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Old December 5th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #1
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terrible focus

How do you operate the focus knob on the HVX200 with no infinity stop or close focus (macro) stop. This on top of a lcd screen which is worthless for focus. There must be some logic that I am not grasping. Sincerely,

out of focus
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Old December 5th, 2007, 04:07 PM   #2
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I think all agree that the LCD screen is inadequate for HD focusing. I use "Focus Assist" at full zoom, then pull back.. Most use an external monitor.

As to the stops, just read where you are at on the display. Once you spin up to infinity, it stops there even if you keep spinning. you can set the focus readout from the menu to settings you like.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #3
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Compared to the other HD camcorders out there, the HVX's LCD is more than adequate for critical manual focus. The screen brightness and colour rendition is the closest to what your output will be compared to every other camera in this range. Ensure that peaking is ON, you can also turn on magnification while shooting. Unlike most other cameras in this range the HVX allows you to do this.

In regard to Macro, when in Macro focus range, the word Macro will pop up on screen. The range itself doesn't mean anything because you can use macro either at full tele or at the widest wide end.

And finally, the LCD/EVF readout will give you a number between 0 and 99 whereby your focus range can be set. With this, there is a distance readout, which is far more accurate than any I have seen (yes, even more accurate than the XH A1)
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Old December 6th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #4
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I don't use the LCD (or even focus assist) on the camera these days (the LCDs are simply too small and not sharp enough). Invest in a LH80 external LCD monitor with 'red-in-focus' function and your focusing problems with the HVX202 is gone forever.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:10 PM   #5
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Contrary to the other posts, the built-in flip-out LCD is just fine for focus work, even critical focus. The HPX500 uses the exact LCD screen and we've used it on many occasion with a 35mm lens adapter with super results.

No, the resolution isn't as good as some of the other handheld HD cams and many HVX shooters don't have the budget for an external monitor. Not to mention there are many situations where an external simply isn't feasible to use. But once you get used to how things look when focus is achieved (use focus assist to help train your eyes) then focusing is a snap.

The LCD's lack of resolution has always been one of the biggest complaints from HVX users across the board; the hope is the next-gen of HVX will address this issue.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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I know how you feel. Many people have felt the same way. There are a lot of things that play in to how critical the focus is. We all know what they are. One thing I found that works is using the Zacuto base plate with the Vocas MFC-1 follow focus and a Chroziel gear ring. I like this setup because its smooth and doesn't squeeze my glass. It also gives me a hard stop and the ability to mark my focus. Although, many beautiful things have been shot without all the gadgets. I like my camera to demand respect on set. On the other hand I would never consider these things if I wanted to roll low profile. Like you I wish my eyes were better or my LCD bigger so an external monitor is always a blessing when I know other people will notice.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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I have enabled everything that is available on the HVX202 - EVF on, FOCUS Assist on - I still get blur pictures in the end. Once I put the LH80 in with the 'focus-in-red' function activated, no more blur pictures from then on.

Yes - I fully agreed that LH80 (or any external monitor) might not work for some situations.

Therefore, I support the call for Panasonic to put a sharper LCD into the camera for the next iteration. One look at the LCD for the Nikon D3 or D300 puts the Pany's LCD to shame.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TingSern Wong View Post
One look at the LCD for the Nikon D3 or D300 puts the Pany's LCD to shame.
It's not a fair comparison to put a DSLR and a video camera's LCD head-to-head. Digital still cameras have 10x the resolution of any HD camera today (excepting Viper, RED etc) hence they absolutely need ultra-res on the LCD to check focus.

We all agree the HVX/HPX and other Panny cams with the flip-out LCD need greater resolution and hopefully after 2 years of whining about it the Panny-gods will listen to us.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #9
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My point being - the technology is there already. No excuse for Pany for not looking at this one for the next iteration of this product then.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #10
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Thinking like a still photographer, I found infinity in manual focus by zooming in and using the focus assist. Next I marked it. Next I zoomed out and checked infinity again with the focus assist. Great, that works. Next, I went to a mid range focus (about 100 yards away) and got a focus with the focus assist. When I went back to infinity (as marked on the focus wheel) I lost focus.

Besides spending $2,500 on a monitor, what are other solutions?
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Old December 7th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #11
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Ikan makes a 7 incher called a V7000 for only $349. I have not personally used it so I cant tell you how durable it is. I have seen one and they look great and are super light.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #12
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For manual focusing and returning back to that same point, look into your camera viewfinder and you will see MF00 to MF99. If you put it in auto focus, it will read AF00 to AF99. Infinity should be MF99 or AF99. Set your lens to midway and check its reading - say MF50. So, if you want infinity, turn the focusing ring until it reaches MF99. If you want to return to midway, turn the focusing ring till it says MF50. That's all.

For much faster approach, get a US$229 gadget - Varizoom Lens Controller for HVX200 (there are 3 models). See this URL from ZGC.COM as an example -

http://www.zgc.com/zgc.nsf/c7a682995...3?OpenDocument

Chris from zgc ALWAYS gives me great service (even though I am across the Pacific Ocean) ... and zgc is also one of the sponsors for this website.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #13
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I don't use my HVX much, it's really a B camera for me, but I do have the FOXI (stupid name) controller for mine, which can mount on matte box rods, and controls both focus and iris -

AND, something they don't hype enough in their ads - when you plug the unit into the camera, focus and iris settings (when set to manual) always fall in the exact same place on the scales, so you can actually mark footage and f stops (ie, on white gaffers tape) and see them clearly...

You CAN focus past inf, so you should mark it, or you can but a thick piece of tape on the knob to make a hard stop.. it ain't perfect, but it's way better than trying to live with that spongy focus collar...

FYI - I peeled the gaudy FOXI label off the center of the knob and glued in a white disk - looks just like a pro FF now.

I echo TingSern's comments about Christine at ZGC, too...
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Old December 9th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #14
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Steve,

That FOXI is expensive compared to the VARIZOOM controller. Almost double the price of the VZ-SLEATH and only controls focus. The Varizoom offers more value then - controls zoom, focus and iris.

I am waiting for mine to appear from ZGC. I am just hoping (just!) to see if the VZ-SLEATH focus function will return to exactly the same position each time or not :-).
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Old December 9th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #15
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TingSern; Yeah, the FOXI's too expensive...

But interestingly enough it's an electronic controller that's 1/5 the price of a Chrosziel manual control - of course it will only work on the HVX and/or DVX, so you can't keep it from camera to camera - but still, it's a big knob and feels more like a pro FF than those little ones (I have big hands) - and, I always get my button pushing out of phase when I try to use those varizoom units...

I like the big handle Varizooms, but they don't have focus controllers (at least they didn't used to)..
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