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Wouldn't on-screen "DOF meter" be a good idea?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by New Daddy, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    This is a sister thread to my other thread (https://www.mu-43.com/f43/how-does-multi-point-focusing-work-does-increase-dof-17276/#post160045).

    I was taking a picture of a group of people sitting around a long round table at a dinner. The person at the far end was sitting probably a good 15 feet from the person sitting at the near end. I used my GH1's view finder to make sure to bring everyone's face into focus, but it was very challenging.

    So, in situations like this, I think an on-screen "DOF meter" would be very helpful. An electronic version of the DOF-scale that you found on all manual lenses. Algorithm-wise, this shouldn't be too difficult, right? With DOF info on the screen, you will have a pretty good idea of which aperture to use. Do higher-end DSLRs have this feature?

    Alternatively, an "auto-DOF" feature that someone mentioned can be found in Canons would be very useful too. With newer Pannys that have touch-screen LCDs, you select the points that you want to bring into focus, and the camera calculates the maximum aperture that will do that.

    I'd love to see either of these features in the next generation Panny.
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Most cameras have a DOF "preview" that actually stops down the lens and lets you see what's in focus and what's not. I haven't seen an interchangeable lens camera with a DOF "meter" or scale, but what you're asking for is available on a number of fixed lens cameras, both fixed length and zoom. The Richoh GRD3 has one, the Fuji X100 has one, the Panasonic LX3f and LX5 has one. From what I understand, the Ricoh GXR also has one and that is interchangeable, but the whole module, including sensor, is changed, not just the lens, so I don't know if that somehow makes it easier. Also, these DOF scales or "meters" are a bit suspect. At least on the LX5 and X100, the DOF the camera shows you seems to be very conservative relative to what any DOF calculator will show you for a given aperture and focal length. Which is OK in the sense of erring toward caution, but can completely screw things up if you're trying to use these scales to establish a hyperfocal distance.

    Not sure why they're not offered in interchangeable lens systems, and maybe they are in some cameras I'm not familiar with. But I've never seen 'em in any of the m43 cams, the Nex, the Sony SLT cams, etc. And I've never heard of them in the Nikon or Canon DSLR systems either, but I don't have any personal experience with those.

    -Ray