Smaller sensor size better for food photography ?


Jan 11, 2010
109
0
16
#1
Hello,

When i am shooting food using my 1.6 crop sensor camera,
i am struggling for more dof.

Typical condition: sitting down, hand-held, aiming at around 6-12inch plate.
At 1000iso, f5.6, i am getting around 1/30s shutter.
I really dont want to further increase my ISO or shutter.

Would like to know if it pays (in term of more dof) to get a camera with smaller sensor such as M4/3 or 1" sensor.

Thanks
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
12
0
#2
Hello,

When i am shooting food using my 1.6 crop sensor camera,
i am struggling for more dof.

Typical condition: sitting down, hand-held, aiming at around 6-12inch plate.
At 1000iso, f5.6, i am getting around 1/30s shutter.
I really dont want to further increase my ISO or shutter.

Would like to know if it pays (in term of more dof) to get a camera with smaller sensor such as M4/3 or 1" sensor.

Thanks
No. Get more light or use a tripod. If you are at all serious about it, you won't be doing it "sitting down, hand held". That sounds more like a casual snapshooter. Then might as well use a point and shoot with a "food" scene mode.
 

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catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#3
yes, you need more lights, use flash or use tripod, both are much cheaper than getting another camera, and provide better quality too.
 

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Recoil3d

New Member
Jan 23, 2010
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#4
I believe TS is just taking casual food photography.

My advice would be to get a wider lens, as a wider lens would give much more DOF.
Personally i would suggest a 21mm lens.

If you now how lenses works, actually when you use mft, their lenses are actually very wide, e.g 14mm, 17mm etc... but when coupled with a small sensor they give more standard FL in 35mm format due to the crop.
This is the main reason you get more DOF on such cameras.
 

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
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#5
What u mean by more dof? U want to blur the background or want everything sharp focus?

More dof means everything sharp. Hence f 5.6 and above is fine. Only thing is high iso. Change to micro 4/3 also no use.
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
4,886
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#6
You desire for a depth of focus greater than what f/5.6 can provide? That's odd. I would think that f/5.6 is quite sufficient. You can always go up to f/8, although that means increasing the ISO, shutter speed, it a combination of both, which you are reluctant to do.

Perhaps you can look into IS / VR / OS / VC lenses?

One important thing you neglect to tell us is the lens you used.

Otherwise, I'd think prosumer point and shoot cameras should be the way to go for you.
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
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#7
Pictures of food is not same as Food Photography. Same thing like having a camera does not makes you photographer or taking a pic on a street does not mean its street photography.

But a smaller sensor does give you more DOF which might be beneficial for some type of macro work where you don't have the luxury of powerful lights or fixed tripod position, or time.

One example is food bloggers taking pics of food themselves.
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
5,785
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#8
TS, is it possible to attach photos of what you are getting now and the final result you hope to achieve?

That way we can analyse your options better.

Regards.
 

Jan 11, 2010
109
0
16
#9
Hi,

I referring to causal shooting during travel,
i'm trying to do it in 'low profile' manner,
so kind of difficult to get my tripod or speedlight out without attracting unwanted attention.

I'm using Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 OS.
Will try to attach some sample once i figure out how to do it.

Thanks
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
804
10
18
#12
Hi,

I referring to causal shooting during travel,
i'm trying to do it in 'low profile' manner,
so kind of difficult to get my tripod or speedlight out without attracting unwanted attention.

I'm using Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 OS.
Will try to attach some sample once i figure out how to do it.

Thanks
You don't want to go past 1000 ISO because your DSLR is an old model and have too much noise and probably have difficulty getting focus lock in dim light.As they say,get the right too for the job.Pentax has one just out.The K5II or
even sharper K511S without AA filter (more people going for K5IIS and don't worry about moire if you are not shooting fabrics with repetitive lines or patterns).Currently the best APSC format performer.It's low light auto focus is down to -3EV.This is normally found in professional cameras.Even a D7000 cannot match.Plus high ISO performance make it ideal
for the situations you described for your purpose.In short best bang for the dollar.Weather sealed too.Can operate down to -30 degree celcius.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/pentax-ricoh/1186622-k5ii-k5iis-really-good.html
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,645
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lil red dot
#13
It doesn't get any lower profile than using a mobile phone.

Check out our very own Ortega's food pictures in his thread. He uses an iphone.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/photo-day-2012/1025303-%5Bortega%5D-iphone-photo-day.html

If you are taking those photos for commercial publication, then you need to start looking for some more serious setups, like lights, tripod or even tilt-shift macro lenses.
 

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Jan 11, 2010
109
0
16
#14
Hi All,

Thanks for the inputs so far.
As requested, below is 2 pix of a typical scene.
Settings 17mm, f5.6, 1/25s, Iso1000 on D90 with Sigma 17-70mm.

On my screen, it clearly show the sharpness vary from left to right.
I couldn't get the entire scene to be sharp.
(i hope viewer can also make out as i couldn't get Photobucket to display the original crop size)


Sharp on the left side.


Sharp on the right side.

I certainly believe phone camera can deliver impressive result in the hand of a master.
That's why i'm here...hopefully i can pick up a trick or 2. :bsmilie:

Actually i have shoot mostly in Iso200 or Iso400 in the past.
Going Iso1000 is something new to me, which i am currently trying out.
Maybe after 1 or 2 more trip, i will review if i am willing to go further.

As much as possible, i try to look at other possibilities first rather than upgrading my gear.
Frankly speaking, gear is not the most critical issue,
i'm sure there are other area i can improve on first.

Cheers
 

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SkyStrike

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2010
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#15
Actually, the images you have uploaded, it's not about sharp or not sharp..it's the matter of focus or not in focus.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
804
10
18
#16
The D90 default setting for auto focus area is AF-A (auto) which means you have no control,the camera selects which of the 11 sensor points it deems fit by the software,works in most situations.Try AF-S you get to select which 11 sensor points eg. center.You can lock this setting.

Nikon D90 Autofocus Area Mode | Daily Tips and Tricks for Digital Photography
 

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Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
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#17
try a small tripod as suggested by Senior Rashkae. you can even get those 'free' gift mini tripod and mount, just use your hand to brace it for additional support using the tripod as a base.
 

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
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#18
Move your camera further from the food :)

If you want to maintain shutter speed or increase it to prevent motion blur, you can use the following,

1) External Flash
2) Download an App with torchlight function and use that to light the plate, you can experiment on different angle to see which one is better at the given situation and area.

Oh... one more thing... (Nikon APS-C sensor camera had 1.5x crop factor and not 1.6x crop factor)
 

Jan 11, 2010
109
0
16
#19
Move your camera further from the food :)

If you want to maintain shutter speed or increase it to prevent motion blur, you can use the following,

1) External Flash
2) Download an App with torchlight function and use that to light the plate, you can experiment on different angle to see which one is better at the given situation and area.

Oh... one more thing... (Nikon APS-C sensor camera had 1.5x crop factor and not 1.6x crop factor)
Yes...my bad, its 1.5x crop.


Btw these 2 options,
Shoot at widest focal length (increase dof), but with camera nearer to the subject.(decrease dof)
Move further away from the subject (increase dof), but zoom in to fill the frame. (decrease dof)
Is there any advantage for either practice ?
 

Oly5050

Senior Member
Feb 1, 2005
4,009
3
0
#20
Yes...my bad, its 1.5x crop.


Btw these 2 options,
Shoot at widest focal length (increase dof), but with camera nearer to the subject.(decrease dof)
Move further away from the subject (increase dof), but zoom in to fill the frame. (decrease dof)
Is there any advantage for either practice ?

Or get a m4/3 camera. Double the dof of 135FF sensors. Or get a very good PnS with a small sensor.
But indeed, more DOF is something not many hanker for. A lot of people are obsessed about as narrow DOF as possible. Otherwise, just bring tripod or flash.
 

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