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Bokeh on Point and Shoot Digital cameras

I get many emails from your readers asking me how they can obtain good bokeh out of their stage and shoot cameras. I very first thought about posting a short paragraph in the Photography FAQ post, but then chose to elaborate more on the subject and clarify it in detail, rather than providing a brief answer. Hopefully those who have point plus shoot cameras will understand almost everything I say, since I will do the best to explain the subject in simple terms.

1) What is Bokeh?

As I explained in my “ What is Bokeh ” article, Bokeh is the high quality of out-of-focus or “blurry? areas of the image rendered by a camera zoom lens. The key word here is “ quality”, since bokeh is not the second title for the blurry parts of the image. Whenever you hear somebody say “ the particular bokeh on that image will be creamy and beautiful”, they are just referring to the overall quality and really feel of the out-of-focus area, not the particular out-of-focus area itself.

Creamy Bokeh

See the gentle out-of-focus area behind this sweet boy? That’ s what high quality bokeh typically looks like. How do you acquire a similar result on a point plus shoot camera?

2) How to Get Background Blur in Your Pictures

Before we discuss bokeh, let’ s see how you are able to first separate a subject from the history with a point and shoot digital camera and get blur in your images. Certainly, when I say “ blur”, I mean the particular “ out-of-focus” area, not movement blur. Most digital cameras are capable of creating out-of-focus areas when the camera zoom lens is focused at a very close issue with a large lens opening known as “ aperture “. Here is what you need to do to create several blur behind your subject:

  1. If you have an advanced stage and shoot camera, switch the particular camera mode to “ Aperture-Priority “. In case your camera does not have such mode, in order to “ Macro” or “ Portrait” mode, which also work great.
  2. Turn off camera flash.
  3. Ideally, you should do this outdoors during a sunny day to take at low sensor sensitivity or even “ ISO ” and to get lots of lighting reflections/highlights into the image. If you are capturing indoors, make sure to do it during the day is to do it in a well-lit area along with large windows behind you. Or else, you will need to use a tripod.
  4. Pick a relatively small subject along with plenty of textures to be able to focus on this easily.
  5. Make sure that your own subject is physically isolated from your background. For example , if you are taking an image of a coke can, make sure that the particular objects behind the can are usually relatively far. If you have objects near to the subject, they will be in focus (which is not what you want), while putting objects at a distance will make them from focus.
  6. Make sure that the particular objects in the background have reflecting surfaces. Glass and metal areas are great candidates for the background.
  7. Hold the point and take camera as close to the subject you want to appear sharp in your image as you possibly can.
  8. Focus on your issue by half-pressing the shutter switch. Make sure that your subject is in concentrate.
  9. Take a picture plus view it on the camera LCD, ensuring that your subject appears sharp, as the background looks blurry.
  10. If your camera has an optical move feature, zoom in all the way plus take another shot.

Here is an example that I photo indoors:

Point plus shoot Bokeh

The particular champagne bottle on the left part was the subject in focus as well as the flowers in vase at the end of the particular table appear blurry or out-of-focus. The above shot was taken along with my iPhone, which I use since my point and shoot digital camera. As you can see, you can get blurry backgrounds along with pretty much any camera out there.

The above example will be a good way to see the type of bokeh your digital camera and its lens are capable of producing. When the background blur looks nice and clean (which basically means good bokeh), you could use the same technique to isolate your own subjects in the future.

The setting blur in the above image appears nothing like the one in the first one particular, doesn’ t it? Let me describe why.

4) Restrictions of Point and Shoot Digital cameras

As I have proven above, almost any camera is effective at producing out of focus areas once the lens is focused at a very shut subject. However , not all cameras are equipped for producing good-looking bokeh. There are several reasons behind this:

  1. Stage and shoot cameras have really small sensors. The size of the camera messf¨¹hler is directly related to depth of field (the area of the image that will appears sharp or “ within focus” ) – the smaller the particular camera sensor, the larger/greater the particular depth of field. When compared to movie or full-frame digital cameras, point plus shoot cameras typically have sensors which are 15+ times smaller in size. Because of this, the location that appears sharp is much bigger in size than what it would be on the DSLR camera, making it harder in order to isolate the subjects. That’ ersus why in the above instructions We asked you to keep background items far away from your subject – in case you leave them close, they will be within focus due to the large depth associated with field.
  2. The lens in point and shoot digital cameras are not optically designed to create good-looking bokeh and are very limited in terms of minimal and maximum apertures and central lengths. Generally, lenses in stage and shoot cameras are wide-angle and have short focal lengths to pay as much of the area as possible, which places most of the scene in focus. Digital cameras with optical zoom lenses usually change apertures to a larger amount when you zoom in (thus raising depth of field), making it also harder to separate the subject from the history.
  3. Most point plus shoot cameras are designed to put every thing into focus, so that the pictures individuals take do not turn out to be blurry because of focus issues. That’ s precisely why most of focusing in point plus shoot cameras is automated, along with face and scene recognition techniques specifically designed to automatically acquire concentrate on the right target. This is because typical stage and shoot camera users merely have sharp images – they do not value out-of-focus areas and bokeh.

I hope this helps. Tell me if you have any questions in the remarks section below.

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