G16 aperture range

Started Dec 18, 2013 | Questions
Arkayem Regular Member • Posts: 484
G16 aperture range

I notice from the G16 user's manual that the aperture goes from f/1.8 to f/8.

It seems to me that f/8 puts a rather severe limitation on achieving a wide depth of field. I normally use f/11 - f/16 for landscapes.

Has anyone found this to be an issue?

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Canon PowerShot G16
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Teppo Hytönen Senior Member • Posts: 1,066
Re: G16 aperture range
1

Are you used to thinking of the aperture numbers in terms of DSLRs? Because f/8 with a small sensor is a really deep depth of field, easily enough for landscape shots and the like. If anything, with small sensor cameras it can be hard to get a narrow enough depth of field for certain types of shots.

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Teppo @ Finland

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OP Arkayem Regular Member • Posts: 484
Re: G16 aperture range

Yes, I am a professional photographer shooting only DSLRs, and I currently shoot with a Nikon D800. I am looking for a good small camera with high quality raw image capability to lighten my load when I travel.

I did not realize that a small sensor camera gets that much greater depth of field with f/8 compared to a DSLR.

Thanks,

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MOD Dale Buhanan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,268
Re: G16 aperture range
3

Arkayem wrote:

Yes, I am a professional photographer shooting only DSLRs, and I currently shoot with a Nikon D800. I am looking for a good small camera with high quality raw image capability to lighten my load when I travel.

I did not realize that a small sensor camera gets that much greater depth of field with f/8 compared to a DSLR.

What Teppo told you is correct.  Small sensor cameras have much greater depth of field for a given aperture than your full frame dSLR's.  f-8 is a very small aperture on the G16, and is only about 1mm in diameter.  It would be tough to make a smaller aperture and control it in fact.

Not only that, but since diffraction is a function of the edge to area ratio  - at f8 we are already into fairly heavy diffraction on these small cameras.  You don't want to go smaller than that actually.  Sharpness would suffer greatly going any smaller.

The reason why the great depth of field, is that for the same field of view, the focal length of the lens is much less than you are used to and varies from 6.1mm to 30mm for an effective focal length of 28-140mm.  That means the crop factor is about 4.6 for this sensor.  It also means that you can effectively multiply the DOF that you can get at f8 by 4.6 also for a comparative aperture of f-36 on your D800.  That should give you ample DOF.

And now you know the rest of the story. 

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kind regards
Dale

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crashpc Veteran Member • Posts: 6,037
Re: G16 aperture range
2

Nice answer. I would like to add, that you don´t want to stop it right at f/8 with G16. You can see diffractions and image distortion clearly. If you want to get best of the glass,  stay at the lower number as f/4 or f/4,5. This should give you shallow depth of field without extreme diffractions...

I tried with G15, and it seems to be cool about this aperture/focal ratio settings. When you go f/8, it goes to cripple details (typically grass and smallest branches in landscape shooting) heavily...

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Why does he do it?

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MOD Dale Buhanan Veteran Member • Posts: 4,268
Re: G16 aperture range
1

crashpc wrote:

Nice answer. I would like to add, that you don´t want to stop it right at f/8 with G16. You can see diffractions and image distortion clearly. If you want to get best of the glass,  stay at the lower number as f/4 or f/4,5. This should give you shallow depth of field without extreme diffractions...

I tried with G15, and it seems to be cool about this aperture/focal ratio settings. When you go f/8, it goes to cripple details (typically grass and smallest branches in landscape shooting) heavily...

You are absolutely right.  In fact, probably f4 is the sweet spot for this lens and produces superb results... Although not quite as good as the D800 he is used to -- but it weighs a lot less and is easier to carry.

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kind regards
Dale

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crashpc Veteran Member • Posts: 6,037
Re: G16 aperture range

Agree. Also need to correct myself. I meant moderately deep field of view. This term confuses me in any language as left and right side for does to other people...

I like to set f/4,5, because you often do not need to get sweet spot of the lens, but sweet spot of the scene itself... I go with f/5 rarely, and don´t understand why there is even more...It´s acceptabe when you downscale. Once you do not, you clearly see that stupid transition from field of view effect going and changing to crippling effect, especially affecting plants and green, when you increase f number past 5. So you cannot help yourself or the final result by setting it at its max....

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Why does he do it?

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omerko Junior Member • Posts: 45
Re: G16 aperture range
1

I agree with what everyone else said, it does not limit me in terms of getting wider DOF.
Also if you want to achieve longer exposures by using a smaller aperture, you can apply the built in ND filter instead, which works really great.

Getting shallow DOF should bother you more since it's much harder to achieve with a small sensor camera.

RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,217
Re: G16 aperture range
1

Arkayem wrote:

Yes, I am a professional photographer shooting only DSLRs, and I currently shoot with a Nikon D800. I am looking for a good small camera with high quality raw image capability to lighten my load when I travel.

I did not realize that a small sensor camera gets that much greater depth of field with f/8 compared to a DSLR.

It all has to due with focal lengths.  P&S cameras have short focal lengths because of their small image sensors.  So a 28mm shot on a 35mm SLR may use a 6mm focal length on a P&S and as you should know the shorter the focal length the more built in depth of field.  You'd want to avoid f/8 on a G16 because it's be like f/32 or so on a 35mm SLR.

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