DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)

Started Aug 5, 2012 | Discussions
trevmar
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DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
Aug 5, 2012

mrtaufik posted an interview with the Sony RX100 design team over on the Sony forum:

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/sony-konica-minolta/1129367-sony-rx100-developers-interview.html

I was fascinated by Sony's emphasis on bokeh, limited depth of field, so I dug out the online DOF calculator.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

They already had a sensor size entry for the RX100, and so it was easy to calculate the RX100 DOF at full tele and 10ft distance from subject at 2.33ft.

Using the Canon G12 entry in order to get the 1/1.7 sensor size parameter of the new Panasonic LX7, and plugging in the LX7 lens vales, gives a DOF at 10ft, full tele, of around 3.4 ft.

So you can either marvel at how close the two are, or at how much better the RX100 is, I really don't mind.

There are the numbers, in any case....
.

Canon PowerShot G12 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Sony RX100
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stuntmonkey
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

trevmar wrote:

So you can either marvel at how close the two are, or at how much better the RX100 is, I really don't mind.

At 90mm equiv (portrait length and f/4, Sony's min aperture between 70 and 100mm equiv), the RX100 has about 2.6 feet of depth field (front and back. The LX7 has 5.6 feet of DOP at f/4. Drop it down to f/2.3 at it's max zoom and it comes down to a little over 3 feet. (Sorry, just very used to thinking in terms of 90mm, but we're thinking along the same lines)

Well, there are bound to be differences... in practical terms, somewhat inconsequential differences. The same rule applies shooting with both, they're still small sensor cameras, if you want subject isolation, then don't put your subject in front of a busy background, for the most part you'll do okay.

However, the depth of field thing is a bit of red herring. There's more to 'bokeh' than just that, focal length also plays a role. If you really had to get a shallow depth of field look, my bet is that the results would be better with a a FZ200 shot at 135mm or longer... the DOF drops to 1.5feet but at longer focals lengths, the background is magnified against the foreground, meaning that the 'blur is magnified', creating that subject isolation. Unfortunately, you have to step quite a ways back from the subject...

And just to put this into perspective. All those creamy dSLR background shots that you see are either shot with a dedicated portrait lens or a longer portrait-zoom type of lens, so you're still not there with the kit dSLR lenses. And of course, crop frame dSLR users kpee looking up at full frame users with envy.... and so on and so on. It never ends.

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tkbslc
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to stuntmonkey, Aug 5, 2012

All of these new "uber" compacts are really just starting to approach the DOF control capabilities of an APS-C DSLR with a kit lens. They still aren't quite there. And if you head over to the lens discussion sections and ask about DOF control and portraits with BG blur, the first thing you will be told is to get a lens with a faster aperture.

All this fuss over which one is closer to a solution that is not good enough for most people who really care about bokeh, BG blur, DOF control, etc.

I get the feeling people who buy these cameras have visions of shots like these in their heads, and it's just not going to happen:

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trevmar
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to stuntmonkey, Aug 5, 2012

stuntmonkey wrote:

At 90mm equiv (portrait length and f/4, Sony's min aperture between 70 and 100mm equiv), the RX100 has about 2.6 feet of depth field (front and back. The LX7 has 5.6 feet of DOP at f/4. Drop it down to f/2.3 at it's max zoom and it comes down to a little over 3 feet. (Sorry, just very used to thinking in terms of 90mm, but we're thinking along the same lines)

No, the numbers when compared with the same algorithm, with the lens fully open at tele, are calculated above at 2.3 ft and 3.4 ft Please use the calculator if you want to extrapolate to different f stops, as the numbers in your head may well be at some other quality of focus than the calculator uses. And therefore may not be fully comparable.

Surely it is then easy to put into the calculator, for example, a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 85mm f1.8D AF Nikkor lens, and at 10ft get a comparative value of 0.44 ft. Which is in another league altogether, as you say. But please, let's keep using a coherent set of numbers, so we can get a good solid, reproducible measure of what we are talking about

A similar DOF of 2.84ft with the full-frame sensor and Nikkor lens can be obtained at f11, or if fully stopped down to f16, about 4.1ft. At which point diffraction may well have come into play

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trevmar
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to tkbslc, Aug 5, 2012

tkbslc wrote:

I get the feeling people who buy these cameras have visions of shots like these in their heads, and it's just not going to happen:

Beautiful photos Beautiful kids

If you go to the Interview with Sony's RX100 designers one actually stated:

"I have a lot of female friends who have DSLRs, many of whom say they own one because a compact camera cannot adequately capture photos of their children growing up. I want people who think similarly to know that DSC-RX100 is on par with DSLRs. All it takes is a single shot to realize this."

Which is what really prompted me to break out the Depth Of Focus calculator and start plugging in some numbers to get some realistic comparisons And the P&S are indeed "not there yet..."

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DigiDan
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

I don't know if it will make a big difference but the aperture for the Sony is 4.9 not 4.8. And the lens for LX7 is 17.7 and Sony is 37.1. I know this is nitpicking but it could make a slight difference.
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stuntmonkey
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

trevmar wrote:

If you go to the Interview with Sony's RX100 designers one actually stated:

"I have a lot of female friends who have DSLRs, many of whom say they own one because a compact camera cannot adequately capture photos of their children growing up. I want people who think similarly to know that DSC-RX100 is on par with DSLRs. All it takes is a single shot to realize this."

I wonder how their dSLR guys feel about that statement. Sony has some innovative dSLR products, but they're not keeping pace with the big two, and seem to be stepping away towards the NEX cameras.

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trevmar
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to DigiDan, Aug 5, 2012

DigiDan wrote:

I don't know if it will make a big difference but the aperture for the Sony is 4.9 not 4.8. And the lens for LX7 is 17.7 and Sony is 37.1. I know this is nitpicking but it could make a slight difference.

Danno, where the calculator didn't give me the exact choices I tried to err on the side that would give the larger DOF, so as not to exaggerate the available bokeh

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Ray Sachs
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Buying either of these cameras for limited DOF / bokeh....
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

Is like buying an economy car to race F1. They're just not inherently made for that, no matter what the marketing material says. Yeah, they can do a bit of it under the right circumstances (macro being the easiest). But if that's mostly what you're after, get a full frame or, failing that, an APS or m43 camera. Sensor size matters for this and the LX7 and RX100, with their competing larger sensor vs larger aperture, are just nibbling around the edges. And not worth even discussing as a feature, IMHO. There are plenty of things these little cameras do well, and I personally value them more than narrow DOF, but that's something they don't do well at all.

-Ray
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

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trevmar
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Re: Buying either of these cameras for limited DOF / bokeh....
In reply to Ray Sachs, Aug 5, 2012

Ray Sachs wrote:

Is like buying an economy car to race F1.

Ray, we are talking about cameras, not cars

They're just not inherently made for that, no matter what the marketing material says. Yeah, they can do a bit of it under the right circumstances (macro being the easiest). But if that's mostly what you're after, get a full frame or, failing that, an APS or m43 camera. Sensor size matters for this and the LX7 and RX100, with their competing larger sensor vs larger aperture, are just nibbling around the edges. And not worth even discussing as a feature, IMHO.

Ray, have you been looking at the sample images being posted from either the LX7 or the RX100? They are pretty good. Probably 'good enough' for most people. I did the work on DOF (above) specifically to help us understand what is being achieved with this generation of P&S

There are plenty of things these little cameras do well, and I personally value them more than narrow DOF, but that's something they don't do well at all.

DPreview has posted their review of the Nokia 808.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07/30/nokia-808-pureview-review

IMO the "little cameras" and cellphones may well be about to swamp the market for ultimate-quality photos with ultimate DOF.

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trevmar
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Re: Buying either of these cameras for limited DOF / bokeh....
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

For example of what the RX100 can do with portraits, we might like to look at this page:

http://amydavies.com/2012/06/12/portraits-liz-shot-with-the-sony-rx100-a-compact-camera/

The shots are nowhere near perfect, but there are a couple of very good ones in there. Given time, a photographer will learn to use the RX100 most effectively. I saw real potential in some of these shots. I myself would start by turning the 'Intelligent Auto' off, and using aperture preferred

Here's another thought-provoker:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/weshead/7613653264/

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Ray Sachs
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Re: Buying either of these cameras for limited DOF / bokeh....
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

trevmar wrote:

Ray Sachs wrote:

Is like buying an economy car to race F1.

Ray, we are talking about cameras, not cars

Yes, it was an analogy, not a literal comparison. .

Ray, have you been looking at the sample images being posted from either the LX7 or the RX100? They are pretty good. Probably 'good enough' for most people. I did the work on DOF (above) specifically to help us understand what is being achieved with this generation of P&S

The image quality is one thing - the RX100 is amazing - I hope the LX7 is close to as good because there's a lot I prefer about the LX7. And the narrow DOF characteristics may be good enough for most people - a cell phone camera is good enough for most people but we hang out on photo forums because we're looking for something more. And in terms of narrow DOF, these cameras just don't do it well. That's OK with me - I'm not someone who relies on or cares a lot about narrow DOF in my shooting (although it's a nice option to have sometimes). But there are those for whom it's a huge part of their shooting and one of the most important properties they look for in cameras/lenses. And cameras like this aren't even on their radar, for good reason.

DPreview has posted their review of the Nokia 808.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07/30/nokia-808-pureview-review

IMO the "little cameras" and cellphones may well be about to swamp the market for ultimate-quality photos with ultimate DOF.

I agree - ultimate DOF is quite the opposite of narrow DOF though.

-Ray
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

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Greynerd
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to tkbslc, Aug 5, 2012

Why specifically a DSLR? I have a Samsung NX100 with a 30mm f2.0 lens which easily goes into a coat pocket and an Olympus Pen EPL2 m43 with a 45mm f1.8 lens both of which give a nice shallow DOF for portraits in a comparatively compact form factor. Could you explain why the bulky reflex mirror is necessary which is what you seem to be saying? Surely any aps-c sensor m43 with a kit lens would do?

tkbslc wrote:

All of these new "uber" compacts are really just starting to approach the DOF control capabilities of an APS-C DSLR with a kit lens.

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tkbslc
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to Greynerd, Aug 5, 2012

You seem a bit defensive. I mentioned a specific type of camera, but nowhere did I say it was the only possible combination of photographic devices in the world capable of such results.

Greynerd wrote:

Why specifically a DSLR? I have a Samsung NX100 with a 30mm f2.0 lens which easily goes into a coat pocket and an Olympus Pen EPL2 m43 with a 45mm f1.8 lens both of which give a nice shallow DOF for portraits in a comparatively compact form factor. Could you explain why the bulky reflex mirror is necessary which is what you seem to be saying? Surely any aps-c sensor m43 with a kit lens would do?

tkbslc wrote:

All of these new "uber" compacts are really just starting to approach the DOF control capabilities of an APS-C DSLR with a kit lens.

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tkbslc
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Re: Buying either of these cameras for limited DOF / bokeh....
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

trevmar wrote:

For example of what the RX100 can do with portraits, we might like to look at this page:

http://amydavies.com/2012/06/12/portraits-liz-shot-with-the-sony-rx100-a-compact-camera/

The shots are nowhere near perfect, but there are a couple of very good ones in there. Given time, a photographer will learn to use the RX100 most effectively. I saw real potential in some of these shots. I myself would start by turning the 'Intelligent Auto' off, and using aperture preferred

You could do similar shots with an XZ-1, X10, LX7 and even our old trusty LX5. You could tell she was pushing in real close to exaggerate the BG Blur capabilities, which of course shows in the perspective distortion.

I'm not saying the rX100 isn't a cool camera, I Just think once the newness wears off, it won't end up being the game changer many are making it out to be. Faster lens is just as beneficial as bigger sensor, so it's a balancing act each company will have to try and work out.

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Greynerd
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to tkbslc, Aug 5, 2012

The implication is there. Why not say an aps-c sized sensor camera which makes it much clearer? Why mention the DSLR type in the discussion when it is not at all relevant given that there are now 4 aps-c CSC formats available? Just pointing this out, not really defending anything though I do think DSLR's are rather large to be practical for most people's uses. There will of course likely to be a specialised use for a small number in the future but they will cost and the manufacturers will move away from producing them whatever their merits.

tkbslc wrote:

You seem a bit defensive. I mentioned a specific type of camera, but nowhere did I say it was the only possible combination of photographic devices in the world capable of such results.

Greynerd wrote:

Why specifically a DSLR? I have a Samsung NX100 with a 30mm f2.0 lens which easily goes into a coat pocket and an Olympus Pen EPL2 m43 with a 45mm f1.8 lens both of which give a nice shallow DOF for portraits in a comparatively compact form factor. Could you explain why the bulky reflex mirror is necessary which is what you seem to be saying? Surely any aps-c sensor m43 with a kit lens would do?

tkbslc wrote:

All of these new "uber" compacts are really just starting to approach the DOF control capabilities of an APS-C DSLR with a kit lens.

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tkbslc
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to Greynerd, Aug 5, 2012

I said DSLR because that's still what most people buy and what most people think of when they think shallow DOF portraits and that's what the Sony guy compared to in the quote by the OP. Don't read too much into this (well too late for that, I guess).

Greynerd wrote:

The implication is there. Why not say an aps-c sized sensor camera which makes it much clearer? Why mention the DSLR type in the discussion when it is not at all relevant given that there are now 4 aps-c CSC formats available? Just pointing this out, not really defending anything though I do think DSLR's are rather large to be practical for most people's uses. There will of course likely to be a specialised use for a small number in the future but they will cost and the manufacturers will move away from producing them whatever their merits.

tkbslc wrote:

You seem a bit defensive. I mentioned a specific type of camera, but nowhere did I say it was the only possible combination of photographic devices in the world capable of such results.

Greynerd wrote:

Why specifically a DSLR? I have a Samsung NX100 with a 30mm f2.0 lens which easily goes into a coat pocket and an Olympus Pen EPL2 m43 with a 45mm f1.8 lens both of which give a nice shallow DOF for portraits in a comparatively compact form factor. Could you explain why the bulky reflex mirror is necessary which is what you seem to be saying? Surely any aps-c sensor m43 with a kit lens would do?

tkbslc wrote:

All of these new "uber" compacts are really just starting to approach the DOF control capabilities of an APS-C DSLR with a kit lens.

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Greynerd
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to tkbslc, Aug 5, 2012

Fair enough.

tkbslc wrote:

I said DSLR because that's still what most people buy and what most people think of when they think shallow DOF portraits and that's what the Sony guy compared to in the quote by the OP. Don't read too much into this (well too late for that, I guess).

Greynerd wrote:

The implication is there. Why not say an aps-c sized sensor camera which makes it much clearer? Why mention the DSLR type in the discussion when it is not at all relevant given that there are now 4 aps-c CSC formats available? Just pointing this out, not really defending anything though I do think DSLR's are rather large to be practical for most people's uses. There will of course likely to be a specialised use for a small number in the future but they will cost and the manufacturers will move away from producing them whatever their merits.

tkbslc wrote:

You seem a bit defensive. I mentioned a specific type of camera, but nowhere did I say it was the only possible combination of photographic devices in the world capable of such results.

Greynerd wrote:

Why specifically a DSLR? I have a Samsung NX100 with a 30mm f2.0 lens which easily goes into a coat pocket and an Olympus Pen EPL2 m43 with a 45mm f1.8 lens both of which give a nice shallow DOF for portraits in a comparatively compact form factor. Could you explain why the bulky reflex mirror is necessary which is what you seem to be saying? Surely any aps-c sensor m43 with a kit lens would do?

tkbslc wrote:

All of these new "uber" compacts are really just starting to approach the DOF control capabilities of an APS-C DSLR with a kit lens.

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palincss
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to trevmar, Aug 5, 2012

trevmar wrote:

If you go to the Interview with Sony's RX100 designers one actually stated:

"I have a lot of female friends who have DSLRs, many of whom say they own one because a compact camera cannot adequately capture photos of their children growing up. I want people who think similarly to know that DSC-RX100 is on par with DSLRs.

How on earth did they ever manage when all they had was Brownie box cameras?

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trevmar
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Re: DOF of Panny LX7 vs the RX100 (at ca 100mm)
In reply to palincss, Aug 5, 2012

palincss wrote:

How on earth did they ever manage when all they had was Brownie box cameras?

As a kid, when I had my photo taken with a Brownie box camera we all had to line up facing the sun, and at exactly the right distance from the camera. I don't recall a lot of candid photography with those things -- that first came with the SLR. My first SLR was a Praktica L with a 50mm Meyer lens. It still lies on the shelf behind my desk

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