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Old Jun 15, 2010, 8:26 AM   #1
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Default Best depth of field camera

can I ask for some advice please.
I am looking to buy either a dslr or a superzoom camera.
I have very little knowledge with regards to photography but do know that I look to take distance photos with a sharp focus subject and blurry background - I believe this is a depth of field setting.
Don't really want to spend more than 300 ($350-400) and would prefer as small as possible.
Is there such a camera?
Many thanks in advance
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 8:51 AM   #2
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Check out the FZ35 (USA) or FZ38 (Europe) by Panasonic it can do it all (with some photos extremely well) and will fit your budget nicely...it is worth the learning curve and will help get your skills up to DSLR level...I did it the other way around and it was much better to humble myself and step down to the FZ35 to hone my skills...
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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To get the maximum depth of field from your gear, you need the largest image sensor and the largest aperture (smallest f-number.) That's a tall order for a P&S, and a dSLR with a large aperture lens will bust your budget.
  • The lens is the thing.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for your time - will look into that.
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Old Jun 15, 2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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TCav is right, however with a bit of looking and a plan, I think it is attainable within your budget.

If you go the used equipment route, you should be able to pick up an older dSLR body with a relative large sensor for around $200-$250. Couple that with an older manual focus lens, 50mm say f1.7 or f2 should be available for no more than $50.

You should be able to find this from any of the major manufacturers - Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax. I am mostly familiar with Pentax, and would suggest a K100D with an A 50mm/f1.7 or M 50mm/f1.7 or f2 lens. Size wise, the K100D with a 50mm lens is pretty small and light weight (but not as small as a small P&S).

You should be able to find these on evilbay, craigslist, KEH.com. Some looking will be in order, and it would help to have someone knowledge about cameras to help you find the right set of equipment.

Going to a focal length wider than 50mm, the cost will rise significantly, or you aperture will drop to f2.8 or f3.2 and thus the thin depth of field will not be as small as you possibly would like.


... hope that helps ...

Last edited by interested_observer; Jun 15, 2010 at 11:17 AM.
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Old Jun 20, 2010, 2:16 PM   #6
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I think a lens with a very large aperture (f1.4 or f1.2) will create an extremely shallow DoF despite the sensor size. I have two m4/3 cameras and when I shoot with my Canon FD f1.4 at its widest aperture, I obtain a very blurred background even though the m4/3 sensor is smaller than other DSLR sensors. As for P&S, cameras with lens starting at f2.0 (Pana LX3 and Canon S90) will also produce a pretty decent DoF at their widest aperture despite their very small sensor compared to DSLR's. Of course a full frame camera will do best in this department but there are certainly options that won't break the bank.

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