Focus tactics - which works best at

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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.

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Old September 25th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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Focus tactics - which works best

....putting going fully manual to one side, which works better:

a) staying in manual and using PUSH FOCUS when moving from one object/scene to another.


b) staying in auto and using FOCUS ASSIST to manually snap the focus where you want when it has trouble.

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Old September 25th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #2
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I use "A" whenever I shoot any of the Sony Z series. And will "dial in" focus with the manual ring if Push Auto is having issues.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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wait... my Z7U has auto focus?

All snarky-ness aside :-), if you've paid for a professional camera, learn to use it like a professional.

The 1/3" chips in the Z7 are very forgiving b/c you have TONS of DOF compared to a 35mm film camera or even a 2/3".

I always use manual focus & have on screen how far away the focus is set. I try to zoom in, set focus, remember how far the camera says that is away from me & if I have to pull / push with a person I just eye ball it.

Remember the Z7 has a 4.4mm lens when fully wide. That means at f4 when your focus is set for 10' your DOF is probably about 5'-infinite.

If you don't have a second take (brides don't want to walk down the aisle twice), them use no ND & stop down the aperture as low as you can go & focus will be very forgiving.

But if you're used to using auto focus, practice practice practice! Find a busy street & start following cars driving by you. If you can stay focused on something going 30mph, then you'll be fine with people.
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Old October 4th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #4
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Two things:

I've noticed that the auto focus works better if you set it so that it won't auto focus into the macro range. That way it won't try to focus on lens flares and and specs that might occasionally find their way onto the lens.

Second, the "peaking" feature rocks! Setting peaking to an assignable button means that you can turn it on whenever you like. What Peaking does is to accentuate the edges where the image comes into focus. It is so much easier to judge quickly that way. I really love this feature.
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