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Old March 26th, 2015, 07:28 AM   #16
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

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Originally Posted by Edgar Vasiluk View Post
but still had couple of times when focus went blurry at some natural conditions. Not a problem, but annoying...
For me, this is a huge problem with both of my AX100s. I run unattended cameras. The autofocus is by far the worst I've seen in any camera that I've owned since 2004.

For receptions, during dancing, the camera loses focus and EVERYTHING becomes blurred, and this is AFTER the update (which was supposed to improve autofocus).

Yes, there are workarounds, going manual, etc. but then it becomes a case of me having to cater to my camera, which is ridiculous and inexcusable. My VX2000 and every camera I've owned since then never had these kind of issues and it's just nonsense.
So I'm using manual when I must, but I would NOT purchase the camera again if I could avoid it.

I like the camera otherwise, but autofocus is a primary feature that should work reliably. I'm not going to pretend I'm ok with it because I know how to switch to Manual focus. Can I work with it? Yes. Does that make it ok? No it does not.

If you are considering purchasing the X70 or AX100, and if you expect the camera to have reliable Autofocus, be forewarned.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:05 AM   #17
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
If you are considering purchasing the X70 or AX100, and if you expect the camera to have reliable Autofocus, be forewarned.
Really good info to know; thanks Jeff. I too would end up using an X70 in different situations where auto focus would be needed (e.g. unattended).

As much as I really like what Sony has done with the cam at such a low price point, I'll gladly deal with lower quality codecs (e.g. 8-bit 4:2:2) if that gives me more usable shots.

Ultimately I'm waiting though until after NAB 2015 to make my decision. If Canon comes up next gen versions of say their XF100, I may go that route. That will also allow further research into this X70 issue.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:30 AM   #18
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Is it just me or is the AF on the x70 really slow? This is my first Sony, my Canons were all pretty fast.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:48 AM   #19
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

This is a very informative thread. I found an AX100 for $1,000 at a local shop and have been considering it.

I'd be using these unmanned (most of the time) at wedding ceremonies for B&G shots.

My thought was to use a couple of iPods to wireless monitor the video feed and make sure focus was on?
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Old March 26th, 2015, 05:03 PM   #20
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

For the record, I do like the camera for the most part, but I'm not a fanboy type that will overlook its shortcomings in order to justify my purchase.

It is right that autofocus should be expected to operate properly on any modern camcorder, and there is simply no justification for this issue as far as I can see.

If you can buy this camcorder for $1000 Kyle it would be very tempting. I could live with the issue for $1K, but I paid much more so I'm none too thrilled with it.
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Old March 28th, 2015, 01:52 PM   #21
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Up until recently I had an EX1 and it too had a slow autofocus.

It was explained to me that this may be an intentional design. An example use is when tracking an object in which other object may pass momentarily in front of it. You don't want the autofocus to constantly search for the nearest object in situations like this. In other words, once focus locks on the object you want, you'd want to be able to track the object if momentarily interrupted by a nearer object. It's possible this is a Sony design philosophy since Sony has had more expensive cameras that also exhibit slow autofocus.

I do know if you search the inter webs Sony and Slow Autofocus complaints are found across a number of their cameras.
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Old March 29th, 2015, 09:32 AM   #22
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

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Originally Posted by Jim Stamos View Post
weve always done all manual on all our cameras and it works quite well on the x70.
y don't you manual focus, its the safest and avoids any hunting period.
+1. Here here! Manual all the way with the X70. Using the touch screen 'spot focus' is pretty quick and avoids many of the dramas auto focus can throw your way. The only way I would consider using auto focus on these little cams is if I was full wide and pretty close. But there again with ENG cameras it was always manual focus so I guess its what you are used to. As the lens on the X70 is parfocal you can zoom in focus and reframe back to the shot you need knowing that all will stay in focus. Once you get used to using the X70 in this way I don't think you would go back to AF.

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Old March 29th, 2015, 10:11 AM   #23
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
For me, this is a huge problem with both of my AX100s. I run unattended cameras. The autofocus is by far the worst I've seen in any camera that I've owned since 2004.

For receptions, during dancing, the camera loses focus and EVERYTHING becomes blurred, and this is AFTER the update (which was supposed to improve autofocus).

Yes, there are workarounds, going manual, etc. but then it becomes a case of me having to cater to my camera, which is ridiculous and inexcusable. My VX2000 and every camera I've owned since then never had these kind of issues and it's just nonsense.
So I'm using manual when I must, but I would NOT purchase the camera again if I could avoid it.

I like the camera otherwise, but autofocus is a primary feature that should work reliably. I'm not going to pretend I'm ok with it because I know how to switch to Manual focus. Can I work with it? Yes. Does that make it ok? No it does not.

If you are considering purchasing the X70 or AX100, and if you expect the camera to have reliable Autofocus, be forewarned.
Hi, I attended a wedding yesterday as a guest with an AX100 and took 55 clips. In those 55 only 1 clip did autofocus not really go for the person I wanted, it went for someone in the fore ground. Overall I was really pleased with all the shots I obtained (basically all auto). My son who had a Canon 70D had much more issues and he was only taking stills, many of which were soft and not anywhere near as sharp as the AX100, even snapshots taken from the video were better. The issues with autofocus are 1) the camera does not know what you want in focus and when it does focus you really want it to lock and not hunt and continually check that it is in focus, this is by far the most annoying issue (the AX100 does not do this). I had a Sony XV1000 which continually kept changing the focus by small amounts drove my mad and the only way to deal with it was to use the manual setting and push button auto for initial set. I think the AX100 has much improved auto focus compared to any previous camera I have owned. You can always use touch screen focus to set the focus where you need it. If leaving unattended then set to wide angle focus and switch to manual. Having people go in and out of focus as they move through the field of view would be more acceptable than the camera popping in and out trying to track fast moving dancers. No auto focus will be perfect and Sony have provided useful tools to try and help with the issues, tools include a manual focus button, focus magnification, touch screen focus and focus peaking. The AX100 is a great non-pro camera which has a fantastic lens, sensor, build quality, feature list and 99.5% of the clips posted on you-tube from this camera are stunning (and actually in focus). The AX33 is in a division below for picture quality. The only addition I would like would be the ability to increase colour saturation in the same way you can with AE shift. Andy
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Old March 29th, 2015, 01:19 PM   #24
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

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Originally Posted by Andy Smith View Post
If leaving unattended then set to wide angle focus and switch to manual. Having people go in and out of focus as they move through the field of view would be more acceptable than the camera popping in and out trying to track fast moving dancers.
This is solid advice and something that would work for my unattended camera situations. Thanks!
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Old April 1st, 2015, 02:57 AM   #25
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I do believe that in general the X70's autofocus is very good - the wedding that I had issues at, was filmed entirely by 'assistants' and the cameras were pretty much on full auto all day. The overwhelming majority of shots where the lighting was good were in focus and the X70 performed as well if not better than many other cameras I've used. (To the ex XHA1 users that have noticed slow AF, doesn't the XHA1 have a phase-detect AF sensor hidden in the hood to the left of the lens? No camera without one will ever get a focus lock as quickly - it's like comparing a DSLR AF to a Point & shoot AF)

However the problem I had, which this thread was initially started about is that in low light, even with a video light on top of the camera, a photographers flash caused the X70 to completely loose focus lock & hunt for a couple of seconds. When reviewing the footage again this was worst case scenario with high gain and a busy background although the B&G were well lit.

I will say that my overall opinion of this camera is very favourable & I'm putting this issue down to a camera quirk (that all cameras have) that I'll just need to keep an eye on.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 06:37 AM   #26
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Since I cannot see the LCD on my new X180 clearly due to distance and my vision with contacts (have to use the EVF), I use AUTOFOCUS A LOT NOW! I must say, the AF in the X180 is completely usable, it WILL focus on something in your shot. You may perhaps have to go manual to "select" which object you want sharp, but it doesn't just go into "ultra-blur" mode like the X70. The X70 AF is useless to me at night.

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