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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    2

    Aperture settings and fuzzy backgrounds

    The user manual for my Canon A620 tells me I can shoot beautiful portrait shots with fuzzy backgrounds by using a low aperture setting. So far no luck. Any "how to" advice based on experience is welcome.

    From Pago Pago, Johnhttp://www.dcresource.com/forums/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Delfgauw, The Netherlands
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    2,207
    With a point and shoot, it is hard to get beautiful fuzzy backgrounds (usually called bokeh). This is because of the small sensor in these cameras.
    To get fuzzy backgrounds you must do some of the following things.

    - Open the apperture up completely (So pick the lowest possible apperture value)
    - Zoom in as far as possible
    - Get as close to your subject as possible
    - Increase the difference between your subject and the background.

    Doing this things will get the best fuzzy backgrounds out of your camera. It is not nearly as good as larger sensor cameras (like dSLRs) are capable of, so do not expect miracles.

    Hope this helps.
    Nikon D-50
    // Nikkor 70-300 f/4-5.6 VR // Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8
    // Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 ...// Nikon SB-600
    // Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6......// Nikon Series E 135 mm f/2.8
    // Kiron 105 f/2.8 Macro....// Manfrotto 190XPROB + 488RC4
    // Nikkor 35 f/1.8..........// Sigma 500 mm f/8

    My website: http://www.dennisdolkens.nl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2

    Cool

    Thanks

    That's exactly what I tried even going down to 12X and F2.8

    That's exactly the result I got. Fuzzy

    That's exactly what I was thinking. Canon promised a little more than they delivered.

    But I'm not disappointed: the A620 has been well worth the money for an amateur. I just tried to pull the extreme out of the box.

    From Pago Pago, American Samoa

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    I wouldn't use digital zoom; it will degrade your image. I think that's why you get FUZZY. Technically, what you need to do to get DoF is to do exactly what Prospero said above but PnS cameras have their limits. Sure they will give you some DoF but not enough for many people.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Newton ,Massachusetts
    Posts
    500
    Quote Originally Posted by busycorner View Post
    Thanks

    That's exactly what I tried even going down to 12X and F2.8

    That's exactly the result I got. Fuzzy

    That's exactly what I was thinking. Canon promised a little more than they delivered.

    But I'm not disappointed: the A620 has been well worth the money for an amateur. I just tried to pull the extreme out of the box.

    From Pago Pago, American Samoa

    John
    Try shooting portrait with the 35mm equivalent of an 80mm to 100mm lens. 12X may be too much telephoto.
    Also, your camera may not be opening to 2.8 even though that is what you sent it at. Some, if not most, cameras reduce the maximum f stop as you zoom in.
    Panasonic FZ20, Kodak DC4800, Canon SD850 for when I don't want to carry a camera
    http://JLVACCARO.4T.COM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    JVL's comment remind me of something. At full zoom there is no way A620 remains at F/2.8 it will close down to F/4.1. That's even if you set the aperture to F/2.8 originally. Also A620 only has 4x optical zoom and the only way you get to 12x is enable digital zoom but you will only get degrading image by doing this.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Just far enough from London to be in the countryside
    Posts
    123
    I would suggest picking an object with a more distant background, or using photoshop to blur it later (Yes. I occasionally cheat)! If you can get in really close, that also works (You'll need to find a macro mode)
    It's not about how expensive your kit is, it's about the skill and dedication of the photographer, the emotion in every shot, and whether or not the little bugger moved before I pressed the shutter.

    Picasa Web Albums

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    158
    I think you need greater manual control, a longer zoom, and a manual focus ring to get this shot down. The A620 can take nice shots, but you can't expect to fully replicate the shots from $1000 cameras with it. Anyway, My DOF shots never seem to work out on my P&S, so I just use a photo editor to simulate the effect.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    46
    I took this picture with my Fuji S700 (not exactly a portrait, but it works for the discussion).



    I used the Auto mode. I have had similar results using the portrait mode. The details as shown by Flickr / Picasa are:

    Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/180)
    Aperture: f/4.5
    Focal Length: 63.3 mm
    ISO Speed: 64
    Exposure Bias: 0/100 EV
    Shutter Speed: 750/100
    Brightness: 750/100
    Maximum Lens Aperture: 360/100
    Metering Mode: Pattern

    I did not manually control any of these parameters since I used the AUTO mode

    The S700 cost $159.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,498
    Quote Originally Posted by shankar View Post
    I took this picture with my Fuji S700 (not exactly a portrait, but it works for the discussion).



    I used the Auto mode. I have had similar results using the portrait mode. The details as shown by Flickr / Picasa are:

    Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/180)
    Aperture: f/4.5
    Focal Length: 63.3 mm
    ISO Speed: 64
    Exposure Bias: 0/100 EV
    Shutter Speed: 750/100
    Brightness: 750/100
    Maximum Lens Aperture: 360/100
    Metering Mode: Pattern

    I did not manually control any of these parameters since I used the AUTO mode

    The S700 cost $159.
    That's an excellent exposure for Auto Mode. I doubt that anyone could have done better with that camera manually. That camera (Fuji S700) appears to be well programmed (for that particular situation, that is!).

    Fuji's always seem to be surprisingly good. There is a little "fringing" in the shot, but that's easily fixed.
    Some Gear: Nikon D700; Nikkor AF-S 50 f/1.4 G; Nikkor AF-S 24-85 3.f/5-4.5 G ED; Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 VC; Nikon SB-800; Velbon Maxi-F; Canon Pixma Pro 9000; Canon S3IS, Canon SD500; Epson 4990; Epson P5000; Wacom Intuos 3

    Main Software: Capture NX2; Adobe PhotoShop CS2; Corel Paintshop Pro X2 Ultimate

    Sold: Canon XT/350D, EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro; EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, Sigma 18-200 OS; Canon ET EF 25II; Kenko Pro 300 DG, Canon 430EX, Canon BG-E3.

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