Canon g1 x mark 2 review

Started Mar 14, 2014 | Discussions thread
Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 5,084
Bokeh versus Out Of Focus & Gaussian Blur..

AngryCorgi wrote:

Marco Nero wrote:

Now that I've had a closer look at the images, I feel pretty confident in saying that they exhibit no bokeh at all, just an out of focus background that appears to be over-softened. Deliberately.

You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means.

bokeh: a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image

No, I'm very mindful of the correct interpretation of the word "Bokeh". The lack of visible bokeh PLUS the uniform 'softening' of the G1X Mk2's background highlights when in Macro Mode all but proves this is a software process and not a lensing process.
Let me demonstrate with some examples from the G1X Mk1 [which seems appropriate]:

G1X Mk1: The highlights in the foliage (from the bright sky) behind this Liquid Amber seed pod collectively produce an effect that only "bokeh"can best describe. The discs of light are precisely what people seek to generate with their own cameras. This effect is not seen on examples from the G1X Mk2 Macro Shots.

G1X Mk1 (macro) - again, the blue sky in the background is producing a subtle amount of Bokeh.

G1X Mk1 (macro + Closeup Filter) - In this case the discs of light are rendered in the classic Bokeh.

G1X Mk1 (macro + Closeup Filters) - Classic Bokeh.

G1X Mk1 - (macro + Closeup Filter) - not all Bokeh is about spheres and orbs.

G1X Mk1 - (macro + Closeup Filters) Finally - 'classic' Bokeh as most students would consider it.

G1X Mk1 - (macro ON) - NOT Bokeh. This is simply a blurred background with no visible Bokeh

Now Bokeh is the aesthetic appearance of the softness of the background and collectively how any highlights are rendered by the lens in the defocused areas of the photograph. Bokeh doesn't just refer to the highlights in an image either. It's slightly open to interpretation but you'd know that a blurry background does not automatically mean 'bokeh' [see last example above]. In the case of the G1X Mk1 versus G1X Mk2, it would seem that the original and the new camera may produce Bokeh when shooting without the Macro feature ON. The G1X Mk1 can CERTAINLY produce Bokeh in both Macro mode and with Closeup Filters attached [see examples above]. Take a look at the images again from the G1X Mk 2. The larger apertures should result in Bokeh in the first shot (pink flowers). But both the pink and yellow flower images do exhibit an artificial haze - which may indeed be the result of larger apertures being used. But lenses with an f/1.2 and f/1.4 aperture on other cameras produce plenty of distinct Bokeh at these open apertures... so why not the G1X Mk2?

G1X Mk 2

G1X Mk 2

So the G1X Mk2 is not delivering anything like the G1X (with Closeup Filters or without) in Macro Mode. Sure, we don't even need Bokeh in order to produce a great image. But the distinct lack of it in brightly lit examples demonstrates that not only does it seem incapable of producing this pleasing effect, but that the background is artificially blurred to create a false sense of a shallow Depth Of Field (DOF). My comments above were only made to draw attention to this because it's a deciding factor to me. Sony's RX100 produces a convincingly shallow DOF in Macro mode but this is a feature that is activated in the menu. The RX100 artificially softens the background and it does so in a way that slightly blurs the edges of the foreground subject. This is EXACTLY how the new G1X Mk2 produces its faked shallow DOF effect in Portrait mode when this feature is engaged. - So we know the G1X Mk2 has this ability. My only concern is that it may not be adjustable and when forced onto any Macro image, it's just softening the background with a gaussian blur instead of allowing for genuine circles of confusion in the form of Bokeh. ie: the background blur is not only fake, but it is destroying the Macro image as it is applied.
Is this an adjustable feature or are we stuck with it? If it is not adjustable, it would seem that Canon are less concerned with producing a "high end" compact camera. We might as well be using phone-cameras if they intend to render the backgrounds softer with a gaussian blur.
As Dale pointed out: We still need to see some more examples at smaller apertures before we can call this one. That should put to rest any speculation. But the samples shown so far are peculiar. Use the sample below from Wikipedia to reference the differences. Which one best applies to the G1X Mk2?

From Wikipedia - (1) No DOF (2) Bokeh (3) Gaussian Blur [Photoshop] Which one of these best applies to the G1X Mk2?

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Marco Nero.

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