Focus...manual or auto? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 14th, 2006, 05:06 PM   #31
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 157
Cool.

It's an amazing camera no matter how you rig it.

Hope it helps you get the beautiful shots and fun for days!
Frank Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #32
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Thanks... all the handy gadgets will not make up for a lack of practice though. I need to get out and shoot :-)
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #33
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
Posts: 1,675
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Stowe
Thanks... all the handy gadgets will not make up for a lack of practice though. I need to get out and shoot :-)
This is the bottom line with any artform (which shooting is). Without practice, you can get good images, but not great ones. Jimi Hendrix was rumored to eat breakfast while wearing his guitar...he never left it alone.
__________________
Web Youtube Facebook
Cole McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #34
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
This is the bottom line with any artform (which shooting is). Without practice, you can get good images, but not great ones. Jimi Hendrix was rumored to eat breakfast while wearing his guitar...he never left it alone.
I heard that about Hendrix as well. Practice is the key
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #35
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Stowe
Thanks... all the handy gadgets will not make up for a lack of practice though. I need to get out and shoot :-)
Probably the wisest thing i've read on this board today.

Important not to get too obsessed with equipment. It's all useless unless you develop your skills to at least match the hardware.

I find myself now often watching movies with 2 different perspectives :
1) just as a regular movie-goer : watch and enjoy it
2) watching from a technical perspective : camera angles, the cuts they use, focus techniques, lighting, sound, editing, the whole thing. you can for sure learn a lot about what works and what doesnt and try to use that in your own filming and understanding of it all.
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #36
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Probably the wisest thing i've read on this board today.

Important not to get too obsessed with equipment. It's all useless unless you develop your skills to at least match the hardware.

I find myself now often watching movies with 2 different perspectives :
1) just as a regular movie-goer : watch and enjoy it
2) watching from a technical perspective : camera angles, the cuts they use, focus techniques, lighting, sound, editing, the whole thing. you can for sure learn a lot about what works and what doesnt and try to use that in your own filming and understanding of it all.
Not just movies for me. Seems like every TV show I watch I look at the perspectives. Watching Extreme Makeover home edition and looking at the angles they are using.

Still wondering how I can shoot a HS graduation where I need to shoot the graduates in the seats, then walking down the isle and then the stage. All from one spot. Focus dilema with this. Has anyone used the transition mode (cannot remember official name) where you pre focus on 2 objects and you can click back and forth?
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 508
It's called shot transition.
Alex Thames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #38
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Stowe
...

Still wondering how I can shoot a HS graduation where I need to shoot the graduates in the seats, then walking down the isle and then the stage. All from one spot. Focus dilema with this. Has anyone used the transition mode (cannot remember official name) where you pre focus on 2 objects and you can click back and forth?
Shot transition mode is great. Really handy, especially on the A1.

You can either toggle between the two settings, or more usefully, have it transition to one setting when you start recording. I find the second more useful because the only way to toggle is via the touchscreen, which jiggles the camera. You can trigger recording via the remote.
Gian Pablo Villamil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #39
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
It's called shot transition.
So have you ever used it? would this be an option for my scenario?
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2006, 03:02 AM   #40
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Coronado Island
Posts: 1,452
I have found the A1 to not be well set up for manual focus. The focus ring runs a servo motor, so it is not direct mechanical focus with that positive "feel" that you get with a still camera lens. Also the image quality of both the viewfinder and the LCD screen is inadequate for Hi Def focusing IMO. The auto focus will do a good job of dead on focus. The problem is focus drift if the subject moves out of the center of the frame, or is small in the frame. Then the auto focus starts seeking another subject.
The best compromise I have arrived at is to autofocus on the subject (you may have to zoom in to get dead on) and then flick the switch to manual to hold the focus. You have to repeat the process for each shot, and if the subject is, for example moving towards you, it's not a practical solution. If you are shooting run n' gun realtime events it's a major pain. And the price is high. A little focus slip when seen on a Hi Def monitor is much, much more noticable than what we were used to with DV.
Unfortunately, to do real, effective, manual focus you need a very high res viewfinder and a true mechanical focus ring-- none of which are you going to find in this price range
Robert Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2006, 03:44 AM   #41
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young
I have found the A1 to not be well set up for manual focus. The focus ring runs a servo motor, so it is not direct mechanical focus with that positive "feel" that you get with a still camera lens. Also the image quality of both the viewfinder and the LCD screen is inadequate for Hi Def focusing IMO. The auto focus will do a good job of dead on focus. The problem is focus drift if the subject moves out of the center of the frame, or is small in the frame. Then the auto focus starts seeking another subject.
The best compromise I have arrived at is to autofocus on the subject (you may have to zoom in to get dead on) and then flick the switch to manual to hold the focus. You have to repeat the process for each shot, and if the subject is, for example moving towards you, it's not a practical solution. If you are shooting run n' gun realtime events it's a major pain. And the price is high. A little focus slip when seen on a Hi Def monitor is much, much more noticable than what we were used to with DV.
Unfortunately, to do real, effective, manual focus you need a very high res viewfinder and a true mechanical focus ring-- none of which are you going to find in this price range
Thanks. I am going to attempt manual with push button AF from the Manfrotto. I think this may be the best option for right now.
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #42
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Stowe
So have you ever used it? would this be an option for my scenario?
Yes. The shot transition mode stores focus settings as well. So you can pre-focus at two different distances and switch between them.
Gian Pablo Villamil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #43
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young
I have found the A1 to not be well set up for manual focus. The focus ring runs a servo motor, so it is not direct mechanical focus with that positive "feel" that you get with a still camera lens. Also the image quality of both the viewfinder and the LCD screen is inadequate for Hi Def focusing IMO. The auto focus will do a good job of dead on focus. The problem is focus drift if the subject moves out of the center of the frame, or is small in the frame. Then the auto focus starts seeking another subject.
The best compromise I have arrived at is to autofocus on the subject (you may have to zoom in to get dead on) and then flick the switch to manual to hold the focus. You have to repeat the process for each shot, and if the subject is, for example moving towards you, it's not a practical solution. If you are shooting run n' gun realtime events it's a major pain. And the price is high. A little focus slip when seen on a Hi Def monitor is much, much more noticable than what we were used to with DV.
Unfortunately, to do real, effective, manual focus you need a very high res viewfinder and a true mechanical focus ring-- none of which are you going to find in this price range
Agree absolutely with everything Robert said here. It is very hard to manual focus with a zoom ring when it's just activating a servo motor. It doesn't have that same 'linear' feel that manual focusing on an SLR has. So i agree it's difficult to find a perfect solution for all focus situations with this cam.
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #44
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Agree absolutely with everything Robert said here. It is very hard to manual focus with a zoom ring when it's just activating a servo motor. It doesn't have that same 'linear' feel that manual focusing on an SLR has. So i agree it's difficult to find a perfect solution for all focus situations with this cam.
Well I got the Manfrotto 521Pro controller in today. Have not had the chance to play with, but the one push AF does work with the A1.
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2006, 12:34 AM   #45
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Agree absolutely with everything Robert said here. It is very hard to manual focus with a zoom ring when it's just activating a servo motor. It doesn't have that same 'linear' feel that manual focusing on an SLR has. So i agree it's difficult to find a perfect solution for all focus situations with this cam.

I agree with both of you. After messing around tonight I realized the limited capabilities of the lcd and viewfinder for really being able to pinpoint focus. I am going to rely a lot on the 521Pro that arrived today. Played with it for the last hour and have to say I am impressed. The one shot AF will come in handy IMHO and the ability to set zoom speed is another great feature.
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:56 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network