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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #1
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Continuous Autofocs, Push Autofocus, etc.

Hey everyone!

Considering picking up this camera, but I am wondering about its autofocus abilities.

This may be a dumb basic question, but is autofocus controlled by the camera itself, or is it controlled by the lens you pick?

I'm looking to get continuous autofocus (for Steadicam video shots)...is this possible with this camera? If so, which lens can provide this feature?

Also I heard stuff about this camera having push autofocus - is that true? What does push autofocus even mean (sorry, dumb basic question).

Thanks!
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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Re: Continuous Autofocs, Push Autofocus, etc.

It all depends on the lens you buy. The Lumix lenses and a lot of 4/3 lenses offer AF. This is not an ENG cam, or a Prosumer in the old sense of the word. Pro lenses almost never have auto focus.

Personally I never use auto focus, and I shoot a lot of Stedicam.

In my opinion auto Iris and auto focus are always best avoided. I like to be in control, not the camera.

But that is not to say it is wrong to use auto, your best bet is to demo the lens/camera combo and see if it does what you want.

I love the fact that this camera will accept so many lenses. Sorry for the complicated answer.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: Continuous Autofocs, Push Autofocus, etc.

Thanks for your answer!

Do the Lumix lens provide continuous AF or just one-shot autofocus?

I hear that trying to touch the focus ring while on a Steadicam will throw the whole thing off balance. The parts of the lens move internally as you change focus, shifting the weight balance, etc. But if you're walking around or doing wild swirling shots of say some trees, the sky, then back down to your subject...the focal distances of all these things changes, so I figured continuous autofocus was the only way to help this, even if you give up control.

Especially with the shallow DOF of this camera, it'll be hard to keep things in focus as you move around since you can't move the focus ring. I know people have compensated with doing things like attempting to stay the same distance away from your subject as you walk, say in following people shots...but that may be hard for more complicated movement shots. Also people have tried playing with f-stops, but then you don't get as shallow a DOF, which to me defeats the purpose of this camera.

Also...what exactly is push autofocus?
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Old February 27th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #4
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Re: Continuous Autofocs, Push Autofocus, etc.

Or you could learn your hyperfocal distances with your lenses set to manual, so you don't have to mess with lenses hunting while trying to autofocus. And they do make remote focus controllers for Steadicam.

Good Luck!

Dave
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Old February 27th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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Re: Continuous Autofocs, Push Autofocus, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhong Cheung View Post
Thanks for your answer!

Do the Lumix lens provide continuous AF or just one-shot autofocus?

I hear that trying to touch the focus ring while on a Steadicam will throw the whole thing off balance. The parts of the lens move internally as you change focus, shifting the weight balance, etc. But if you're walking around or doing wild swirling shots of say some trees, the sky, then back down to your subject...the focal distances of all these things changes, so I figured continuous autofocus was the only way to help this, even if you give up control.

Especially with the shallow DOF of this camera, it'll be hard to keep things in focus as you move around since you can't move the focus ring. I know people have compensated with doing things like attempting to stay the same distance away from your subject as you walk, say in following people shots...but that may be hard for more complicated movement shots. Also people have tried playing with f-stops, but then you don't get as shallow a DOF, which to me defeats the purpose of this camera.

Also...what exactly is push autofocus?

Zhong Cheung, it sounds like some practical experience with steadicams as well as lenses, cameras and shallow depth of field would be of great benefit to you before making a camera purchase or rental decision.

Steadicam is challenging enough without trying to use a shallow DOF look. Wanting to accomplish high level steadicam work and also mentioning autofocus is a mix that is not often combined.

Using the AF-100 on a steadicam with anything other than a wide mm lens setup in my opinion is reserved for the right situation only. Totally controlled shooting and with wireless control of the camera by people other than the steadicam operator.
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