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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #1
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Can you shoot video with auto focus?

This may sound like a dumb question, and i may be missing something completely obvious, but i just picked up my 5dmk2 and cannot for the life of me figure out if i can shoot video with auto focus. im not talking about auto focusing to take a still picture but actually having the camera auto focus while you are shooting video. i read through the manual but that did not open any doors for me. So is there any way to shoot video with auto focus, or is is strictly manual focus for all video?
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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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AF during video recording is possible but not recommended... see the notes on page 123 of the manual.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #3
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AF during video recording is possible but not recommended... see the notes on page 123 of the manual.
Ah, thanks! I'm not sure how i missed that!
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Those notes on page 123 aren't very clear and in any case that I've tried, I've never seen the camera actually "autofocus" during video mode. I've heard it can be slow, but I haven't seen ANY movement at all. My manual focusing is improving but I wouldn't rely upon it for any real candid moments unless there's so much light that the aperture is stopped way down anyhow.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #5
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it looks like youhave to switch the autofocus mode off of quickmode, and then while you are shooting, you have to hold down the AF-ON button for it to focus on your new point. seems like it will be easier just to manual focus.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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If you zoom in 10x (click the zoom button twice) and then fit the AF-On button you can see the results. Compare that with manual focus at 10X. I haven't seen a difference in the limited testing so far, but I will later. It would be nice to rely on AF-ON when you need to.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Justin Branam View Post
it looks like youhave to switch the autofocus mode off of quickmode, and then while you are shooting, you have to hold down the AF-ON button for it to focus on your new point. seems like it will be easier just to manual focus.
ahhh, that's what I was doing wrong. I just tried it (actually HOLDING the AF ON button down) Yeah, that "AF" mode is pretty weak. It hunts around a lot and the mic picks up a lot of noise from the USM servos.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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ahhh, that's what I was doing wrong. I just tried it (actually HOLDING the AF ON button down) Yeah, that "AF" mode is pretty weak. It hunts around a lot and the mic picks up a lot of noise from the USM servos.
Could be wrong but I don't think this is so. I set the camera up last night on Quickmode and never changed it. Holding AF-ON definitely focused during Liveview shooting. There's about a second pause while the screen goes black and then the image is focused.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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Could be wrong but I don't think this is so. I set the camera up last night on Quickmode and never changed it. Holding AF-ON definitely focused during Liveview shooting. There's about a second pause while the screen goes black and then the image is focused.
I have the camera right next to me and just tried it. If you set the "AF mode" to "Live Mode", then you can get it to focus by holding down the AF-ON button until it locks onto something.

This is true whether you're recording or not.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Keith Paisley View Post
I have the camera right next to me and just tried it. If you set the "AF mode" to "Live Mode", then you can get it to focus by holding down the AF-ON button until it locks onto something.

This is true whether you're recording or not.
I just came back from shooting and it does, focus in Quick mode using the AF-ON button. And it is accurate too.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #11
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I just came back from shooting and it does, focus in Quick mode using the AF-ON button. And it is accurate too.
yes, it will focus in "quick mode" but only if you're NOT recording. It is a "one shot" deal - you prefocus with quick mode, but you cannot use it while recording. Also, if you are panning or tracking a subject it won't refocus while recording. In "live mode" you can push and hold the "AF On" button at any time during recording and it will attempt to lock focus on whatever's in the center of the frame.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #12
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yes, it will focus in "quick mode" but only if you're NOT recording. It is a "one shot" deal - you prefocus with quick mode, but you cannot use it while recording. Also, if you are panning or tracking a subject it won't refocus while recording. In "live mode" you can push and hold the "AF On" button at any time during recording and it will attempt to lock focus on whatever's in the center of the frame.
I get that Keith. I just can't think of anytime I'd use auto focus in the middle of a shoot. The real value of it is the ability to nail focus for a scene before you role, like peaking, or focus assist, but way better.

I'll only get to use it when I'm not shooting Nikon primes anyway, but I got the 24-105 for Doc and sports stuff and it will be great for that.


(posted a little while later)

I take that back Keith, specifically for sports and run and gun, the quick refocus thing while recording could be great.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jim Giberti View Post
I get that Keith. I just can't think of anytime I'd use auto focus in the middle of a shoot. The real value of it is the ability to nail focus for a scene before you role, like peaking, or focus assist, but way better.

I'll only get to use it when I'm not shooting Nikon primes anyway, but I got the 24-105 for Doc and sports stuff and it will be great for that.


(posted a little while later)

I take that back Keith, specifically for sports and run and gun, the quick refocus thing while recording could be great.
yeah, I was only pointing it out because the thread originator mentioned:

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Originally Posted by Justin Branam View Post
im not talking about auto focusing to take a still picture but actually having the camera auto focus while you are shooting video.
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