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Selective Focus with Canon Ixus 50

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by rob81, 3 May 2006.

  1. rob81


    Joined: 9 Mar 2004

    Posts: 152

    Is there any way i can achieve the blur background effect on the Canon Ixus 50. Its achieved on cameras with selective focus and aperture settings. Any help would be great, cheers guys.

  2. jhmaeng

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 May 2004

    Posts: 2,060

    Location: London, UK

    The sensor is too small (which in turn means the focal length is too short) to get a dramatic out-of-focus blur - you need higher focal length or bigger aperture to increase the amount by which the background is blurred.

    You can start to get some blur when you fully extend your zoom and focus on a nearby subject (say, 30cm) with the rest of the background very far away, but other than that, expect pretty much everything to be in focus when you use a compact P&S.
  3. rpstewart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 11 Mar 2003

    Posts: 10,744

    Location: Greenock, Scotland

    Getting nice background blur with a compact digicam is tricky, the small sensor size gives a much larger depth of field (the area of the picture in focus) than the larger sensors on SLRs. Unfortunately this is the laws of physics at work and all you can do is work round it.

    The Ixus 50 has a manual mode which will allow you to set the aperture yourself - it needs to be wide open (small f number) for the smallest depth of field. That means you could need quite a high shutter speed for a good exposure and a bright day may mean the required shutter speed is faster than the camera is capable of.

    With that set to get the minimum DoF you need to be quite close to the subject. I ran some numbers through an online DoF calculator and at full tele zoom, an aperture of f2.8 and a subject distance of 3 feet the DoF is about 3-4 inches. This should be just about perfect for flower shots etc.

    Obviously there's some trial and error involved but don't be afraid to experiment, it's not costing you anything.