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Old February 6th, 2006, 01:36 AM   #1
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Focus Assist

I just wanted to mention this briefly. I was at the JVC event at the DGA last week and finally got a chance to spend some time with an HD100. I really enjoyed using the focus assist. I obviously didn't have enough time to determine how accurate it was, but the impression I got was that it's a very handy system.

Hearing some feedback from people who've used it would be cool. I plan to pick up an HD100 within a couple of weeks and I'm obviously curious.

I think this community owes a lot to JVC, Andrew Young, the Director's Guild and the third-party accessory manufacturers who were available to us at the event, BTW. It was very informative and there was a wonderful degree of access to the involved parties as well as the equipment. I found answers to most of the questions I've had about this camera.

I'll start shooting with it in March on a documentary film I'm working on that's been primarily shot on 35mm and 16mm stock up until now. I will continue using film for exteriors, but the talking head stuff seems like it will be the perfect task for the GY-HD100.

Rob
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Old February 6th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #2
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focus assist

Robert
whenever I shoot manual focus (most of the time) I shoot with focus assist
colour is colour and once set in camera - it is what it is
once I know that my subject is exposed properly, and the whites are not blown out, it's focus assist ... in B&W - I prefer it
It's a bit tricky at first, especially touchy at middle focal lengths
yet seemingly quite accurate ... a lot more accurate than my eye is for sure!
if the resolution on the VF were better I might use to it differently, yet as it is I prefer B&W anyway
cheers
Pete
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Old February 6th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dolman
Robert
whenever I shoot manual focus (most of the time) I shoot with focus assist
colour is colour and once set in camera - it is what it is
once I know that my subject is exposed properly, and the whites are not blown out, it's focus assist ... in B&W - I prefer it
It's a bit tricky at first, especially touchy at middle focal lengths
yet seemingly quite accurate ... a lot more accurate than my eye is for sure!
if the resolution on the VF were better I might use to it differently, yet as it is I prefer B&W anyway
cheers
Pete

I've also found that the VF is quite good for Zoom and focus...a bit smaller than the XL but a lot more like a small CRT VF than the big pixels in the Canon.


In an action shoot last week I used both for comparison and all of the focus pulled by eye was as accurate as the Focus Assist stuff.

That said, the focus assist is really good and as Peter says once you've set exposure, you can leave it on and track motion with it which is great...I'm looking forward to seeign how a focus puller working with a follow focus and the LCD screen will do.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dolman
Robert
whenever I shoot manual focus (most of the time) I shoot with focus assist

Pete
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought there was no auto-focus in the HD-100, so you mean all the time?
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Old February 6th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kaspar Stromme
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought there was no auto-focus in the HD-100, so you mean all the time?
correct, there is no autofocus.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 03:39 PM   #6
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I found the focus assist mode useful, but it wasn't 100% good enough on getting a perfect focus. I'd definately want to use it if there's nothing else though.

Graeme
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Graeme Nattress
I found the focus assist mode useful, but it wasn't 100% good enough on getting a perfect focus. I'd definately want to use it if there's nothing else though.

Graeme
Agreed! Although it helps a lot, I have still shot some pretty soft stuff with it just the same. It worries me to shoot without a larger reference monitor since buying this camera, a tough lesson, and I had to learn the hard way. But that has more to do with shooting HD over SD and not related to camera brand/make/model.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Daniel Patton
But that has more to do with shooting HD over SD and not related to camera brand/make/model.
Working without a monitor, it's a lot easier to shoot soft stuff on any given HDCAM or a Varicam than it is with the JVC.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
Working without a monitor, it's a lot easier to shoot soft stuff on any given HDCAM or a Varicam than it is with the JVC.

Because of the focus assist?
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jim Giberti
Because of the focus assist?
Because of higher resolution B&W CRT VF.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Because of higher resolution B&W CRT VF.

It was just a confusing post. Until the HD100 I've only had B&W CRTs, but the expression "easier to shoot soft stuff" made me think Nate meant easier to shoot soft.

Honestly, It's just as easy to me to pull focus on the HD100 as it was using an FU-1000.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #12
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My point was that higher end cameras generally only have peaking available. It's a better peaking than what's on the HD100, and the viewfinder IS higher res, but you still can get bit.

I myself think that FA on the HD100, while not the only tool/technique you should use, is indispensable. And I'm hard pressed to think of how it could be done better.

All of the other baby HD cams use a PIP zoom with mild peaking for their focus assist...not as desirable in my opinion.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
My point was that higher end cameras generally only have peaking available. It's a better peaking than what's on the HD100, and the viewfinder IS higher res, but you still can get bit.

I myself think that FA on the HD100, while not the only tool/technique you should use, is indispensable. And I'm hard pressed to think of how it could be done better.

All of the other baby HD cams use a PIP zoom with mild peaking for their focus assist...not as desirable in my opinion.

I wasn't confused...we were agreeing <g>.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #14
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Although not perfect, I found JVC's magic outline better than peaking.

Graeme
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Old February 7th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Graeme Nattress
Although not perfect, I found JVC's magic outline better than peaking.

Graeme

Absolutely...and overall I've found the HD far better than I expected which is a "testament" to the internet I suppose.

I actually never even considered this camera as a serious tool in goo part because it was either ignored or bashed from everything from it's lens to design flaws to format.

I find the lens a nice, affordable piece of glass, I find SSE to be a non issue to this point, I find the VF also to be a pleasant surprise.

I can remember looking into the XL2 VF the first time (after being used to a CRT) and being amazed that I could practically count the pixels...but the size was a plus anyway.
I find the JVC FV to be much nicer to zoom and focus and the FA to be the kind of innovation that should have been getting a lot more kudos.
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