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Old December 4th, 2015, 08:43 PM   #1
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What focus mode to use at weddings?

Hi Guys

Due to the run and gun nature at weddings I use push to focus on my static camera at wedding ceremonies and speeches and set the camera for the 49 point focus mode but a few times I have missed getting perfect focus especially with messy backgrounds so I have reverted to using the centre square which is deadly accurate as you can change the focus area size and position which means when you are filming just a bride and groom or a lone person doing a speech you can adjust the area so the camera will only look at the area of the frame that's important ... I'm still using the 49 point on my handheld camera but I'm thinking that maybe the centre square is safer here too as it's mainly people in the shot and I do very few super wide shots anyway.

What are others using (apart from manual) to make sure the important part of the shot is as sharp as possible?
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Old December 5th, 2015, 12:39 AM   #2
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

Hi Chris

I don't know about weddings, but I am not a fan of zillions of focus points and have found a smaller focus area much more accurate. Well, ok, selective! I also find it better to leave the focus box in the centre, if I want the subject off centre I put the box over it to focus, lock it and change the framing as I want. Although usually I would focus manually in these instances.

Another thing I found is that auto focus can be too fast to react, slower can be better. I selected a slower setting and get much better results.

Dave
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Old December 5th, 2015, 06:19 AM   #3
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

Hi Chris,

I have found that the 49 point focus is great for general scenes, but not so good when you have a central nearer image that you want to focus on. For those situations, I use the central focus option, which, as you say, is pretty much rock solid. The spot focus is only useful for scenes with no movement as even slight movement will throw it out.

Roger
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Old December 6th, 2015, 04:00 AM   #4
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

I use single point focus on the fz1000 but manual on the GH4 as that's my main camera for ceremony - for the reception my GH$'s have canon manual lenses so no choice although while it's light enough I still use the FZ1000 on auto.
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Old December 6th, 2015, 05:03 AM   #5
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

Single Point for me! Auto off! Never could trust those multi point options...

I'm using the"image app" with the FZ1000 to give me touch focus ability. Makes it easier to frame the shot for me, don't have to move the camera, just touch the face I want in focus. Just so used to that system on the 70D.
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Old December 6th, 2015, 07:48 AM   #6
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

Thanks Guys .. very interesting especially the touch focus with the app! I use spot focus on my Nikons for stills and it becomes a pain if I'm not careful! You can easily be shooting the couple and have the centre point go right between them and the multi point is the only other option so I often need to shift the spot icon left or right which is a pain. I do use an FZ1000 for my main cam too so the centre square is great for me and I adjust it so it covers the bride and groom's faces and it's usually spot on .. 49 point is fine for wide shots though so that's my default on my handheld cam. Our speeches here have the main cam on just one person standing at a lectern so unless they are dead centre the centre square also works great for me, and being adjustable I can frame just a face too.

Must try the app too!! although at an outdoor wedding I doubt whether I would even see my phone screen in bright sun ! The 49 point failed me last weekend and the 2nd half of the ceremony was slightly soft so it must have focussed somewhere else but I fixed the issue in Sony Vegas.

While we are on the subject, can you have focus peaking work if you are in APS mode?? or does it only work in manual focus mode .. I played with it a bit but didn't get any peaking colour at all ..would be useful as a backup to make sure the camera has done it's job!!
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Old December 6th, 2015, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post

While we are on the subject, can you have focus peaking work if you are in APS mode?? or does it only work in manual focus mode .. I played with it a bit but didn't get any peaking colour at all ..would be useful as a backup to make sure the camera has done it's job!!
Trying to work that one out myself. Would be nice to have peaking at all times. Will be interested in any replies.
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Old December 8th, 2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: What focus mode to use at weddings?

I had a chat to my friend Colin Rowe on the Panasonic FZ1000 Facebook group and nope you cannot have peaking running whilst the camera is in auto focus mode ...However what you can do is keep peaking on and then grab focus with the camera in APS mode (I have both the half shutter press and the AE lock button assigned to grab focus so I just press the AE button to get focus and then flip the switch over to MF to check the peaking. It seems to not lose any set focus that way and it you don't want to refocus you can just flip the mode lever back to APS after you are happy with the peaking.

I know it's a "work-around" but it does work. Colin has also confirmed that when you change from APS to MF focus stays where it is. Good to know!!
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