Getting Good Bokeh With the Canon G1X Mark II


Getting good bokeh with the Canon G1X Mark II is easy to do thanks to its relatively large 1.5 inch sensor.  

This article will help you take better photos by getting better bokeh.

Pleasing bokeh can help make your photographs stand out from the rest. 

Soft pleasing background

 There are three specific factors that you can control the depth of field in your photograph and have a dramatic effect on the bokeh you achieve.


Three Factors That Help You With Getting Good Bokeh with the Canon G1X Mark II Camera


1. Use the widest aperture (smallest f-stop number) that is possible.

2. Shoot at the longest zoom setting you can-120mm would really help.

3. Get your subject relatively much closer to the lens than the background.

Every shooting situation is different.  You have to make choices on how to use these techniques and all of them can work together in varying degrees.


G1X Mark II Maximum Aperture

Bokeh-G1X Mark II at f/16Bokeh is not that great when the G1x Mark II is set at f/16

Shoot your photo at a low f-stop number like f/2.0 or f/3.9.  That will help render the background more out of focus.

Due to its lens design the maximum aperture changes a bit as you adjust the zoom on the Powershot G1X Mark II lens.

The maximum aperture decreases slightly as you zoom in to higher magnifications as you can see from the chart below.

G1X Mark II Maximum f/stop at Different Focal Lengths 

Focal length

24mm

28mm

35mm

50mm

85mm

100mm

120mm

Maximum Aperture

f/2.0

f/2.8

f/3.2

f/3.5

f/3.9

f/3.9

f/3.9

Using a wider lens opening will decrease the depth of field and give you better bokeh.  When I shoot portraits, I almost always use aperture priority mode and set the lens wide open.  This gives me a very pleasing out-of-focus background and places the emphasis on my subject.

Getting decent bokeh with regular point and shoot cameras and cell phones is near impossible because their sensors are so small.  It's one of the areas that the G1X Mark II shines and it's one of the reasons I purchased this high-end compact camera.


The G1X Mark II Zoom

The 120mm zoom setting on the Mark II gives you slightly more bokeh ability than the original G1X which has a 28-112mm zoom lens.  The farther you zoom in the more depth of field you lose, thus giving a more pleasing out of focus effect.

Shooting at a wide-angle setting dramatically increases depth of field, resulting in less pleasing bokeh.


Distance Between the G1X Mark II and the Subject and the Background

The three scenarios below show how to get the best bokeh shooting with the Powershot G1X Mark II.


G1X Mark II Side View
Subject of G1X Mark II bokeh shot
Bokeh Background

With the subject and background distant from the camera as shown above, the background will likely be too sharply in focus to get any decent bokeh effect.




This camera to subject to background situation above would give you better bokeh as shown below.  In the photo below the Christmas figurine was halfway between the camera and the tree and shot at f/3.9 at 120mm.


G1X Mark II Bokeh at f/3.9Better bokeh is achieved at f/3.9
with G1X Mark II-subject-background distances equal

These distances would give you the the best bokeh with the G1X Mark II.


Best bokeh with the G1X Mark III reduced the camera to subject distance to get the best bokeh in this situation

These three techniques, used in combination, gives you a great way of getting good bokeh with the Canon G1X Mark II.


Have a blast!

Bruce


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Overall Review of the G1X Mark II


Written by Bruce Lovelace



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Bokeh Definition:  

The pleasing quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens