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Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old March 17th, 2015, 07:40 AM   #1
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X70 autofocus issues

Used 2 brand new X70's at a wedding over the weekend & have noticed that the focus drops out & hunts every time a camera flash goes off. I've had this with some other camcorders on rare occasions, but on the X70 this seemed to happen EVERY time there was a flash.

I know the larger sensor of the X70 means that focus is slightly more tricky then a standard handicam, but it simply never happens with my VG30 (APS-C) so that theory goes out of the window!

Does anyone think this'll be improved in the June v2 update or do you think I'll be stuck having to use manual focus??
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Old March 17th, 2015, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Paul, I had some problems with X70 auto focus as well.
Was filming Christening over the weekend and suddenly focus went blur for couple of seconds. There was no flash. It was in the Church, but not to dark. And then later at reception couple of times had some issues again, but again there was no flash. They didn't had a photographer. I'm worried now what's gonna happen at a wedding...

Hope they can improve this with the latest update.

P.S. overall I like the camera. )
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Old March 18th, 2015, 01:34 PM   #3
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

My guess would be that the flash illuminates an object that is not already fully lit, or a background light source, and that that flash creates a new contrast object that the camera wants to hunt for.

Paul
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Old March 18th, 2015, 11:33 PM   #4
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I hear so many great things about this camera, and then every once in awhile, a total bomb shell. We only get one take at it in what we shoot on the circuit, so it has to be right. I still wonder if this camera has not been a little over-hyped.
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Old March 21st, 2015, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I haven't had a lot of time to experiment with mine, but typically with my canon XHA1's and GL series (wayback) I'd put a little piece of velcro on the auto/manual focus button to make it easy to find. That way I'd compose the scene and lock focus with one touch and I wouldn't have to worry about anything affecting the focus. Hopefully that'll work on this camera. I do notice the focus seems a bit slower than my canons.
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Old March 21st, 2015, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I have accidentally toggled the A/F button to ZOOM several times. One time was jumping out of my car on a police pursuit. The cars were speeding at me out of focus, and as I tried to turn the dial, it kept zooming in and zooming out. lost the shot, the video looked ridiculous. Why the hell would anyone want to crank a zoom dial by hand, it's not like it's mechanical or can be rotated wide to tele in one turn.

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Old March 21st, 2015, 04:08 PM   #7
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

weve always done all manual on all our cameras and it works quite well on the x70.
y dont you manual focus, its the safest and avoids any hunting period.
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 10:00 AM   #8
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

well I am NEVER happy with anything (more so lately with Sony!) but I had zero problems with the AF of the X70 , even in extremely low light once I set the face recognition that works very well. There is the option of locking on 1 particular face as well which is also something never seen before with any modern camera (only the JVC850 does that). But the X70 can lock faces with the joystick and that's priceless.
I had many flashes in the frame and the camera never lost it. Honest. worth to try the face recognition thing.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 04:41 AM   #9
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Little update on this:

I was filming a wedding last Saturday and didn't find any problems with auto focus while photographer was using flash, but still had couple of times when focus went blurry at some natural conditions. Not a problem, but annoying...
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 04:56 AM   #10
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Autofocus can always be fooled and if you want to be sure you need to be in manual, you can't really blame the camera for not getting it right.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 05:42 AM   #11
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I only use the autofocus on SOT's with the face square feature. I let it put a box on the face, give it a second to sharpen, then turn off the AF so it doesn't hunt off the subject again.

Paul
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Old March 25th, 2015, 04:23 AM   #12
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I think I'll just have to use manual focus in these situations from now on - not the end of the world!
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Old March 25th, 2015, 07:54 AM   #13
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

I do it the same a Paul. Once the focus is set I switch to manual. If they move I put it back on auto till they stop. On the Sony EA50 you hit a button and it focuses and then release, but the X70 is still easy.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 12:21 AM   #14
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Paul, forgive my ignorance, is SOT Sound on Tape? Is that when you're interviewing a subject right into the camera with an attached mic, or recording yourself narrate while you shoot, or...? How does that differ for you from other scenarios vis a vis using the autofocus?

I love the autofocus when I tape public meetings because sometimes I speak, and it also helps when people move around while they talk. The face detection + peaking + external LCD monitor if I can use it really help because I'm legally blind.

But tonight I noticed the multi face box problem, where it switched from my much larger main subject's face to a much smaller background face (why?) which threw off focus. So when multiple people were in frame I tried to keep my finger on the joystick to switch back to the correct active face.

P.S. I did get some nice medium depth of field. Love the larger sensor!
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Old March 26th, 2015, 12:41 AM   #15
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Re: X70 autofocus issues

Sorry, been working for a TV station for a few years now.

SOT (Sound On Tape) means interview, actual sound n tape means audio to normal humans.

NAT (Natural Sound) can be anything from car engines, honking horns, or people talking to things other than the camera or interviewer. To normal people, NAT sound would indicate background stuff.

VO (Voice Over) means B-roll. To normal people, voice over means to talk over audio. :)

Thanks for alerting me that I can switch boxes with the joystick!

Paul
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