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Old November 3rd, 2015, 05:55 PM   #1
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C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

Works fine until you start recording, then the MAGN button does nothing. Have tried all different recording flavors, same result. Haven't heard if this is an intentional hindering of the camera by Canon or not, or if it will ever be fixed.
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Old November 4th, 2015, 10:16 AM   #2
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

As far as I can tell it's not mentioned in the manual (in which Canon is usually pretty good about mentioning what doesn't work in specific modes), And it's a shame because when shooting interviews on the C300, I always use my samurai for framing and leave the LCD punched in for focus. As others have mentioned on DVXuser, perhaps with all the new focus assist features, this technique isn't the best way to confirm focus (even punched in it's not perfect), and that using the new graphic assists is a more solid approach.
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Old November 4th, 2015, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

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Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
As others have mentioned on DVXuser, perhaps with all the new focus assist features, this technique isn't the best way to confirm focus (even punched in it's not perfect), and that using the new graphic assists is a more solid approach.
I completely disagree. After years with the C100/C100 Mark II, MAGN with peaking is absolutely the best way to be completely sure. This "new" way, means "hoping" that everything is in focus when you are using just the camera, and I don't like that.
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Old November 4th, 2015, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

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Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
This "new" way, means "hoping" that everything is in focus when you are using just the camera, and I don't like that.
:-)

Focusing a 4k image, relying on punch-in with peaking on a 4" .6k LCD screen is "using just the camera" as well. I don't have my camera yet...any day now...so I cannot speak to experience...but several folks I've talked to have said they've learned to trust these newer tools and that it's all good.

(I for one, have never trusted peaking, so I'm one-up on you for being a crotchety "old school is the only way" kinda guy. Give me an optical viewfinder, I'd say, except my eyes are so bad...so really the only way to focus, for me...is a full resolution monitor that I can see from a reasonable distance...otherwise I'm going to have to...trust the camera)
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Old November 4th, 2015, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

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Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
Focusing a 4k image, relying on punch-in with peaking on a 4" .6k LCD screen is "using just the camera" as well.
Not if you're getting a 1:1 representation and can move the box around to pick what you are checking on.

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Give me an optical viewfinder, I'd say, except my eyes are so bad...so really the only way to focus, for me...is a full resolution monitor that I can see from a reasonable distance...otherwise I'm going to have to...trust the camera)
Even if the monitor is full resolution, it would need to be the size to proper demonstrate the resolving power of 4K for you to make use of it. Absolutely nothing makes up for a 1:1 zoom with peaking.
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Old November 4th, 2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

Sorry... I guess my bad. From the manual I read that the punch-in was a doubling of the LCD resolution (not 1:1 even in HD). But if it's a true 1:1, that's certainly a good focus tool for some. I still prefer a full size monitor for critical focus. As far as 4k monitoring on this camera goes though... I doubt many of us will be doing that at least in the near term.
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Old November 4th, 2015, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

It may not be exactly 1:1, but even half of that would be helpful for seeing the peaking.

For instance, yesterday I had a situation with a high contrast background (not my choice) and needing to make sure the medium-wide shot was in focus. DPAF was not able to lock on very well due to the circumstances, so I set peaking as well as I could and hoped for the best.

I don't like hoping.

Today I tested the DPAF assisted manual focusing. And it is also iffy, unable to lock on to the subject matter at hand (the indicators wouldn't move as I ran the lens through the gamut from infinity to macro), though full on DPAF worked fine.

This is unacceptable.
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Old November 6th, 2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

More tests with the camera in low-light situations downtown. Can be really hard to see just the peaking (and even though, the magnified assist WITH peaking is what makes all the difference), and in low-light, the DPAF can be flaky, which also means the Focus Guide doesn't work that well. When it gets flaky, it simply doesn't react to the focus pull, which makes it useless.

I cannot believe that Canon would let it stay like this, but my hope is that we get a fix *much* sooner rather than later.
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Old November 7th, 2015, 08:46 AM   #9
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

For the DPAF to focus your subject needs to be properly exposed. Starve it of light and it will struggle. Every thing is programmed based on a logic. So we need to understand and use these tools accordingly.
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Old November 7th, 2015, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

I've just got back from filming in Dubai and had this on the top of my list of things to sort out before the next shoot, as it wasn't working during recording. I have always used the MAGN button to double check focus during the recording of interviews (often the interviewee can change position hence the need to double check focus) so this is a major issue....

I thought I may have overlooked a menu setting and tried everything so am slightly reassured to hear I am not the only one experiencing this issue. I do hope Canon sort this out asap. In the meantime I will have to rely on the Atomos Shogun which fortunately does have a 2:1 magnification option (which can be moved around). But honestly, since the much lower priced C100 has a perfectly working MAGN button it really is unacceptable at this price point to have such a 'bug' as this.
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Old November 11th, 2015, 07:35 AM   #11
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

If you think this thread is good try sitting across from Gary at a coffee shop and going through camera tech... :)
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Old November 12th, 2015, 08:07 PM   #12
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

I've confirmed this as well on today's shoot; no MAG available during recording. This is really disturbing. What's the point of allowing the MAG to an external monitor now, but not seeing it while recording?!?!

**sigh
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Old November 15th, 2015, 02:13 PM   #13
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

I have to say, after reading other folks comments re the DPAF and face recognition, I was quite dumbfounded as to how well it worked for me. I brought the camera along to a concert the other night, in a small room with a relatively well lit stage and no other lighting to speak of. I expected the AF would perform well on the stage and it did, even when I was shooting through several microphone stands, the camera always seemed to lock on the person behind those stands...even if it wasn't recognizing a face. Several times I tracked people moving from the stage area into the audience and even though the exposure easily dropped by 3 or more stops, it kept focus until things got really dark at which time it would hunt and lose focus.

Interestingly though, when I ramped the ISO up to 12,800 (my new magic ISO :-) in those dark areas of the crowded room the camera had no trouble locking on and holding a face even with people crossing in front and an otherwise complicated scene. From the beginning I'd expected that this really wouldn't work well, and so I'm really surprised to see that the AF features functions just fine in low light (I was shooting with and 85 1.8 wide open so any misfires were pretty obvious).

Curious though why Gary and others are having second thoughts about it's usefulness. Is it just a case of expectations, or is something else going on. A theory...just a theory, is that it's a contrast issue. I was shooting C-log...which has a relatively steep slope through the midtones...as soon as the person moved further into the shadows the image flattens out a lot and then focus would falter. Increasing gain would fix the problem, so it appears that the camera is looking at the image after processing. I'm curious if shooting CLog2 is more problematic because of its lower contrast.
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Last edited by Barry Goyette; November 15th, 2015 at 02:15 PM. Reason: speeling
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Old November 15th, 2015, 02:15 PM   #14
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

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Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
Curious though why Gary an others are having second thoughts about it's usefulness.
Because it's not perfect. I absolutely preach the DPAF gospel, but am fully aware of its limitations, and even when I used it heavily on the C100/C100 Mark II, I still made a lot of use out of magnified focus assist. It's simply the best way to confirm focus, and without it I feel like I am merely guessing.

And I hate guessing.
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Old November 15th, 2015, 03:12 PM   #15
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Re: C300 Mark II No Magnified Focus Assist During Recording

Yeah Gary. I think you've made your point that you'd prefer magnified peaking during recording. I get it. Not suggesting that DPAF is a substitute for that, for you.

I've never met a perfect camera, and I'm damn certain you haven't. :-).... But we all have to work with these abominable beasts, so I think its beneficial to talk about ways we can make them work for us. This camera is new, none of us have a lock on everything about it. I'm just suggesting ways that it's worked for me, and hopefully that benefits others here.

This camera continues to surprise me in mostly positive ways.
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Last edited by Barry Goyette; November 15th, 2015 at 05:06 PM. Reason: gramma
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