What manual focusing tools does the A1 have? at DVinfo.net

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Old September 14th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #1
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What manual focusing tools does the A1 have?

I know it has a peaking function (non-adjustable?), but what is this "magnify" function? Is it a focusing tool? How easy is it to achieve a sharp "on the fly" manual focus the camera? Does it give the focusing distance in the viewfinder like the Panny HVX200 or Sony V1u?
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Old September 14th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #2
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Bill,

I'm not a pro or even an amature :). I've had my A1 for about 1.5 months and made a few videos.

The magnify function and peaking function are both focus asisting. It's either one or the other. You can't have both turned on at the same time. I find both help in different situations but I tend to use the peaking more often.

I did have an experience early on where I used the magnify feature but then forgot to turn it off, composed the shot and started shooting! When you start recording, the composition changes (because the magnify goes off). With peaking, you can keep it on while you're recording and so it helps if you need to pull focus while shooting.

One reason I can't seem to use magnify more is because typically, the subject is off center and I don't want to have to re-compose the shot each time.

I wonder why one can't change the area of magnify or focus for that matter. Since as a result even push focus is rendered useless in most situations. My little $250 digital Canon allows me to determine the part of the shot I want to focus on. My old SLR kind of followed my eye and focused on where I was looking through the view finder. But I digress...
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Old September 14th, 2007, 11:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shiv Kumar View Post
The magnify function and peaking function are both focus asisting. It's either one or the other. You can't have both turned on at the same time.
Absolutely false. You most certainly *can* have peaking and magnification both turned on at the same time.

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Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds View Post
Does it give the focusing distance in the viewfinder like the Panny HVX200 or Sony V1u?
Yes, in either meters or feet.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
You most certainly *can* have peaking and magnification both turned on at the same time.
I stand corrected.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 03:27 PM   #5
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How good is the viewscreen for focusing? Does it work well in sunlight?
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Old September 15th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #6
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The viewscreen is one of the highest resolution ones I've seen. I've used it outdoors, not for focusing, but for when I couldn't use the viewfinder, like on a jib. Sony's Z1 screen is probably the best one.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:44 PM   #7
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Bill,

Again, I don't have experience with any other camera so...

I've used only the built-in view screen (only because I'm not sure I want to spend money on a monitor just yet) so far, for both indoor and outdoor shoots in bright sun light. Personally, I don't have much of problem being able to see and the peaking helps tremendously here because if I can see that the composition is correct that's half the battle (in bright sunlight) and peaking helps with ensuring the subject(s) in question is in focus (you really can't miss that) even if you can't really see details. But that's as far as focus is concerned.

If you're trying to get some dramatic lighting/exposure effect using the view finder in broad day-light. I'm not sure I'd attempt that with the built-in one. :)
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