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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:18 PM   #11
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Wow Jim..Your post makes my decision even harder to make!

:blah:
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:22 PM   #12
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It's possible to get bokeh using smaller apertures right?

Take a look at Red's shots:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=23

The second photo has an EXIF data attached noting that the shot was taken w. a f. 5.6 aperture.

And this was taken from his car window, 6ft away.
Bokeh is already evident here. So unless the Panda program is wrong..I dunno. I sure hope so.
Look at the Depth of Field calculator I posted a link to. DOF is shallower at longer focal lengths, wider apertures, and closer focus distances.

The closer you are, the shallower the DOF (that's why it's easier to get it with head shots versus full length shots -- ditto for flowers and birds). Or, by zooming in more (keeping in mind that you'll need to be further away for the same framing).

A longer focal length can give the illusion of a shallower depth of field, too (because the background will appear more compressed from the perspective of shooting from further away, making out of focus areas more obvious).

It's harder to achieve it with a non-DSLR model for a larger subject (you've got much greater depth of field beause your subject will fill a greater percentage of the frame at a MUCH shorter focal length for any given distance to subject).

That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your needs.


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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:32 PM   #13
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The Fz30's tiltable LCD screen allows for even more 'secrecy' by making waist-lv shots possible.
Yep... I still have an old Nikon Coolpix 950 that I use at parties from time to time, just because I like the swiveled bodied design that lets me frame from waist level. It's also pretty neat for getting shots with the camera held over your head.

It's pretty darn slow by today's standards, so you've got to be good about timing your shots. ;-) But, I still use it from time to time.

There are pros and cons to any camera and none are pefect for all conditions.

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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:38 PM   #14
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One more -- shot with a zoom of all things (and a cheap one, too) using a KM 5D at ISO 400. This lens can be had for about $100 on the used market.

Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 -- wide open at f/4.5 on the long end. Just a quick snapshot of my great niece last Friday at a party.




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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:50 PM   #15
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I'm not that keen to buy used lens..or cameras for that matter.

The possibility of dust..:? And sensor dust...Another bad thing about SLRs.

It's weird that Oly is the only DSLR manufacturer to this date that actually did something to prevent sensor dust.

And nice shots btw!
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 6:59 PM   #16
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Used is a very good way to go for lenses. Just buy well made ones. They'll last years and years. Another benefit is that you don't lose much (if anything) if you decide to sell them later when you buy used (more value is lost immediately when you buy new ones).

Most of my lenses were purchased at dirt cheap prices on the used market. I've got Nikkor and Minolta lenses purchased used, and I could probably sell almost any of them for more than I paid for them since I bought them "right".

Lenses are more of an investment. Bodies are more disposable.

My favorite vendors for used gear are http://www.keh.com , http://www.adorama.com and http://www.bhphotovideo.com


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The possibility of dust..:? And sensor dust...Another bad thing about SLRs.
I change lenses often and my sensor still doesn't need cleaning after more than 4 months of use. It's no big deal to clean one either. Most of the time, a puff of air from a rubber bulb will do it.

Also, dust has been known to get into fixed lens models. Then, you send them back to the factory for cleaning (hopefully the camera is still under warranty).

With a DSLR, you lock the mirror up (via a menu choice) and clean the sensor yourself. It's really not a big deal.

P.S.

I guess if you're really worried, you could buy an 18-200mm zoom (about 27-300mm equivalent), and keep the same lens on it all the time. But, you'll get much better quality with zooms that don't have as much range.

For example, I've got a Minolta 35-70mm f/4 Macro that's sharp as a tack. I paid $52 for it from KEH.com (and that included a working Minolta Maxxum 7000 35mm SLR in great condition). I've bought two lenses that way (in camera packages including a camera and lens).

The other one (including a 50mm f/1.7, a Minolta 7000 and a flash) was only $49. ;-)

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Old Mar 23, 2006, 8:13 PM   #17
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Very interesting and informative post.

Jim, with the DOF explanation, I am wondering whether in photographing for example flowers, you would advocate standing back and zooming in to emphasise the flower rather than trying to do the same with macro...Fred
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 8:25 PM   #18
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It depends on what you're trying to accomplish (more or less DOF) and the lens design (some won't allow you to fill the frame with a smaller subject unless you're at specific focal lengths).

If the lens doesn't require you to focus from as close to fill the frame with the same size subject, then you can get better boken with an illusion of a shallower depth of field due to perspective by shooting from further away. Shooting from further away can help keep you from spooking some subjects, and helps with lighting (so that you're not casting a shadow).

Most of the time with very small subjects, depth of field can be too shallow (requiring you to stop down the aperture for best results). It all depends on what you're trying to show.




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Old Mar 24, 2006, 8:19 AM   #19
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But I know the Pany's limitations so I'm not asking for that shallow a DOF.
I'll be very pleased if the FZ30 is capable of inducing blur like the one in the photo ive showed you and you said it is..and I sure hope you're right :blah: because I'm gonna buy the DMCFZ30 the first moment I get the chance.
You should be able to get it close with a head shot (forget about a head and shoulders shot). But, you may need to be in the next room to get it looking as good as far as perspective (at longer focal lengths). ;-)

You can use editors to simulate a shallow depth of field (gaussian blur, etc.) with a non-DSLR model, if your subject is too large to get DOF as shallow as desired.

But, if those types of portraits are a primary concern, I'd go with a DSLR.



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Old Mar 24, 2006, 8:27 AM   #20
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The sensor affects the DOF as well, doesn't it?

So what if I'm to buy the Sigma 28-105 f2.8-4 for my DSLR? W. a 1.6 crop factor, that'll be 44.8mm - 168mm
Would you recommended that lens for candid st shooting?

Not really sure how reliable Sigmas are at all.
And I know that Tamron is another 3rd party manufacturer as well..
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