Shallow Depth Of Field – Sony PXW-Z90

By November 14, 2018 Reviews, Technical, Thoughts, Video
Z90 Shallow Depth Of Field

CAN YOU ACHIEVE A SHALLOW DOF ON A 1 INCH SENSOR?

In this video, I’m playing around with the Sony PXW-Z90 camera again. It’s currently my main camera, so it gets a lot of love.

I’m trying to establish whether or not it’s possible to drop the background out of focus using the relatively small 1″ sensor found inside the Z90.

If you need this look on a lot of your work, you’re probably not even going to consider a small sensor camera like this. However, when you need a camera to perform under many guises (as I do), it’s nice to know whether it can.

WHAT’S IN THE VIDEO?

I’m working in the usual location where I record my ‘to camera’ pieces for YouTube. I’m making adjustments to the focal length to see where the right balance is between framing and depth of field. I also work with objects (Playmobil characters…because they’re left lying around) very close to the camera to see how close you need to get to drop out the background altogether.

PXW-Z90 Sample DOF SLOG3 Ungraded PXW-Z90 Sample DOF SLOG3 Graded

CONCLUSIONS

I think the ‘cinematic’ ability of this camera is overstated (no surprises there). You will need to try hard to get that look. Working in this way is quite simply not practical in many types of shooting environments.

However, if you can get close or do have the option to zoom, the bokeh is beautiful for a small sensor camera. In the video, I was blown away by the quality of the image on the close shot of my face. The detail is outstanding, and the background is silky smooth in comparison.

In short, you can do it, but you’ll have to work for it.

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