) shoot at 5mega pixel in your camera which extends the zoom upto 18x (or 8mp - 14x) if you want to just post pics on internet like facebook 5 mp is enough.
2) change focusing to spot focusing and its good to have center weighed metering
3) change iResolution to iZoom which will extend the zoom further
4) most important one - the distance between photographer and subject must be atleast 10 feet and there must be atleast 30 meter gap between subject and background. longer the distance the more you can blur the background !

the pictures attached below are all taken with longer focal length to achieve shallow dof
1) around 8x zoom
2) around 15x zoom
3) around 32x zoom
4) around 18x zoom
5) around 32x zoom
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Last edited by vivek chandrashekar; May 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM.
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Old May 19, 2011, 10:13 AM   #4
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Hmm does the DOF get shallower when using the extra zoom you get by having less mp? I though that when doing that you just use the digital zoom onto your optical zoom, thus not changing the focal length, thus not changing the DOF, not sure though..
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Old May 19, 2011, 10:15 AM   #5
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Thank you for the tips, guys. Well, I can set the zs7 to 3.3 but unfortunately cannot make it stay at 3.3. So I wonder, id there any benefit at shooting with Aperture priority.. I generally shoot at 2 MP 16:9 suitable for looking at pics on my HDTV. At 2 MP I can zoom like 23+ I think. But such zoom can utilze of I am 30+ meters from the target... This to be honest is no fun. For example, I want to make a photo of my friend.. and I need to be like .. hold on, let me get away so I can try to make a photo.. Being so far away and such huge makes it a real challenge for stabilization too..

I guess need to forget about that effect/type of shooting with my camera. Only Macros maybe..
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Old May 19, 2011, 10:19 AM   #6
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@rafal but the extend zoom works in practical for me..i see more blurred background when compared b/z 24x optical and 32x izoom. and i dont think extended zoom and digital are exactly same there is some small difference.

@kurt cocain you dont need to be 30+metres. 6 to 10 meter with 10x zoom is enough, try it !!
and there is no use by shooting in aperture p with f/3
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Last edited by vivek chandrashekar; May 19, 2011 at 10:22 AM.
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Old May 19, 2011, 1:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivek chandrashekar View Post
@rafal but the extend zoom works in practical for me..i see more blurred background when compared b/z 24x optical and 32x izoom. and i dont think extended zoom and digital are exactly same there is some small difference.

@kurt cocain you dont need to be 30+metres. 6 to 10 meter with 10x zoom is enough, try it !!
and there is no use by shooting in aperture p with f/3

Vivek,

You are right. I guess the key is to have ur background as far away as possible.. Here are a few shots I tried from my balcony









Blurring starts to occur after 6X zoom.

Thank you! Now I need to try it on people

Last edited by KurtCocain; May 19, 2011 at 1:09 PM.
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Old May 19, 2011, 1:28 PM   #8
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hey thats a start...you got it right on your first try and nice pics by the way keep going and post some more shots tomorrow cheers
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