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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old June 14th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #1
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Focus for Airshow

Hey guys,
I am going to an airshow in a little less than a month and I was wonder if you guys had any tips for focusing on the airplanes as they zoom by at 500 miles/hour. In the past, IAF has okay, but I am still experience problems when I pan while tracking an airplane, as the camera tends to try and focus on the background instead. Any tips or ideas would be awesome,
Thanks!
-Steve
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Old June 14th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #2
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I'd tend to put the focus on manual and set it at infinity, on a 1/3" camera you shouldn't have any problems, especially with the type of stops you use outdoors. Aircraft at air shows don't usually perform that close to the spectators, especially the high speed ones.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #3
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Hi Steve...........

Here's how NOT to do it!

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=117949


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Old June 15th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #4
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Okay, so now that I'm scared stiff about it, can we come to any consensus? Manual set to infinity or IAF and shoulder mounted, etc...?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 12:33 AM   #5
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Hi again..

This is some of the stuff that led up to that rather sobering experience.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=109813

There are a good number of posts, many by Bob Hart, that should be required reading for anyone undertaking such an assignement.

It would be worth giving it a thorough scrute, tho' there's one heck of a lot of it.

You might also want to check out BoB Hart in the members list and check all his posts, he's a mine of AirShow info.


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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:59 AM   #6
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Hi again...........

It's amazing what cogs start turning when you're sitting outside with a glass of vino, just enjoying the great outdoors (even in the dead of winter here in the South Island)!

A couple of pieces of info (well, quite a few, actually) just dropped into place.

Any (current) XL or XH camera lens has only one real way of working, if you're zooming during the take.

Zoom in to Z99, focus, zoom out and everything is in focus, from Z99 to Z0.

What I had not appreciated was why, during my air show shots, so much was in focus that I thought would not be, and why, it would all go to hell in a hand basket for apparently no reason.

Duh!

Zoom to Z99 (which is what I did, to aquire the target, let the IAF grab it) then zoom out constantly to keep the subject in frame big time.

The Zoom overides the Focus at all times, so the Focus could not change, untill the target was level with me and the zoom was no longer required.

At that point, if anything else was in the frame, the IAF grabbed it, throwing the whole thing off.

If I had used Manual Focus, aquired the target at Z99, tracked it in using the zoom, stop, then tracked it out ditto, it would all have been in focus, there's nothing else could happen!

So, based on this piece of insight (go on, say it, who didn't figure this out already!) go Manual Focus.

Aquire the target as far out as possible at Z99, track using the zoom, in and out.

You're good to go.

Shoulder mount?

Given my experience with tripods, could just be the way to go, tho' an A1 (shoulder, you cannot be serious?) for 5 hours could see you in a serious condition at the local A & E.

So, the "Manual, set to infinity" gets the nod I guess.


CS
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