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DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150

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Michael Slowe
DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on Apr 1, 2017 at 4:25:06 pm

Shallow DOF is proving quite elusive with the new Sony PXW-Z150 camera, do any other users find the same? Although there is a one inch sensor, as opposed to the half inch on the EX cameras, the DOF appears to be about the same. The real cause of this is that you only get f2.8 max, at wide angle, on full tele it's only f4 max. That 'ramping' is a real pain. Any comments?


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Craig Seeman
Re: DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on Apr 1, 2017 at 5:39:29 pm
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on Apr 1, 2017 at 5:40:05 pm

Granted the aperture presents its limits but I've been able to get shallow DOF with distance camera to subject and subject to background.

Singer in focus but the person just a few feet behind her is out of focus and the buildings across the street even further out of focus. I was in first row with other media.

This with PXW-X70 which is the same sensor at the Z150




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Michael Slowe
Re: DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on Apr 1, 2017 at 6:04:32 pm

Yes but Craig, what was your aperture and focal length setting, can you remember? I'm not saying that shallow DOF is impossible with the Z150, but with my EX 1 I could put out of focus a bookshelf only two feet behind a sitter, and not even with a long focal length setting. Can't do that with the Z150 half as easily.

Michael Slowe


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Craig Seeman
Re: DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on Apr 1, 2017 at 6:24:54 pm

F4 and I was probably 15 feet from the stage.



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Bob Cole
Re: DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on Apr 5, 2017 at 2:53:43 am

[Michael Slowe] "with my EX 1 I could put out of focus a bookshelf only two feet behind a sitter, and not even with a long focal length setting. Can't do that with the Z150 half as easily."

Doesn't the EX1's fixed lens have a max aperture of f/1.9? That would account for the difference.

Bob C


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Michael Slowe
Re: DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on Apr 5, 2017 at 2:13:55 pm

Bob, that's exactly my point, the Z150 ramps the aperture with the focal length so that for much of the time you're limited to f4 thereby making it more difficult to obtain shallow DOF. With the EX1 you had no limitations in setting max aperture, that's f1.8 as you say.

Michael Slowe


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Bob Cole
Re: DOF on the Sony PXW-Z150
on May 14, 2017 at 8:37:26 pm

Hi Michael, I apologize for dropping the ball here. I guess we are in agreement, right?

I suspect from your posts that you know these tricks already, but in case it helps someone else:

1. To simulate out-of-focus backgrounds: use a leko type light (e.g. Source 4) with a pattern, or a cuculoris in front of a fresnel, and defocus the pattern to create big soft-edged blobs of light in the background. Keep the background relatively dark otherwise.

2. Use a soft-patterned hand-painted canvas backdrop which, even if in perfect focus, looks out-of-focus.

3. Place camera right against the wall, & put the subject as close as possible to the camera, to increase the distance between subject and background.

Bob C


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