DOF setting on panasonic G5

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by abhishek_singh|8, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Hello,
    I want to get good shallow DOF on my Panasonic G5. I have kit lens ( (14-42mm + 45-140mm). How can I achieve it, what should be recommended settings on this ? Probably, owner of same kit should be able to tell me better.
    Or do I need separate pair of lens ?
    In order to answer this, if somebody need more details of object, etc., please let me know. I am newb.
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    To get the shallowest DoF for any FRAMING, you’ll need to get closer to the Subject and use the wider end of the kit lenses ensuring that you use the LARGEST aperture that is available on the lens (that is the smallest F/ number).
    The TIGHTER the SHOT you can make, the shallower the DoF you will be able to achieve.
    For example – for a PORTRAIT you will be able to get a shallower DoF with an HALF SHOT (waist to head) than with a FULL LENGTH SHOT (whole body standing).
    And – you will be able to get a shallower DoF with an HEAD SHOT (head and neck and a bit of shoulder) than with an HALF SHOT.
    And – you will be able to get the shallowest DoF for any HEAD SHOT, if you use near the 14mm FL end of the lens, such that you can use the F/3.5 maximum aperture.
    Example of Shallow DoF Portraiture using a Sub-miniature Format Camera (Canon Powershot P5 IS):
    You will indeed be able to achieve a shallower DoF if you used one of the fast Prime lenses for your camera: I believe there are a couple - perhaps the 20/1.7 or the 25/1.4.
    Buying lenses might be a more expensive option and render poorer results, than you buying a second hand "full frame" camera (like a Canon 5D) and a simple fast lens (like the EF 50/1.8).
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  3. Thanks William for your suggestion. I recently brought Panasonic G5, where I got both those lenses in deal. I hope, I didn't made a very wrong decision.
    I really like the the effect of Shallow DOF and Deep DOF. These effects give nice look to image of Bokeh.
    So any of my both lenses can give me proper effect on my Panasonic G5 ?
    I do not want to carry much weight with me (that was the only reason, I didn't brought DSLR). I can sell them off on ebay (or somewhere else) to purchase better len (or both lenses).
    Mostly I click pictures of my family, potrait and sometimes weekend trips. I am not professional, just a hobbiest who love to do experiments.
    Keeping my preferences in mind, what is suggested for me ?
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    OK - I just read you previous posting, asking for advice about what camera to buy.
    I don't think you made wrong choice of camera. I think you might be placing too much emphasis on Shallow DoF.
    I think you should enjoy the camera you have bought and take lots of pictures of your family.
    I do NOT advise you to buy another lens or another camera.
    I was merely answering your question about how to achieve the shallowest DoF possible with the camera and lenses that you have.
    Also you specifically asked if other lenses could achieve a shallower DoF - and those prime lenses I mentioned, will allow that.
    Although linked, Depth of Field and Bokeh are different.
    There will not be very much difference to the shallowness of DoF, with either of the lenses you use - but using the 14 to 42 at focal lengths where the lens can open to F/3.5 will, in fact be better for you to do.
    What will be more important is: framing the shot tight - I have also suggested this above.
    What you can also do is make sure that the BACKGROUND is far away - that will, in most circumstances, make fro a more pleasing background blur (Bokeh).
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  5. The easy way to achieve this, is to set your camera to Portrait program mode. That program is
    designed to isolate the subject from the background as much as it is possible in the given
    lighting situation with the given lens. You can use this mode even when you don't make

    That will get you started, and you can then educate yourself on the subject while studying the
    meta data on the photos you thought were particulary to your liking.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I don't have a Panasonic G5 with me at the moment, but I do not recall the G5 camera having a camera function labelled "Portrait".

    In fact, what I do remember about that camera is the lack of of the "BASIC" functions the camera offered.

    There were one or two auto functions only and then - Program AE, Aperture Priority; Shutter Priority and Manual Camera Modes.
    If one were to select "Program AE" on a G5; then the Shutter Speed and the Aperture would be chosen by the camera's light meter according to an algorithm: but not one that would necessarily choose the largest aperture avialable.
  7. Abhishek - can I suggesta different approach? Get started with your new camera, and enjoy discovering it. you've got the right gear to get started. Use it a lot, make lots and lots and lots of photos. Really, a lot.
    Most fo all, learn about photography. What William explained in his first post - try all that, and learn with your own camera, eyes and skills how to create a shallow DoF; discover for yourself using various settings, subjects and so on.
    Sooner or later, you will notice that shallow DoF - nice as it is - is not always the right choice for a photo. The thing is: if we tell you how to create a photo with shallow DoF, we give you the recipe of a single good meal. Instead, if you learn the basics, as William explained them, you will learn how to cook your own dish.
    A good book that could help you get started is Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. There are also plenty useful articles here in the Learning Section. In the long run, learning this theory of photography will be more rewarding than learning now the settings for an effect.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  8. I have P mode in Panasonic G5 dial.
    Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure - this was recommended in few other posts also, so I was trying to see if this is having a pdf verion on net. Orelse, I will purchase it. Yes, I need to learn more on this. I am still understanding options and fuctions on my new G5
  9. I can get shallow depth of field without getting super close to my subject, GH2 model. Using a wide aperture is part of the thing, but also keeping the background a fair distance away. Yes it helps with a faster lens, and a longer focal length too.....but not vital. Note: With the four thirds system the measurements are different than from a really tiny sensor as you have in most P and S cameras (where lots of focus room is desirable for the novice, to make sharp images). So I will accept some of the advice given above and not all of it for certain, I hasten to add. You certainly do not need an APS-C or Canon or Nikon full frame camera if you apply the proper technique of distances approach and aperture.
    Experiment with distances, and you will soon find the right ones for portraits- even with micro four thirds, which does not limit us really... I assume we are talking people pictures.... My G- model camera has a portrait mode, ( and I bet yours does too I am thinking) which adjusts aperture for you and shutter appropriate speed, but you can do it in P mode just as easily.
    My advice. Experiment, experiment, use depth of field preview if you like to see how dof changes....good luck, and good 'mushy'backgrounds to you,
    PS: My first lens after I got the kit, was a Lumix 20 mm 1.7. Fine general purpose fast lens, not too costly either.
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  10. Positioning the background in relation to the mid ground subject can help some.
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Using a longer Focal Length is not really part of the equation to get the Shallowest DoF.
    For practical purposes, for any format camera: the DoF will remain the same if the framing and the aperture remain the same.
    A salient point about the lenses which the OP has, is, as the FL increases so the Maximum Aperture gets smaller - hence, to achieve the Shallowest DoF, one must use the wider end of the faster lens - and that is why such was suggested.
    And yes 4/3rds sensors are bigger than the typical P&S: and certainly appreciable / acceptable shallow DoF might be got by using other Apertures, Framing and Focal Lengths - but - as in respect of achieving the "shallowest" DoF possible, and the comparatives of differing DoF achievable at different framings - the above commentary is 100% correct, as it was written.
  12. With your 45-150mm lens at f4 and 45mm (use 'A' mode) and a shooting distance of 1.6 meters, you will get a tight head and shoulders shot and relatively shallow depth of field. Just be sure to put a bit of distance between your subject and the background.
  13. Abishek, if you want to experiment with older used lenses on your G-5 I encourage you to do so. Many will do nicely. I lately using my Canon FD 85mm 1.8 with a low cost adapter. This photo was with my older Panasonic Lumix, the G-1. A longer focal length is not necessary for portraits, certainly not this long (160 +mm field of view) but it does several things for me. I do not need to get too close to my victim:) I am minimizing that the narrow DOF effort at a given aperture will not result in the large nose, eyes in focus, and the poor ears way too soft. Worse with German Shepherd noses! :) It means some compromise in technique of course. A aperture priority and manual focus of course, but the bright EVF of your G 5 and gain increase in the finder makes it a snap to focus and you get auto shutter at least. Last but not least, a cheap nay miserly way to get some great optics you don't now have that fit so well on micro four thirds bodies with adapter,.....aloha, gs
    charles_escott_new likes this.
  14. for example
  15. The Panasonic G5 is basically a computer. This is the camera we use on my job as a school photographer. Why they chose this camera (4/3) to shoot portraits is a mystery to me ? Unfortunately we don't get to choose any of the settings on the camera. Everything is done by computer/power-pack. The only thing I have to do is to make sure the lights are set up correctly so that the camera will calibrate, no flash-meter needed. I took the G5 home several times, but was a little intimidated by the Video functions.

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