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Old Feb 22, 2011, 8:47 AM   #1
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Default Depth of field

Hi,

I am a student hence a little squeezed on budget.

The thing is that I live in Pakistan and we have Nikon, Canon and Sony here. I have checked their PnS's (P100 and HX1), they didn't have the juice.

I can get cameras from the US easy, loads of relatives. Now I don't have the liberty of testing a FZ40 since panasonic doesn't give cameras here.

Can anyone please tell me if I can get an 'almost' DSLR like narrow DOF on a Panasonic FZ40 and that if i can control its aperture in wide mode (zoomed OUT)?
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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No compact camera with small 1/2.3" or 1/2.5" sensor and minimal aperture around F3 or F4 at the portrait focal length (80-100 mm) can get anywhere close to the DSLR narrow depth of field.
You have to go to many hundreds mm focal legnth to get better separation (breaking perspective though).

Just for comparison, new Olympus XZ-1 sports 1/1.6" chip, F2.5 at 112 mm and it's DOP is similar to DOP of APS-C DSLR with kit lens (~F5 at 85 mm).
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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To answer the 2dn question, yes, the FZ40 has an aperture priority mode.
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 1:21 PM   #4
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There are three factors associated with the camera that will give your images a shallow depth of field:
  • Focal length - Longer is better
  • Aperture - Larger (numerically smaller) is better
  • Image Sensor Size - Larger is better
But you can always capitalize on the depth of field you've got by maximizing the distance between the subject and the background.
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 3:25 PM   #5
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G'day Hassan

the answer is 'yes' if you know how/what you are doing
Have a look at a 2-week old posting of mine called "General Discussion > Depth of Field & Zoom in use"

Have a read and come back with any questions

Regards, Phil
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 6:59 PM   #6
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Hassan-

Here is a link to another discussion of the same topic:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ge...ml#post1202780

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 23, 2011, 1:45 PM   #7
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Thanks a LOT everyone for the timely feedback...There is one thing that still confuses me

See we have a d3100 in the family and it came with a f/2.8 to something lens. Point being, since it IS the lens that is makes the difference with the background blurring, should i expect a 2.8 Panny Fz40 to give me something CLOSE to a d3100 at 2.8?
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Old Feb 23, 2011, 2:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xHassan View Post
should i expect a 2.8 Panny Fz40 to give me something CLOSE to a d3100 at 2.8?
short answer = NO. Don't expect them to be remotely close.
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Old Feb 25, 2011, 9:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xHassan View Post
Thanks a LOT everyone for the timely feedback...There is one thing that still confuses me

See we have a d3100 in the family and it came with a f/2.8 to something lens. Point being, since it IS the lens that is makes the difference with the background blurring, should i expect a 2.8 Panny Fz40 to give me something CLOSE to a d3100 at 2.8?
As JohnG already replied. No.

You're going to see roughly 4 stops difference.

For example, you'd have about the same depth of field with the Panasonic at f/2.8 that you would with the Nikon D3100 at f/11. Or, if shooting with the FZ40 at f/4, you'd have about the same depth of field you'd get using f/16 with the D3100. Or, if shooting at f/5.6 with the Panasonic, you'd have about the same depth of field you'd get using f/22 with the Nikon.

The Depth of Field you can expect for a given subject framing (percentage of the frame your subject occupies) is directly related to the sensor or film size. That's why you can use a very short actual focal length lens on a model like the FZ40 to give you a much greater 35mm equivalent focal length.

There is no way to get the same [shallower] depth of field with the FZ40 that you'd have using your D3100 at f/2.8 for the same subject and framing. As JohnG hinted, they're not even remotely close.

Here's a post on the subject with more info (and the sensor size in the FZ40 is about the same as in the Fuji being discussed).

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fu...ml#post1112174

Bottom line... the larger the sensor or film size, the shallower your depth of field for a given subject framing and aperture. The smaller your sensor or film size, the greater your depth of field for a given subject framing and aperture (and the FZ40 uses a much smaller sensor compared to the one in the Nikon D3100).

You're using a shorter actual focal length lens for the same framing when using a camera like the FZ40 with a smaller sensor, and that means you're going to have a lot more depth of field for a given subject subject size, aperture and focus distance.
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