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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 March 22nd, 2007, 12:07 AM   #1
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Any Manual Focus Tips?

I hate the occasional pulse I get from the Auto Focus... Is there any tips you expert camera guys can give me for adjusting focus manually and zooming simultaneously while on the fly? Is this typically what you do is just go manual?

I just hate lining up that perfect shot and then having it hunt for something else I don't want it to... Any tips or techniques would be greatly appreciated...
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 02:20 AM   #2
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Doug, unfortunately you cannot simultaneously zoom and manually focus at the same time with the XH-A1. It use servo controls for these functions (ie:electonic instead of manual devices).
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Davis View Post
I hate the occasional pulse I get from the Auto Focus... Is there any tips you expert camera guys can give me for adjusting focus manually and zooming simultaneously while on the fly? Is this typically what you do is just go manual?

I just hate lining up that perfect shot and then having it hunt for something else I don't want it to... Any tips or techniques would be greatly appreciated...
I leave my focus on manual, if I have to zoom in on something that I have not set the focus on already, as I zoom I push the instant focus button and it will allow focus and zoom at the same time and it seems to do a very good job.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
I leave my focus on manual, if I have to zoom in on something that I have not set the focus on already, as I zoom I push the instant focus button and it will allow focus and zoom at the same time and it seems to do a very good job.
Awesome, good tip... Thank You... I hadn't played with that "Push AF" button much but that sounds like a great idea!
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 12:24 PM   #5
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Works very well on the A1.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 11:14 PM   #6
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I would assume if you're doing the zoom and instant focus simultaneously, you must be using the zoom rocker switch. I prefer the ring, mainly because I risk getting jumpy zooms if not on the "constant" setting.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 11:39 PM   #7
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i've been shooting photo and video on canon gear exclusively for many years.
"auto focus" is not their strong point. but, really..you should never use auto focus anyway. it's for dads filming birthday parties and for people with no depth perception. god bless them.


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I would assume if you're doing the zoom and instant focus simultaneously, you must be using the zoom rocker switch. I prefer the ring, mainly because I risk getting jumpy zooms if not on the "constant" setting.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
I leave my focus on manual, if I have to zoom in on something that I have not set the focus on already, as I zoom I push the instant focus button and it will allow focus and zoom at the same time and it seems to do a very good job.
How can this work if zoom & focus share the same servo? Also, why wouldn't this work if AF is on to begin with?

Just curious.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 12:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
I leave my focus on manual, if I have to zoom in on something that I have not set the focus on already, as I zoom I push the instant focus button and it will allow focus and zoom at the same time and it seems to do a very good job.

Not sure this works....

I have said before that the A1 does not manually or auto focus at the same time as zooming. To come to this conclusion I simply tried all the various combos of controls...ie: zoom ring/focus ring in manual (doesn't work) zoom rocker/focus ring in manual (does not work), either the zoom ring or rocker in auto mode (does not work). In each case the camera will not focus until AFTER the zoom has stopped. HOWEVER...my eyes might be messing with me but I think holding the push auto focus button while zooming (only tried the ring so far) DOES seem to update focus during the zoom...it's a little jiggly and not as smooth as manual controls but .....

Can anyone else confirm this as well? It does defy logic but hey...I didn't even think it was possible before with the A1.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 03:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by James Hooey View Post
but I think holding the push auto focus button while zooming (only tried the ring so far) DOES seem to update focus during the zoom...it's a little jiggly and not as smooth as manual controls but .....

Can anyone else confirm this as well? It does defy logic but hey...I didn't even think it was possible before with the A1.
Hi James. I believe the jiggly part is that in this case the motor action is switching quickly between zoom and focus. Using autofocus during zooming does update the focus setting too, but you get the focus hunting effect that several people have commented on, because the updates are not continuous.

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 06:48 AM   #11
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Hi James. I believe the jiggly part is that in this case the motor action is switching quickly between zoom and focus. Using autofocus during zooming does update the focus setting too, but you get the focus hunting effect that several people have commented on, because the updates are not continuous.

Richard
I am also having hard time with the focus, i tried to cheat with AF switch while zooming but still jumpy. i have set it on slow but it is hard on moving objects.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 11:03 AM   #12
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Push AF does work during zooming, in the main menu, I set it to normal focus only, I think the hunting is when you combine instant focus (infrared, focus on whatever the infrared hits) and normal ttl focus (focus on contrast, vertical lines) together and then use auto focus, the infrared might see something different than the ttl and so they conflict and probably causing the hunting, I normally use manual focus, only when I have to zoom then I use the push instant focus and it is very smooth focus for me.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 03:52 PM   #13
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Thanks Khoi Pham! I'm going to do some testing as per how you mentioned. I'm sure that I am usi the instant focus so I will try it without and see if it's less "jiggly"

Thanks again,

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 04:26 PM   #14
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Alrighty then... I tried the push auto focus while in Normal Auto during a zoom in. It does work for the most part... however, make sure you stop zooming before you release the Push Auto Focus button. If you don't, the second you try to zoom back out, the focus will be all thrown out of whack! I don't mean a little of of whack... it's way way off. Even if the Push Auto Focus is released just milliseconds BEFORE the zoom in stops, it will go nuts the second you try to zoom out.

Bill
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