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Thread: Help needed with Nikon P6000

  1. #1

    Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Good morning.

    I think I am asking for advice from someone who knows the Nikon P6000, or maybe the depth of field issues of these little non-SLR manual control jobs in general.

    I'm not a bad photographer, but only because the equipment is now so clever. I can frame a picture and all that fairly well (at least to my satisfaction).

    But my new little P6000 has me stumped. I just can't get it to give me a low (short?) depth of field. I can get the magic 2.8 in focal length or whatever, using manual or aperture priority. But the thing resolutely shows me everything pretty well pin sharp, near or far.

    I have looked at the admirable DOF essay in Cambridge in Colour and can't say I understand the maths - but I would follow any instructions anyone chose to give me very cheerfully and gratefully.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 4th May 2009 at 07:53 PM.

  2. #2
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Welcome to the thread Richard. I can't help on the P6000, but I had an E4500 as my 1st digital so know what you are talking about. ( I also tried a Pana FZ7 before reconciling myself to cost and weight of DSLR, same limitation on DOF control)

    I am afraid the answer is that there is something about the lens geometry on compacts that is different from DSLR and DOF control is one of the sacrifices..tho next time Nikon produce a swivel job I could be tempted to have a pocket job when circumstances preclude DSLR humping.

    However in selected cases, ie where you have a selectable subject, you can simulate DSLR fuzzy backgrounds by using "gaussian blur" on the background in PP. If you are using PP that allows "linked enhancements" ie 2 or more tools on same selection or layers, you can also desaturate, reduce contrast etc in background only to make the principle subject jump out. Then reverse if necessary and sharpen/high pass subject only. My lenses don't go below f5.6 when extended, so I even use that technique on DSLR shots
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 4th May 2009 at 07:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Hi Richard,

    Welcome to CiC, Chris is on the right track about the surfiet of DoF and also sadly, his conclusion.

    Because the sensor is so small, so is the lens design, and although it says "f2.8", that's not a figure we can directly associate with an expected DoF in 35mm terms.

    It is fairly well accepted that the focal length equivalent for a given angle of view for a sub-full frame sensor camera can be equated to 35mm by multiplying the real focal length by a "crop factor". For the popular DX format this is about 1.5 or 1.6, for 4/3 it is 2, and depending how small your sensor is, it may have a crop factor of between 4.5 and about 6.5. You can work this out for any point and shoot as long as you know the real focal length and what the manufacturers say is the 35mm equivalent.
    For example, the P6000, when fully wide angle is 6mm real, but 28mm equivalent; so 28/6 = 4.666, which is its crop factor.

    What's not so well accepted is that this also applies to the aperture figures in respect of depth of field, so f2.8 x 4.666 = f13, no wonder so much is in focus!

    I hope that helps explain the problem.
    Of course, for certain types of photography, the extra DoF is a blessing; ever thought of taking up macro?
    So as Chris suggests, Post processing (PP) is one way to achieve the effect you're after, at the expense of more time in front of a computer (unless you like PP )

    Could I ask a favour Richard?
    Could you post something in the Introductions forum that's a bit more of an introduction (where you are, what you do, what sort of things you photograph) please? My thanks in advance.

    Hope that helps,
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 4th May 2009 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Thread Split

  4. #4

    Re: Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Dear Colin and Dave,

    Thanks for that. It's fascinating and a bit daunting that I must now get into serious "PP" (new acronym, new area). Up till now I've enjoyed PP cropping and "auto-levels".

    I dread Photo Shop which I've played with a bit and find horrendously complicated (I thought making DreamWeaver websites was complicated before I tried layers and filters in PS.)

    Nothing ventured.....

    The logic seems impeccable. An image doesn't become beautiful just because it was achieved optically rather than digitally.

    About PP: I wonder if you think there's an entry level - intuitive - bit of software that will get me going with blurring backgrounds without the bells and whistles of PS?

    Best wishes,
    r

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Hi Richard,

    I use PS Elements, V7 is out now at about 70 or $100 (dunno where you are), it is made to be easy to use. What you learn in it will stand you in good stead should you ever get PS CS4 later in life.

    Alternatively, Paint Shop Pro is a similar price and would no doubt be able to do this, as I think, should GIMP, which is free.

    There are others, but those are probably the most popular.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D North View Post
    I dread Photo Shop which I've played with a bit and find horrendously complicated (I thought making DreamWeaver websites was complicated before I tried layers and filters in PS.)
    Hi Richard,

    Your reaction to Photoshop is pretty typical - but it doesn't need to be daunting!

    People seem to forget that Photoshop is like a workshop filled to the brim with bright and shiny new tools ... tools to the left of you ... tools to the right -- BUT -- nothing says that you have to use every tool for every project -- AND -- nothing says that there isn't more than one tool that will do the same job. EXACTLY the same for Photoshop.

    I'm not saying that everyone needs the full-blown Photoshop, but there are several books I could recommend that would get you up and running in no time at all should you decide to go that route (I don't know wether or not you could justify it, but in a way I hope you do go that way because it's such a fantastic program).

    Let me know if you need any help or further discussions in this area

  7. #7
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    Re: Help needed with Nikon P6000

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D North View Post
    About PP: I wonder if you think there's an entry level - intuitive - bit of software that will get me going with blurring backgrounds without the bells and whistles of PS?
    I am not sure about entry level and one man's intuitive is another's hell. As far as I am concerned all Adobe progs are near the hell end of the spectrum. The genuine alternative to PS/CS especially if as I think the P6000 shoots NEF (RAW) is Nikon Capture NX2. You can have 30 day free trial to see if it is intuitive and I have an introductory shoehorn at www.pbase.com/crisscross/nx2 which seems fairly popular. The html instructions are pretty good & my intro mentions other standard guides. The price is between PSE & full CS

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