Keeping focus of fast moving objects - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders

Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 7th, 2011, 03:13 AM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Can't help but agree Andrew. Take the NX5's top screen - near useless in daylight, let alone sunlight. Yet the Z1's screen was the envy of the world, and rightly so.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #17
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 2,257
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

I guess that's what we get for a touch sensitive layer on the display.

Still, best of luck opening it up (or closing it) if you have something mounted on the hot shoe. Hasn't worked out well when mounting a Sony wireless audio receiver on the camera.

Andrew

PS. I wonder if there is any chance of Chris H. being able to get a Sony rep on to the forum?
Andrew Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #18
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Panasonic's touch-sensitive screen on their tiny cheap palmcorder is streets ahead of Sony's NX5 in daylight (as it has to be as the camera has no v'finder) so that's no excuse Sony.

I mount lots of stuff on the (front) cold shoe Andrew, and never have any trouble opening or closing the screen.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #19
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Melbourne Victoria
Posts: 75
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Folks.

I can't say that i have seen what this thread is discussing, i have shot fast moving objects with PAN and the results look good to me .. i always shoot 720.60p on my NTSC model

Assuming their is a problem, which i am yet to experience, could it be addressed by tweaks to the camera firmware or is the autofocus hardwired to circuitry ?

Is there any hope that Sony may release an firmware update to the camera ?
Justin Hewitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #20
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 130
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

The NX5U is a pro cameraeaning it's not meant to be used in auto focus for all shooting. I don't use auto much at all. Also, it's going to be very difficult to keep focus when shooting sports in anything other than 60i.
Michael Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2011, 10:36 AM   #21
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
Posts: 30
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

I haven't had the focusing issue you guys are talking about with my camera. I recently shot an event at a road coarse with auto-focus on and it stayed locked onto the car I wanted.
Shedrick Mask is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2011, 01:47 PM   #22
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 46
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

I keep reading that pros only use auto-focus as a last resort. I've been using a VX-2100 to record figure skating competitions and I cannot imagine trying to use manual focus to follow a speeding skater around the rink.

The VX-2100 has always been fantastic at keeping locked on skaters even when the backgrounds are busy and contrasty. I continue to be on the hunt for a HD replacement that has decent auto-focus.

Yes, I use auto-focus. :-)
John Gayman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2011, 03:49 PM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 130
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Well, most pros shoot with higher end cameras like Sony's F700/800 or Panasonic's HPX2000/500 that have a real lens and no auto focus. I've shot college football, hockey, basketball, etc on these types of cameras and have never had a problem using manual focus. If you watch the NFL, college football, NASCAR, or even figure skating on NBC, those guys shooting are not using auto focus. Auto focus is for amateurs & prosumers, not professionals. My advice is to learn to shoot with manual focus.
Michael Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2011, 06:30 PM   #24
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

This used to be true but, increasingly, is no longer so. The "real lenses" on these cams are almost always Canon DigiSuper AFs. The AF is for AutoFocus and it works just fine. Check next time you go to the ballpark. The cams themselves are often either the small Sonys mentioned above or the larger HDC-900 pedestal cams. Look in the camera wells next time your favorite player hits a foul ball.

A real pro uses his gear to get the most good footage he can, and that can include auto functions if he knows how to use them properly. Just because you have a cam with crappy (or no) AF doesn't make you a pro. When you see something go way out of focus before it goes in, that's someone desperately hunting for manual focus. AF never does this. At least not on my cams.

Note that I am not speaking of the NX5 specifically, only the elitist notion that pros don't use AF.
__________________
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
Adam Gold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2011, 09:40 PM   #25
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 130
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

It's not being elitist. The true skill and art of Videography/photography is being lost to people who just grab a camera and shoot on auto and somehow think that's makes them a professional. With current NLE technology, there is now this mindset of "I'll just fix it in post" because many don't know how to shoot it correctly in the first place. I've worked in local news, in DC, and in production and I've yet to meet a real professional who shoots in "auto". Yes, new technology is a tool that should be used but it SHOULD NOT be substituted for skill. If you're shooting motion in auto and the camera isn't able to keep focus, you should be able to go manual with no problems instead of complaining about a camera that is never meant to be used exclusively in full auto to begin with. That is why the camera had auto focus assist. Turn it on and the camera will keep focus close but you have to manually fine focus the action. This profession is a craft that requires skill and technology is no substitute for that.
Michael Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2011, 10:17 PM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Michael, while I don't doubt your experience I have to say that your statement about real pros using certain cameras and not using AF is, well, wrong. I too have shot all of the above including NASCAR using Sony HDC-P1 HD Multi-Purpose Cameras (robotic operation..No AF) and I've shot other sports using everything from BVW100s to PD150s to DXC30s and 50s to....in some cases I have used AF if the camera had it and it was appropriate for the job. Of course it had to work as well.
I just think making a blanket statement as you did is an insult to many of us that have been working pros in the video industry for many years. Just because one uses a certain type of camera doesn't make that person a pro, believe me, I seen people using $60,000 cameras that turn out some pretty mediocre work, yet I also seen people take a $2000 camera using auto focus and produce amazing work.
Just sayin'.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2011, 01:07 AM   #27
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 130
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

I don't mean to insult anyone even though I realize that I've done just that. I never said using a particular camera makes you a pro. I too have seen some people using $60k cameras who have no business shooting. That is why I said technology is no substitute for skill. I'm not saying that there is never a time for auto focus. I am saying, however, that I don't consider someone a professional if they don't have the skill to shoot in manual when the need arises. You should be able to pick up any pro camera and shoot in full manual mode with no problems if you are a professional. That doesn't mean you can't use auto from time to time. My statements are only my opinion which anyone can freely disagree with.
Michael Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2011, 01:16 AM   #28
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 130
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Also keep in mind that my initial reaction is to the first four posts in this thread in which the camera is being blamed for it's lack of ability in doing something it was never designed for in the first place. These types of cameras are not meant to be used in auto focus when shooting fast action sports and there is complaining that a "professional" camera doesn't have "consumer" features which are designed to make shooting easier for amateurs.
Michael Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2011, 01:39 AM   #29
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 2,257
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

Hi there.

"My name is Andrew, and I like using auto-focus."

Rest of the room: "Hi Andrew."

:-)
Andrew Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #30
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 46
Re: Keeping focus of fast moving objects

I appreciate all the good input given above.

Perhaps it is the limitations of my prosumer camera but I have just never found the responsiveness of the focus ring to be adaquate for tracking fast moving objects. And when I saw moving objects, I don't necessarily mean objects that are moving parallel to me but those that are either coming directly at me or away from me.

Again, skating and hockey are my main frames of reference. Maintaining sharp focus on a skater as they rapidly approach to within a close distance is nearly impossible for me when using manual AF.

Subject distance has a lot to do with the ability to AF.

Seeing references to NASCAR, it is still hard for me to believe that you can stand along pit road and maintain manual focus on a car as it zooms past only 50-feet away. I have a lot of experience with still photography and auto-focus and while I can easily maintain AF on a race car when it is a couple hundred yards away, I cannot maintain AF on a 100M track sprinter at the finish line when they are 15-feet from me. Subject distance is everything.
John Gayman 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 NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:53 AM.


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