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Old June 1st, 2011, 03:42 AM   #1
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Using Focus Assist graph on HMC-150

I'm wondering how many of you use the focus assist graph on the HMC-150 to determine focus. The instruction manual shows what the graph looks like when it is in focus and out of focus. But I found that the graph doesn't change when I'm zoomed in on certain textures, eg. flat surfaces or in low light.

I feel that the auto-focus is pretty accurate most of the time, but when it is inaccurate, I won't always notice right away. It makes me wonder if I should have the graph displayed all the time. Yet, it is difficult to tell just from looking at the graph if it is in focus or not. I have to turn the focus ring back and forth to know where the threshold of horizontal white area. Hope that makes sense. Basically I feel the focus assist (Expanded and Graph) is only good for checking manual focus, during setup shots; not run and gun situations. I'd like to be able to monitor the auto focus during event videography, without going manual if possible.

Thanks!
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: Using Focus Assist graph on HMC-150

I've never used the AF myself; I do leave the graph turned to "on" (when focus assist is on); but I've found the fastest, most dependable way to get manual focus is to hit the 1:1 button on my external monitor, and maybe zoom in a bit; I also use the manfrotto focus remote for planned moves. I'll mark the disc and have a grip or assistant handle focus for crane shots, dollies, etc. I've played with the AF but haven't found a use for it, seems to hunt too much to be safe.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: Using Focus Assist graph on HMC-150

Do you use the extra monitor in event videography?

I like my 30 yr old Canon SLR camera. There is a circular focus tool in the middle, which displays a misligned picture if out of focus. Turning the focus ring could move the misalignment into focus. I liked this very much, because I didn't need to press any buttons, it was totally optical and I could tell at a glance, without hunting the focus.

With the HMC-150, I have to press the focus assist button, then turn the focus ring to see if the graph is at its maximum horizontal width. It means that in-focus shots are potentially ruined because I have to hunt anyway.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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Re: Using Focus Assist graph on HMC-150

Yes, HMC 150 is a crappy system with a crappy viewfinder.
Too many "good" shots need sharpening to get away with soft focus for event work.
Needs decent peaking too, so can't wait until the (hopefully) improved AG130 -160 series come out.

Cheers,

Vaughan
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