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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:28 pm 
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Continuing my story about big differences in depth of field (dof) between a p&s (large dof) and a DSLR (small dof) here's the first batch of shots to prove my point.
And the jury has already voted on this one: It's a draw between the Nikon DSLR (or any DSLR) and the Canon p&s (or any p&s for that matter). Why? Well, what you prefer (large or small dof) depends solely on your personal taste, your subject, and your "imaginary" goal.
And it is not necessarily so that the artful photographer always needs a small/shallow dof! Sometimes those guys go to great lengths to ensure maximum dof. They even buy very expensive special lenses (PC=perspective control for Nikon / TS=tilt&shift for Canon) to achieve this. All point&shooters can laugh at this as they have the larger than average dof already built in.

Now here's the proof (left=original clickable, right=100% crop):

D300@50/1.4 Image Image

D300@50/4.8 Image Image

870IS@13/4.5 Image Image

Worlds apart, huh?!

Ok, I've added the DSLR at f/16 to see whether the dof can come close:
D300@50/16 Image Image

Now the DSLR lens is stopped down almost 4 stops and still does not achieve a similar dof than the p&s!

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Last edited by Thomas on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:20 pm 
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Interesting... it made me try to play with a DoF calculator. The conclusion I came to is that there are too many variables. I can't come up with a simple statement on how much you need to stop down a low crop factor camera to get similar DoF for same FoV on a high crop factor camera. All I can say, it seems to be far more than "3-4 stops".

Taking the values above, a 13mm f/4.5 has a hyperfocal distance of around 223cm. That is, focused at that distance, things will appear acceptably sharp from approx 112cm away to infinity. To get the same hyperfocal distance at 50mm would need around f/28! And that doesn't cover that the out of focus characteristics will be different between them.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Lies, damn lies, and dof-calculators :twisted:
I'll do the test for you, popo, and all the others out there. And rest assured: If reality proves me wrong, I'll be the first to admit it!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:15 pm 
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Hi popo,

It's important that we don't take Thomas' thread off-topic but I tried to cover the DoF vs. sensor size issue in the opening post of my thread Full-frame Sensors Are Better - Fact or Fiction?. It was comparing cropped DSLR sensors and full frame sensors but the same logic extends to the really cropped sensors found in compact cameras.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:34 pm 
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I didn't intend to and don't think I took this OT. Simply putting some numbers to Thomas' statement made in the earlier post. Looking forward to seeing how it really works out in practice, never mind what the calculator says.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:49 pm 
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popo wrote:
I didn't intend to and don't think I took this OT. Simply putting some numbers to Thomas' statement made in the earlier post. Looking forward to seeing how it really works out in practice, never mind what the calculator says.

Didn't mean to appear to make accusations. I wrote we meaning "you and I". 8)

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:08 am 
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Bob, my mistake. I missed that subtlety. Talking about off topic-ness is definitely off topic so I better stop here.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:56 am 
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Coming back soon with a row of shots from the D300+50/1.4 up to f/16 at the same location to put a definitive end to any and all speculation about dof-relation between p&s and DSLRs 8)

Stay tuned...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:17 pm 
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Ok, I've added a shot with the Nikon + 50mm lens at f/16 (!) to the above collection.
Conclusion: even stopping down the DSLR-lens 4 stops does not exactly give you the same dof on the p&s than on the DSLR. But it's close.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:08 pm 
Hey Thomas, you stole the show! Congrats and thanx!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Now comes the real big challenge, shot in bright afternoon sun, color- and contrast-matched in Lightroom. These are 100% crops presented here in their full glory side-by-side as this vista cannot be composed at flickr directly or in your browser easily.
As usual these are screen-shots from Lightroom, so don't drill for any usable information in the meta-data of the images: You cannot cheat!

#1:
Image

#2:
Image

Close, isn't it? Even the dof :D Well, I choose this image specifically so you cannot find any differences in dof :P

Now, which is the Canon IXUS 870IS: #1 or #2?

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Last edited by Thomas on Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:51 pm 
oh dear this one is tough!

I think the first one is from the 870, since in the second pics, you can find a little more detail in the back (forest). However, I actually prefer the first picture - probably because the 870 sharpens the image a little more by default.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Ah Nostrum, you're only looking at sharpness? There are other characteristics which tell those images apart!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:27 pm 
The top ones, from the D300 IMO! When using the D300, were you shooting in RAW or Jpeg? I can't really tell you why, the top one is from the D300, it just seems to have more detail!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:31 pm 
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I shoot only RAW with my D300. And to achieve the very best results I have to use the CaptureNX converter, which I did in this case.
Oops, sorry: My apologies go to the early viewers, who looked at only 50% crops with a RAW conversion from Lightroom.
Now I've uploaded 100% crops with the D300-images converted with CaptureNX. Sorry for this blunder :oops:
So everybody may now vote again!

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Last edited by Thomas on Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:35 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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