Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 12, 2010, 8:58 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

With the canon xsi, you can get a very inexpensive lens that will give you the dof results you are looking for. The canon EF 50mm MK II, it is about 90 dollars. And it is a good little lens for the dof shots you are looking for. This lens is all plastic, and is slow to autofocus in low light.

With the e620 they have the 25mm lens, that will do the same but it is a bit more at about 200 dollars. The build quailty is a bit better then the canon.

If you are shooting daylight sport the XSi will do fine, but to get nicer results. you will need to move up to a faster auto focus lens then the kit lenses. As they are not fast enough to get the action shots. Sport shooting can become expensive.

If you shoot indoor sport, the T1i or T2i is a much better camera for that.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 12, 2010 at 9:01 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 9:25 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Default

So does the kit lens give you blurred background shots at all on the entry level DSLRs or would I definitely have to buy another lens? One of the main reasons to go with a DSLR over the FZ35 would be for shallow dof. I really like the shots where the subject is really sharp and the background blurred so the subject really jumps out. But, I really don't want to get into lots of different lenses and extra costs.

Back to the FZ35 - can I get sports/action shots outdoors that would be decent? I'm not looking for professional shots but I get frustrated now with my p+s being blurry. Sometimes I do get a keeper but it is difficult. My kids are mainly into soccer so that is what I shoot (besides them just running around playing outside).

Thanks for the quick replies.
calmmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 9:47 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

If you can get some good separation between the subject and the back ground, you can get the dof that you are looking for. But if you do not have the room to get that separation, it will not be as much blur, but will get more then the fz35/38 in the same situation. So yes the kit lens can give you that result at 3.5 or 5.6 if you can separate the object and the background.

The first one was taken at f2.8 with a prime
The second with taken with the kit lens at 18mm at f3.5
The third was take with the kit again at 55mm at f5.6
Attached Images
   
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 12, 2010, 9:50 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

calmmom-

A DSLR is better for sports because of its optical viewfinder and it fast focus speed. Yes, you can get a blurred background with the kit lens is there is a wide separation of the subject from the background in terms of distance and space.

The Panasonic FZ-35 is a very capable super zoom camera. However, it it less adapted to fast action sports, without some real practice and a willingness to get out of the automatic mode.

I am happy to answer all of your questions.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 2010, 2:54 AM   #15
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,397
Default

Shoturtle and Sarah have given 1/4 of the information on getting image separation, but I don't want you to be incredibly disappointed (which is possible with out the full picture on the creation of a shallow depth of field).

I've posted this a few times so make no apologies for just copying it
There are 3 main areas to getting a shallow depth of field (dof).

Focal length - the longer the lens the shallower the dof.
Aperture - the wider the aperture (lower f number) the shallower the dof.
Distance from camera to subject - the closer to the camera the shallower the dof.

So ideal situations would be long lens, wide aperture and subject close to the camera.

There is another contributing factor, not to dof, but blurred background and that is getting the background as far from the subject as possible.

Looking at the shots that Shoturtle supplied they are of a small subject so you can get closer/use a longer lens to give the framing. As we see from the above this will really decrease the dof so there will be much more isolation. If you were shooting a person then as they are much larger you have to use a wider lens/be further away so the dof is much much deeper.

Now, this next part is where you get some major differences when talking about cameras such as the FZ35 and you could be disappointed if you only thought that you needed the background further away.

Due to the small size of the sensor in a camera like the FZ35 the lenses used are pretty short. Yes they give a similar view to a long lens on a dSLR but as is not actually long (it's focal length) then it is really hard to get a shallow dof for anything other than thight head shots and even then it isn't much.

I don't want this to get too confusing but I also don't want you to make a decision that you are not happy with.

Let us take some real world shooting situations. A nice focal length on a normal dSLR is 50mm when taking portraits. This will give the same field of view as 14.1mm on the FZ35. OK, it doesn't matter if you are fully following the numbers at this point, but what is important is how they are going to translate to the amount of subject that is in focus and where it starts to drop off.

Using http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html we can easily see how much is in focus before and after the subject.

I've assumed 8 feet for the distance but you can go and play with the settings on the calculator if you like.

With the dSLR with a 50mm lens, and assuming it is a kit on so you have f5.6 you get the following results.

Depth of field Near limit 7.22 ft Far limit 8.97 ft Total 1.75 ft
Anything outside of this is considered not acceptably sharp.

With the FZ35 in the same situation with the lens at 14.1mm and f4 (you might be able to go just wider than that but I wanted to give real numbers that I knew were possible).

Depth of field Near limit 6.43 ft Far limit 10.6 ft Total 4.15 ft

So, instantly it can be seen that there is a big difference, but this is not all of the story. As when you get outside of the sharp area how fast the rest goes out of focus as you get further away is also at a similar ratio, so you really do struggle with small cameras to get the desired results of a shallow dof/separation from the background.

As the 50mm f1.8 lens was mentioned here is what happens using that lens in the same environment at f1.8.

Depth of field Near limit 7.74 ft Far limit 8.28 ft Total 0.55 ft

So back to reality, if you want a human subject with a blurred background then you will only be able to get a this with a dSLR. Yes you can get some reduced dof with the FZ35 but only on the tight head shots and to really see the effect you want the background a long way away.

Hope that helps to clear up the confusion and assist in the decision for your needs.

Play around with the calculator and see what happens when the subject is closer, you use a longer lens, the aperture is wider etc as it can help get a better picture of what is going on. Remember althought the FZ35 says 27-486mm this is the equivalent focal length related to 35mm film and often causes confusion for situations like this. The actual focal length of the lens is 4.8mm to 86.4mm.

If you want to read a bit around this subject check out http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...op-factor.html
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 2010, 3:15 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Mark,

The first link has some very good info. I will have to check that site out some more to see what else it there. Thanks.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 2010, 9:31 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Thanks, Mark1616-

That is an excellent explanation of depth of field separation. There is one other way to get that blurred background. That is with photo editing software. Adobe Photoshop Elements has a Smudge Tool for blurring backgrounds. Yes, critical small area photo editing like that takes a bit more time, but it is another option that is available no matter what the camera type is used.

Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 2010, 10:58 AM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 12
Default

Thanks for the dof lesson. I am really learning a lot! I think what draws me to a DSLR is being able to get that dof. I feel like a p+s just gives snapshot, flat looking photos most of the time and that a DSLR can give photos with more depth and crispness of the subject. Therefore to me they look much more professional. I really love taking photos and I have gotten many really nice shots (even some sports shots) with my old p+s but maybe it is time for me to move up to a DSLR. I know I would have fun with it. But I also know having an FZ35 would be a step up from my old Olympus D-550 that I've had for 8 years.

One more question: Would it be safe to say that even the least expensive entry level DSLR (like the Sony A230 or Oly E-420 or Canon XS or XSi) would give me better image quality, better sports shots, better dof, better low light than the FZ35? I think the answer is yes because of the larger sensor but I would like your opinions too.

Thanks!
calmmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 2010, 11:04 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Yup they all will be a big step up in low light shooting. But the oly e420 is not be as good as the sony or canon option in this area. You would want to move up to the olympus e620 as it has a newer sensor that is equal to the others up to 800iso, but to me still have acceptable noise at 1600iso. Anything past 1600 these camera really do not want to be there.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 13, 2010 at 11:15 AM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 2010, 11:13 AM   #20
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by calmmom View Post
T

One more question: Would it be safe to say that even the least expensive entry level DSLR (like the Sony A230 or Oly E-420 or Canon XS or XSi) would give me better image quality, better sports shots, better dof, better low light than the FZ35? I think the answer is yes because of the larger sensor but I would like your opinions too.

Thanks!

any dslr will outperform the fz-35 or any p&s camera, their sensors are just on a different league in size. and any of them will give you more control over DoF, the olympus to a slightly smaller extent because the 4/3 sensor is smaller.

if you have any aspirations of sports shooting, and getting lenses you need for dong it later. then out of your list, only the Canon XSi will have the autofocus system to do it right.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:47 AM.