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Old February 28th, 2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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Facial tracking on GH2

I'm interested in hearing about peoples experiences with facial tracking in video mode on the GH2/

@Jeff Harper - I believe you recently shot a wedding and used this. I would love to hear more about how you set up and used facial tracking.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #2
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

Jim, I was a mess Saturday night. For a photographic amateur, things went well, but there were problems.

Actually used an new friend's cameras cause mine died the night before, so he saved my butt.

Anyway, I LIKED the facial tracking feature, it is awesome. The monitor is much too small for me to stay in manual, I just can't always get a good read with the 20mm lens. So for guest interviews, I set in on Facial tracking and it was like magic, very nice.

I found that being a newbie with this camera at a wedding to be exhausting. I don't know what I'm doing with it, I know it will be much easier as I learn it, but you really have to watch things closely, or at least till I learn how to run it properly.

I am absolutely getting a monitor for one camera, it will make things MUCH easier.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 1st, 2011 at 01:27 AM.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #3
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

The EVF is much easier to focus with than the LCD, especially on wide shots. Also a loop with magnification is also a great, low tech focus assist accessory. AF scares me for video. I've never been able to control it. It either hunts or focuses on stuff I don't want, and I just don't like giving up sovereignty to a micro chip. I'm a Jedi shooter I guess.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

Facial tracking works great in the shoots I have used it. Yesterday was funny when the facial tracking locked onto a bust of Elvis as a secondary tracker but fortunately it didn't lose the lock on the real subject. I didn't think about statues.

It's not infallible of course. Eyeglasses can confuse it, especially sunglasses. Group shots are also a potential problem if the subjects are different distances from the camera. Dim lighting seems to cause focus errors as well.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Facial tracking works great in the shoots I have used it.
Can you tell us how you set up facial tracking? I haven't played with that feature yet but I have read a number of different and often conflicting reports on this and haven't been able to sort the fly 'droppings' from the pepper.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 01:38 AM   #6
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

Focus mode to AFS, then set your metering mode on the top left dial. It's one of the metering modes, but I don't have camera with me to look, but it's last icon as you turn the metering mode dial towards you. You don't know notice you are in facial tracking mode unless a face is available for it to track. when a face is in your viewing area a box will appear in your LCD and the box will then follow/track that face. It's very cool.

If you have multiple faces, boxes will appear on all or most of the faces and adjust focus accordingly. I stumbled upon it myself, glad I did, it is handy.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 02:44 AM   #7
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

What happens if you are in facial tracking mode and there is no face in the frame? When there are multiple faces can you change from one to another by touching it on the LCD display?
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Old March 1st, 2011, 05:26 AM   #8
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

If there are no faces, I think it just doesn't do anything, and you have to change metering modes to focus on whatever...but I'm not sure about that, because Saturday I would leave that mode after I didn't need it. I tended to use the area metering mode much of the time, which seemed to work with the 20mm pretty well.

I used manual when I could, but it was awfully hard being in manual with the 20mm lens. As to whether you could choose which face to focus on, I didn't try, so I don't know Jim.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 1st, 2011 at 09:44 AM.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:24 AM   #9
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Focus mode to AFS, then set your metering mode on the top left dial....If you have multiple faces, boxes will appear on all or most of the faces and adjust focus accordingly.
So If you're in AFS mode, then it will only focus when you push the shutter button halfway, right? And the point of the facial tracking is that it will focus on the face. Have you tried holding down the shutter halfway while the subject is moving? Also, when you have multiple faces, do you simply select the face you want to focus on with the touchscreen?
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 10:31 AM   #10
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

You must play with it. I don't have my camera here...so I'm at at disadvantage right now.

Yesterday I was with a friend and his gh2 and when in the face metering mode it automatically found faces, no pushing the shutter required.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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Re: Facial tracking on GH2

"If you're in AFS mode, then it will only focus when you push the shutter button halfway, right? And the point of the facial tracking is that it will focus on the face. Have you tried holding down the shutter halfway while the subject is moving? Also, when you have multiple faces, do you simply select the face you want to focus on with the touchscreen?"

I just tried this out on my GH2 to make sure I'm correct in stating this: in AFS mode with facial tracking on, it focuses on the face (MOST of the time). If it doesn't, or there isn't a face to focus on, you can touch the LCD screen, and the GH2 will automatically focus on the area you touch. After that -- again, if there are no faces to focus on -- it will continuously autofocus on that area of the screen that you touched, unless you either retouch the screen or a face is available to focus on. I'm not sure what is done with multiple faces (I'm off for the day and only have one child home to focus on so far!).

Pressing the shutter button in AFS will cause the square you determined above (by touching the screen) to focus.

Edit: I second Jeff's anxiety above when using the GH2 for live events. I'm used to capturing events with several VH1's, which I have since sold. It's a HUGE adjustment with the GH2, although I will say that it's light years ahead of the T2i, which I had for about a month, and quickly sold once the GH2 came out (T2i had no autofocus and was limited to 12 minute clips, throwing me into total panic when the T2i shut down automatically).

Last edited by James Campbell; March 2nd, 2011 at 03:34 PM.
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