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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old November 30th, 2007, 11:03 PM   #1
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DOF indicator

Anybody else find that the DOF indicator was a total bust?
I only looked at it when the manual focus was engaged, but what I saw had such a wide definition of what was in focus that it was totally worthless. I was hoping for something like the Panavision's footage readout so that when you are handheld and wide you still can see where you're focus is. This would tell me sometghing like 2'- to infinity - gee thanks and it would hardly change no matter how much I changed my focus.

Aside from that and the vignette though this is one hell of a camera.

Nicest and fastest menu system i have ever seen on any video camera with tremendous ability to paint and do it quickly.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #2
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You're joking right?
That DOF indicator is awesome.

In my book Its shows you all that is needed.

Zoom in on something and of course your DOF goes tight. This shows you the distance to your focused object. Zoom out and and the DOF expands on the target and shows you the expanded DOF giving you perception on the front to back focus range of your target.

In fact. this indicator is a great sanity check when you need the wide shot and you want to confirm your front focus.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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I agree that it seems of limited usefulness in real world situations.

It might be nice if you could set a circle of confusion parameter somewhere in the menu that might reduce its broad spread at wide angles.

The CoC spec defines what it acceptably sharp to be considered "in focus" and is mostly subjective. The tolerance that the viewer has for softness varies with final output format, subject matter, etc. etc.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 12:02 AM   #4
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Steven. I don't need an indicator to tell me I have more DOF when I'm wide - That's self evident.
I want something to tell me where I'm focused when I'm wide. The DOF indicator I saw seemed to have very loose idea of critical focus. bottom line is I dopn't think I could trust it. Too bad it didn't hae a center line where your focus really was. that would be way cool.
Nice thing about the Panny indicator is if you need to zoom in you actually can get close before making the move.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 01:10 AM   #5
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You bring up a good point, that would of been helpful.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:58 AM   #6
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I also was hoping for a DOF range indicator with constant display of the actual focus distance. BTW you don't need a DOF indicator to have it, if I remember the Canon A1 can be set up to display focus length constantly, and not just when actually turning the focus ring.

None of my Sony cameras did that, which sometimes resulted in my initial moving the ring in the wrong direction. If the EX1 doesn't have it either, it's a pity.

PS. In another thread I read it does have the constant distance indicator:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=109205

So frankly I don't understand what your points is, Leonard?
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; December 1st, 2007 at 03:43 AM.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 03:24 AM   #7
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just looked at that thread. hmm I didn't see what he is talking about, but maybe I just missed it in the menus. That would be great. With the DOF indicator I looked at I don't see how you could know the auto was hunting so maybe I just need to play with it more. Hope its on there - that's why I posted actually.
Unfortunately I don;'t have the demo anymore.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 03:49 AM   #8
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Hmm... Now I'm confused: in the pdf brochure there are example pictures of the DOF indicator, but I can't see any actual distance mark/reading!

I am afraid that our reservations are valid, Leonard. When your DOF is tight (e.g. with long focus distances), the DOF bar becomes so short it can actually be taken as the actual focus distance indicator (and probably it moves when AF is hunting, as per the other thread).

With greater DOF, the bar is wider and you still don't konw where exactly your focus distance is at any given moment. Not until you actually change it by turning the ring!

Anyone who actually has the EX1, please clarify!
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Old December 1st, 2007, 05:04 AM   #9
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I don't recall seeing a firm indication of the actual focus distance on the DOF bar other than the bar itself, although you can turn on a distance display and set it to either feet or metres.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Joy View Post
I don't recall seeing a firm indication of the actual focus distance on the DOF bar other than the bar itself, although you can turn on a distance display and set it to either feet or metres.
Paul, if you can turn it to be displayed constantly (like the Canon A1 can), it'd be enough for me!
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Old December 1st, 2007, 05:41 AM   #11
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I don't think it works the same as the Canon as in displaying a specific range number, but by default the DOF indicator doesn't show any distances, you can however change an option to have it show either feet or meters underneath.

Page 104 of the manual shows the LCD settings possible.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 08:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
I want something to tell me where I'm focused when I'm wide.
Doesn't the PEAKING feature do just that?
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Old December 1st, 2007, 08:38 AM   #13
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The peaking is only helpful to make sure your subject is in focus, and not as a "prompt" of your actual focus distance. In all Sony cameras I've ever used, when you turn the focus ring, the changing focus distance is displayed in meters or feet; once you stop it's replaced with the focus mode (AF/MF etc) indicator. In the Canon A1, you could tweak the display settings to have the actual focus distance always and permanently displayed.

In the EX1 I was hoping for some permanent indicator where exactly within the DOF range you're focussed; it could be a graphical mark within the DOF bar (arrow or alike), or at least the number (meters or feet) like with the Canon.

If it's not possible, it's not a big deal, but a I'm a bit disappointed - Sony is not listening to us users as closely as they could...
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