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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old May 13th, 2006, 01:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
I'm a big proponent of turning off all the auto bits and taking the time to learn to run your camera manually...it's a practice thing like anything else. at 20ft, you should be able to focus out and have everything from 20 ft to infinity in focus. Run some test on it by having someone walk away from the camera util they start to come into focus (might want to run through a largish tv for this). This will be the minimum focal distance...with the focus all the way out, you should focus from there to infinity, then just setup that far away from your minimum and the rest is all you, zooms, pans and everything. Learn to ride the focus manually with practice for faster, more reactive focussing, you'll eventually get a feel for it that will allow you to tweak the focus instinctively.

I agree with the practice. We have a 52 inch HD tv. I planned on running some test runs with the wife and will definately do this. I agree that manual control, when used correctly, is by far the best.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #17
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Maybe I'm just lazy, but I will often use the auto focus to get a good focus for the distance and then switch back to manual to make sure the camera won't 'decide' to focus on something else, especially when *my* focus is not in center frame...
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Old May 13th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #18
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not lazy at all, that's a good practice...assuming there is enough light to get a reliable focus in the first place, but turning off the auto focus is the big part here, that will eliminate the fishing and allow you to use framings other than dead center.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
...and allow you to use framings other than dead center.
I understand what you're saying here, but i think "dead center" is a slightly misleading thing. I can have subjects quite off-center with my cam and it retains focus. Depends on contrast available in your subject, contrast available in the 'background', how far off-center the sbject is obviously, and the algorithm that your cam uses to decide what to focus on in autofocus mode. LAtter is probably the biggest factor and will vary quite a bit i'd think. - that's a matter of knowing your camera's autofocus system well and knowing how far off-center you can push it before it switches focus to background.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
I understand what you're saying here, but i think "dead center" is a slightly misleading thing. I can have subjects quite off-center with my cam and it retains focus. Depends on contrast available in your subject, contrast available in the 'background', how far off-center the sbject is obviously, and the algorithm that your cam uses to decide what to focus on in autofocus mode. LAtter is probably the biggest factor and will vary quite a bit i'd think. - that's a matter of knowing your camera's autofocus system well and knowing how far off-center you can push it before it switches focus to background.
I think they also mean that sometimes you want the focus away from center. Many times you want that object in the upper right corner to be in focus and the centered object not to be. I may be wrong...actually probably am :-0

I really wish the A1 had the one push focus.

Thanks
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #21
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Get the Manfrotto Lanc controller and you will have that function.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Get the Manfrotto Lanc controller and you will have that function.
I know...I wish I would have done that. May still do that. I got the stealth instead. Fairly big price difference thought I think
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:54 PM   #23
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I don't think the Stealth is a good controller at all, especially given it's "rocker" which isn't really a rocker, more like a lever.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 07:32 PM   #24
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I don't think the Stealth is a good controller at all, especially given it's "rocker" which isn't really a rocker, more like a lever.
Really? I have no issues at all although I see you slammed it in another spot. Another person did not have issue with it either. Hmmmm.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 07:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Alex Thames
I don't think the Stealth is a good controller at all, especially given it's "rocker" which isn't really a rocker, more like a lever.

I guess the rocker is the push button thing or something. Either way...I have not had an issue with this controller and the price is very good.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 09:11 AM   #26
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Another option, if you're going to be on a steady tripod, is to use the spot focus feature when you change your focal length and then lock your manual focus back. It's hard to use though if the subject is moving. I have had the same problems filming events. The real answer is that it just takes practice learning to use the manual focus. You can practice by setting up the tripod and composing the frame so you have many different focal lengths in the shot. Then practice focusing on different objects. After you get that you can try focusing on different objects while zooming. Also, if you are going to be filming at telephoto for most of the time, I would suggest turning the camera's steadyshot off. At full telephoto, I have noticed that it creates some ghosting and other strange effects.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 11:29 AM   #27
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Yes, I will continue to slam the Varizoom Stealth as compared to other controllers, I don't feel it matches up at all. Compared to a typical rocker design, the Stealth's lever is in my opinion very clumsy. People who are really looking into good compact Lanc controllers should look at the Zoe 2005 and Manfrotto 521 Pro.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Yes, I will continue to slam the Varizoom Stealth as compared to other controllers, I don't feel it matches up at all. Compared to a typical rocker design, the Stealth's lever is in my opinion very clumsy. People who are really looking into good compact Lanc controllers should look at the Zoe 2005 and Manfrotto 521 Pro.
Well Alex...after getting on you last night and sleeping on it...you have me returning the Stealth and ordering the 521pro. Funny how that happens :-)
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Old May 14th, 2006, 04:42 PM   #29
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The Manfrotto will allow you to push the auto focus from what I hear. For me it's easy enough to take an extra step to get focus, so I can't justify the expense of a Manfrotto...
And since I rarely zoom (seen too many bad home videos I guess), I know little about zooming rates. Also, since my main interest is filmmaking, and zoom is extremely rare in that domain... I'm useless there I'm afraid...
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Old May 14th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Howard
The Manfrotto will allow you to push the auto focus from what I hear. For me it's easy enough to take an extra step to get focus, so I can't justify the expense of a Manfrotto...
And since I rarely zoom (probably from seeing so much zoom in all those bad home videos we're all forced to watch), I know little about zooming rates. Also, since my main interest is filmmaking, and zoom is extremely rare in that domain... I'm useless there I'm afraid...
I agree about two much zooming, but it is still nice to have the one push focus if needed. Definately a higher price, but I made the move any way
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