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Old January 6th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #1
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Autofocus on C100

I read somewhere that the C100 may support full autofocus in the near term future. Since it has the 'push to focus' function already, the means to provide full autofocus may already be in the camera with some enhanced firmware. Does anyone have more specific info on this?
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Old January 6th, 2013, 04:24 AM   #2
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Continuous AF could only work with the new STM lenses that have been designed with video in mind with the stepper motor for focus & a smoother aperture changing function. The STM lenses that Canon have released don't look very exciting so far but maybe they will eventually bring this technology to 'L' lenses. http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/06...-40mm-F2-8-STM
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Old January 6th, 2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Personally I find the 'push auto' button semi-useful for run & gun. It does take its time sometimes to lock on and focusing manually is actually quicker.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #4
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Re: Autofocus on C100

I rarely use autofocus on other cameras. When I do, I use it more like the push auto function on the C100. I briefly turn on autofocus, check it and then turn off sutofocus. The two biggest problems with autofocus are hunting - the camera continually changes the point of focus. The other is focusing on the wrong plane. This can cause the camera to focus on the background behind a subject instead of the subject for example.

For those who use the push auto function on the C100, how 'smart' is it? Does it recognize faces or is it just a contrast based method?
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Old January 6th, 2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: Autofocus on C100

I'm not holding my breath for the continual AF unless it improves on T2i/550d's implementation.

If you need face detection and 'tap to focus' - check out the FS700, it's awesome in this respect.

The C100's autofocus really helps when using the EVF rather than the panel, but you're looking to reframe your shot for 'one-shot AF' then reframe again.

Yes, manual focus is far better - faster and you know what you're getting. However, when you're using the EVF or in difficult (bright) outdoor lighting, it's a nice fallback feature.

The C100 is a couple of generations behind the FS700 in this respect. The FS700 can pull focus automatically with Phase Detection during slomo, both the Phase Detection and the Slomo being a foreign land for the C100.

Please, don't see this as a Trolling attempt at bigging up the FS700 at the expense of the C100 - I bought my C100 INSTEAD of the FS700 and I'm totally happy with that. But it depends on what you need from your camera. :)
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Related to adjusting focus, how usable is the peaking function on the C100? Peaking functionality varies quite a bit between different camera models. Preciseness of peaking is a key concern for me. I am planning on buying a C100 very soon but I want to learn a bit more about it before I do.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Peaking is just a way of looking for areas of high contrast (edges) and highlighting them. Usually, peaking sensitivity can be adjusted, but the higher sensitivity is a bit of a misnomer, as all that does is show you more edges that 'may or may not be in focus'.

Peaking on the cameras I've owned have been 'okay'. Nothing like a decent 2k monochrome evf with traditional 'analogue' peaking, nothing like a decent full resolution monitor by your side.

I've seen people rely on peaking when they should be checking with a 2x 'punch in' - it works well with specular highlights and stripey suits, but if you don't get a 'reading' with peaking, it's tempting to boost it up a bit, and that might get you soft results where a punch in, or an extra 5 seconds fiddling, would have nailed it.

I speak from bitter experience. :)
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:21 PM   #8
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Davis View Post
Peaking is just a way of looking for areas of high contrast (edges) and highlighting them. Usually, peaking sensitivity can be adjusted, but the higher sensitivity is a bit of a misnomer, as all that does is show you more edges that 'may or may not be in focus'.

Peaking on the cameras I've owned have been 'okay'. Nothing like a decent 2k monochrome evf with traditional 'analogue' peaking, nothing like a decent full resolution monitor by your side.

I've seen people rely on peaking when they should be checking with a 2x 'punch in' - it works well with specular highlights and stripey suits, but if you don't get a 'reading' with peaking, it's tempting to boost it up a bit, and that might get you soft results where a punch in, or an extra 5 seconds fiddling, would have nailed it.

I speak from bitter experience. :)
I know what you mean. With experience I have learned which edges to rely on when using peaking. Faces are usually a poor choice. An earring, tie clip or edge of a suit lapel usually work well. A bride's veil can light up like a Christmas tree with peaking.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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Re: Autofocus on C100

I feel good one shot autofocus would be invaluable tool for wildlife filmmakers like me for initial focus acquisition. It is not easy to acquire critical focus through long focal lengths in split second and start filming. Autofocus in these situations will help the professionals as well, unlike the prevailing thinking that it will only be used by amateurs. I would love to have one shot AF ability even in C300, so that at times it will be of help.

Canon is later scheduled to give full AF with the STM lenses in the C100. Lets see how this AF story unfolds. However, I will not lose my sleep waiting for that now. More important for me is the 50fps in 1080p mode.

Focus peaking is a good to have and I use it all the time, however with wide angle lenses it can be tricky. My assistant was filming BTS footage and some wideangle stuff were messed up as it lacked critical focus.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 12:55 AM   #10
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Re: Autofocus on C100

When you do the X2 focus assist zoom, does peaking stay on?
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Old January 7th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #11
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Yes - peaking works in 'punched-in' 2x mode too - both on the panel and the EVF.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 04:33 AM   #12
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Re: Autofocus on C100

And just to be clear, you can toggle Peaking off or on at any time using one of the buttons on the side (or any other button you assign). This is different to my Sony EX3, for example, as with that you loose Peaking on the Magnification "punch in" (which is often, but not always, what you might want anyway).

On the C100, you can also turn Zebras on or off at any time, likewise with WFM, both via side buttons. With the WFM button you can, for example, toggle between WFM, Edge Monitor (another tool for focussing for those that don't know) and nothing (where the Mic Audio meters now show in the bottom right of frame, assuming you have the Display/Batt Info button on the back toggled to that setting). By the way, if you have no on-screen info showing in the LCD, you can still have Peaking and/or Zebras showing (or not) as desired, but not the WFM.

As we have discussed before, unfortunately, the WFM never appears in the EVF, no matter what (not that I'll be looking in that tiny peephole too often anyway...). Peaking does work in the EVF as mentioned by Matt.

Also, for the record, I'm using Peaking 2 on the C100, colour choice Blue, Gain 15% and Frequency at 2 and that seems to be working OK for me (but it's early days so these settings may change...). They are highly customisable (various colours of choice etc.)

Got my first paying (and high profile) job with the C100 this week so those settings and the C100s features in general will get put to the test soon!
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Old January 7th, 2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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Re: Autofocus on C100

There is an option to turn on peaking when you hit the magnify button, even when peaking is generally switched off.
It is also possible to select a b/w option when you hit the magnify button.
Combining these two options when you hit the magnify button works well.
Red peaking and b\w works well.
Peaking doesn't work so well in low-light, low-contrast scenes with organic shapes eg human faces.
But quite often it is possible to catch a glint in an eye which is enough to use that bit of peaking to get the face in focus.
Autofocus is not very accurate in low light. It hunts around a bit and then settles for a slightly soft focus. Manual focus is better.
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Old January 7th, 2013, 03:21 PM   #14
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Re: Autofocus on C100

Hi Richard and HNY!

"There is an option to turn on peaking when you hit the magnify button, even when peaking is generally switched off".

I missed that one when I read the manual. I learn something new every day!
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