Is DSLR with kit lens has better Bokeh than superzoom compact camera?


Mar 24, 2011
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#1
Hi all.

I noticed that compact camera unable to produce a good portrait bokeh unless you place the camera very near to the subject.

I am wondering by upgrading to DSLR with kit lens will help to improve the bokeh? Thats mean using the stock lens without changing the lens to a bigger aperture one. Because I am a causal shooter, no intention to invest a lot on the lens. Just want slightly more creative in the photo.

Hope someone can give me some advice. Thanks.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#2
3 factors which affects the bokeh of a picture:

1) aperture
2) focal length
3) camera/sensor distance from your subject
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#4
Thanks for the technical explanation. Roughly understand the theory.

Er...so the conclusion is beginner DSLR with kits lens will still have better bokeh than high-end compact camera? Since the price are quite close, its better to invest in entry level DSLR?
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#5
Thanks for the technical explanation. Roughly understand the theory.

Er...so the conclusion is beginner DSLR with kits lens will still have better bokeh than high-end compact camera? Since the price are quite close, its better to invest in entry level DSLR?
depends. if you just want portability, then a PNS is the way to go. good compacts like the Panasonic LX5, Fujifilm F550EXR and Sony WX7 will be your choice.

not forgetting the sony NEX3 and NEX5 if you want that huge sensor but not the bulk.

(squeak: won't touch the Samsungs any day :bsmilie: but that's just me)
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#6
depends. if you just want portability, then a PNS is the way to go. good compacts like the Panasonic LX5, Fujifilm F550EXR and Sony WX7 will be your choice.

not forgetting the sony NEX3 and NEX5 if you want that huge sensor but not the bulk.

(squeak: won't touch the Samsungs any day :bsmilie: but that's just me)
Thanks. You mean the above mentioned camera can have better bokeh?
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#7
Thanks. You mean the above mentioned camera can have better bokeh?
bokeh doesn't refer to the background blur. it refers to the quality and how nice it is.

the above mentioned cameras produce good images. but as for the quality of the bokeh, because of the small sensor size, it can't really give you much of that. rather, it gives you slight background blur.

if you want portability, but you want more blur in the background behind your subject, then you can choose a Panasonic GF2 or Sony NEX-5. which of course, the NEX-5 will trump the GF2 with high ISO control and more background blur due to the larger sensor size.

but if you want a chunkier grip, better feel and more buttons to play with, then you're looking at DSLRs. which are of course bigger and bulkier.

your choice ;)
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#8
bokeh doesn't refer to the background blur. it refers to the quality and how nice it is.

the above mentioned cameras produce good images. but as for the quality of the bokeh, because of the small sensor size, it can't really give you much of that. rather, it gives you slight background blur.

if you want portability, but you want more blur in the background behind your subject, then you can choose a Panasonic GF2 or Sony NEX-5. which of course, the NEX-5 will trump the GF2 with high ISO control and more background blur due to the larger sensor size.

but if you want a chunkier grip, better feel and more buttons to play with, then you're looking at DSLRs. which are of course bigger and bulkier.

your choice ;)
So Sony NEX-5 IQ is comparable to entry level DSLR? But price is higher. Thanks, I may take a look.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#9
3 factors which affects the bokeh of a picture:

1) aperture
2) focal length
3) camera/sensor distance from your subject
1. Wrong
2. Wrong
3. Wrong

In all cases, what is affected is the depth of field. This allows for isolation of the subject via background blur.

But bokeh itself is an attribute of a lens and how it contributes to or distracts from the subject, as bokeh is the *quality* of the background blur, not the blur itself.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#11
1. Wrong
2. Wrong
3. Wrong

In all cases, what is affected is the depth of field. This allows for isolation of the subject via background blur.

But bokeh itself is an attribute of a lens and how it contributes to or distracts from the subject, as bokeh is the *quality* of the background blur, not the blur itself.
a canon 50/f1.8 shot at f1.8 has relatively good bokeh but once stopped down to e.g f2.8, the quality of the blur starts to get distracting and harsh due to the 5 square edge aperture blades.

now, do you tell me that the aperture does not play a part in the above mentioned scenario?
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#12
a canon 50/f1.8 shot at f1.8 has relatively good bokeh but once stopped down to e.g f2.8, the quality of the blur starts to get distracting and harsh due to the 5 square edge aperture blades.

now, do you tell me that the aperture does not play a part in the above mentioned scenario?
which is the point: The bokeh is directly attributable to the lens :)

edit: ahh, I see what you're trying to say. You're referring to your own point #1, that bokeh is affected by aperture.
Along that line of thought, yes I do agree with you. The same lens shot at different apertures can exhibit different bokeh.
 

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ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#13
Hi all.

I noticed that compact camera unable to produce a good portrait bokeh unless you place the camera very near to the subject.

I am wondering by upgrading to DSLR with kit lens will help to improve the bokeh? Thats mean using the stock lens without changing the lens to a bigger aperture one. Because I am a causal shooter, no intention to invest a lot on the lens. Just want slightly more creative in the photo.

Hope someone can give me some advice. Thanks.
Can calculate the depth of field using the online DOF calculator to compare your compact camera with a DSLR and kit lens at say... 55mm f/5.6
Keep camera -- subject distance consistent.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
3,660
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#14
which is the point: The bokeh is directly attributable to the lens :)

edit: ahh, I see what you're trying to say. You're referring to your own point #1, that bokeh is affected by aperture.
Along that line of thought, yes I do agree with you. The same lens shot at different apertures can exhibit different bokeh.
yes, directly or indirectly, those factors i mentioned do affect the quality of blur aka bokeh of a picture.

there are many other reasons to consider also and the construction of the lens is one of the factors, this i agree.
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#15
yes, directly or indirectly, those factors i mentioned do affect the quality of blur aka bokeh of a picture.

there are many other reasons to consider also and the construction of the lens is one of the factors, this i agree.
yup. the shape created by the aperture blades do play a part in how smooth/rough the bokeh will be. i would have totally forgot about this had you not brought this up ;)

thanks for the info bro!
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#16
Thanks everyone for sharing. A bit too 'chim' for a newbie like me. There are a lot to be learnt about Bokeh.
I have checked the price for GF2 and NEX-5. Both are more expensive than an entry level DSLR. Of cos, they have the advantage of smaller size and weight. So I have bought a pre-owned DSLR Pentax K-x to explore how to create Bokeh.;)
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#17
Thanks everyone for sharing. A bit too 'chim' for a newbie like me. There are a lot to be learnt about Bokeh.
I have checked the price for GF2 and NEX-5. Both are more expensive than an entry level DSLR. Of cos, they have the advantage of smaller size and weight. So I have bought a pre-owned DSLR Pentax K-x to explore how to create Bokeh.;)
wow dude. u must be loaded to make that purchase so quick.
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#18
wow dude. u must be loaded to make that purchase so quick.
No lah, since someone selling preowned K-x at reasonable price at the buy/sell section, must grab fast. But in case I can't handle DSLR, I won't lose too much to sell off.
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#19
Thanks everyone for sharing. A bit too 'chim' for a newbie like me. There are a lot to be learnt about Bokeh.
I have checked the price for GF2 and NEX-5. Both are more expensive than an entry level DSLR. Of cos, they have the advantage of smaller size and weight. So I have bought a pre-owned DSLR Pentax K-x to explore how to create Bokeh.;)

Wow! You are fast.
I was about to say something along those lines.
Get a cheap/2nd-hand DSLR and get a cheap fast 50mm lens, will give you the effect you want w/o busting the bank.

Since your got a Kx, just look for a el-cheapo manual 50mm for less than $100 and you are all set. ;)
 

Octarine

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Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#20
Thanks everyone for sharing. A bit too 'chim' for a newbie like me. There are a lot to be learnt about Bokeh.
I have checked the price for GF2 and NEX-5. Both are more expensive than an entry level DSLR. Of cos, they have the advantage of smaller size and weight. So I have bought a pre-owned DSLR Pentax K-x to explore how to create Bokeh.;)
First thing is: you can't create bokeh. Second thing: stop being obesses with it. Too many people shooting bokeh with some accidental subject in the frame - an that's how it looks like: a composition accident. Every camera can do that with a person behind viewfinder who knows nuts. But of course, the really expensive cameras and lenses can make the incidents more impressive and the impact on the wallet even deeper :bsmilie:
 

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