"Easiest" camera for kids and bokeh?

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
Re: "Easiest" camera for kids and bokeh?

CosmoZooo wrote:

I am a noob too but I've learned a little hanging out in the NEX forum. Like others said you will need a camera with a fairly large sensor for shallow depth of field or DOF as folks call it.

I am getting the NEX-6 soon but that will run you a grand. However the NEX line start at $500-$600 starting with the NEX-F3. Any one of those will give you the ability to produce some nice photos with DOF. The main problem coming from the compact camera is the lens size because the standard lens kit on the NEX-F3 is still 18-55mm lens which is rather large comparing to the camera size. But you can get the NEX-5R and NEX-6 with the 16-50mm powerzoom which is pretty compact. Still not point and shoot size but will fit in a large coat pocket There is a good chance the NEX-F3 will be available with that lens down the road as well...those lenses are just coming out.

Another alternative if you want good pricing, excellent photo quality (NEX is great too) and fairly compact size with DOF capabilities would be the new Olympus cameras. Specifically you want either the Olympus PEN E-PM2 or Olympus PEN E-PL5. Out of the two the PEN E-PM2 is the smaller camera with less manual controls and really friendly for point and shoot with some cool touch screen capabilities but the E-PL5 will give you a more flexible LCD which flips up and down for easier waist level or overhead pictures but it's a $100 more. Both have a 14-42mm kit lens which is pretty compact but not as small as NEX 16-50 power zoom, yet all the photos I've seen of the camera should still be very easy to carry around.

These are indeed very good cameras. I haven't heard a word how much better NEX-5r and NEX-6 at focusing, NEX-F3 and 5N were not very good for moving subjects, while the Olympus cameras are as good as entry level DSLRs.

BUT... with the kit zooms they are not any better for background blur or low light than Sony RX100 compact camera. To achieve really shallow DoF with the Olympus cameras, you need either Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 zoom ($1500) at it's long end or Olympus 75/1.8 prime ($900) - which have too narrow view for use in small rooms. For closer distances your best bet is Panasonic 25 f/1.4 ($500), which, while not providing as shallow DoF as the other 2, is suitable for close portraits and still insanely better than the kit zooms. There is also Voightlander 25 f/0.95, but it is manual-focus-only and as such very hard to use with running kids.

For Sony NEX the only native choice is Sony 50 f/1.8. The DoF is not going to be as shallow at the Olympus and Pana choices, and the view is not as wide as the Pana 25 mm.

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