Landscape with SX50 HS

Started Mar 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
VisionLight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,498
Re: Landscape with SX50 HS

Wulfhere wrote:

As you can see from this image, the background is kind of washed out. Maybe this what makes me focus on the subject (which is nice and clear). What settings should I have had so that the background is... less so out of focus, enough for definition but not so much for distraction? DOF, landscape...a mode missing from the SX50 HS. I own both the SX40 HS and the SX50 HS. I keep the SX40 HS because, basically.. love the camera. I bought the SX50 HS for the zoom. What and where do I make the settings so that this photo has background definition? PS. Love both cameras, still a novice.

What you have in this image is a very narrow depth of field. Depth of field is the distance between the nearest point and farthest point in an image that will be in reasonable focus. Different focal lengths have different depths of field. The wider the focal length, the more depth of field. The longer the focal length, the lesser the depth of field. Different sensor sizes will have different depths of field for the same focal length. Smaller sensors will have more depth at a given focal length than a larger sensor. This image is taken with a VERY LONG focal length, 215mm on the small SX50 sensor or 1200mm full frame equivalent. Since the size of the bird indicates that it was only about 40 to 50 feet away, depth of field would only be within the area of the subject and CAN NOT also include any background. Using a long telephoto, you CAN NOT correct this. In order to get more of your image in focus, you would have to zoom back down to a shorter focal length where the depth of field is greater, then move in to within 5 to ten feet from the bird. Now focusing on the bird will also include focus on the background in the short focal length's wide depth of field.


Edit: Note that aperture can also increase depth of field by closing it down. But once again, the effect is limited as the focal length increases. And on the SX50, the smallest aperture is only f8, so the effect is even more limited. So once again, on P&S cameras with small sensors, the best way to increase depth is to use a lower focal length and get closer to your subject.

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