Guess the question itself sums it up, Is it feasible? If so, how?

  • Do you mean just a picture like this one, or a blurry background with a sharp subject? – Szabolcs Aug 8 '13 at 18:51
  • @Szabolcs yes, blurred background, super focused subject and I suppose the foreground will be blurred too Except the subject! – user21504 Aug 8 '13 at 19:01

To maximize the background blur, you can do three things:

  1. increase the aperture
  2. zoom in to use a long focal length
  3. shoot something that's close to you

On a compact camera you often won't have direct control over the aperture. You might try to trick it by playing with the scene modes: try portrait or sports (sports mode tries to increase the shutter speed so it'll increase the aperture).

Points 2. and 3. might work against each other: you may not be able to get close with a long focal length because the camera might not be able to focus. So this'll take some experimentation to get right.

  • 2
    Final point: combine 1, 2, and 3 to get the most blur. – Dan Wolfgang Aug 8 '13 at 19:41
  • I'll second Dan, though maximising #3 will make even smartphone camera produce blurred background and even those tiny bokeh balls if you look closely. – Esa Paulasto Aug 8 '13 at 20:10
  • I think I am doing something terribly wrong O.O ! , coz I am having a blurry foreground and a focused background!!! The camera is in portrait mode and I was close to the subject. – user21504 Aug 9 '13 at 5:40
  • It worked, instead going close the subject, I zoomed in! – user21504 Aug 11 '13 at 14:53
  • @rps There is a minimum focusing distance for your camera. It is not able to focus on subjects closer than that. The minimum focusing distance may be different depending on the zoom level (focal length), so you'll need to experiment a bit. Check that the subject is in focus before taking the picture. The camera should have some indicators that assist with this (it is not easy to check focus visually on a small LCD screen). – Szabolcs Aug 11 '13 at 19:43

To get a strong background blur requires a small depth of field which is hard to achieve on a compact camera due to how small the sensor is. It doesn't give enough space for light passing through the lens to diverge from the focus point.

How to maximize the amount of background blur, however, is no different from on a DSLR. You need to minimize the depth of field which means you want to shoot with the fastest available aperture and longest possible focal length from as close to the subject (and far from the background) as possible.