Am I the only EX1 user to have trouble focussing? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old September 10th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #16
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Peter, presuming that you have an authorised Sony service place in Perth it might be worth checking with them about them sending the camera to Sydney. The people here sent mine up and back at no charge to me (Sony Warranty business).
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Old September 10th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #17
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Thanks Serena - good thought.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 02:07 AM   #18
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Yes Peter,

Same here. Went to Sydney via Melbourne service agent.

No charge to me that I know of!

Vaughan
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Old September 11th, 2008, 02:57 AM   #19
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Please forgive me if any of this stuff appears above but I wanted to give you a check-list for good focus with the EX1. You say you're familiar with the procedure for good focus but you don't specify.

First, avoid Auto Focus like the plague! It NEVER seems to focus on the subject for me. More usually the background - particularly if the subject isn't slap in the middle of the picture.

If you're learning to operate new stuff, forget shallow depth of field (learn to walk before you run). You can do the fancy stuff once you're proficient.

For the moment, concentrate on maximum DOF - that makes getting everything in focus much easier of course.

To get max DOF you need Minimum iris . . . BUT whatever you do, don't use an iris setting above f6.7 or the quality falls off. Above f8 it's awful.

I wonder if this is your problem rather than actual focus?

To get the f-number you want, you need to juggle with ND filters and a little gain. The change from one ND filter setting to the next is so drastic that it sends your iris setting way out, so I use the Gain presets to give me the fine-tuning I need to keep at f6.7 or under. I set low gain to -3 and Medium Gain to +3. There's no noticeable grain in either of these settings, but they go a long way to helping me control the iris setting.

Next thing is Zoom.
Max Zoom = Min DOF, so Zoom right back as wide as you can.

If your zoom's set to (say) 10% and your f-stop is 5.6 - 6.7, just about everything on the planet will be in focus from 1 mtr to infinity!
(Try using the manual focus and see how little difference it makes at these settings).
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Old September 11th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #20
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Auto Focus seems vastly improved with new Firmware 1.11 no one knows why but several of us have tested and it locks on much quicker and does not drift.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:22 PM   #21
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Just wanted to thank all respondents for a great range of suggestions which I'm looking forward to practising! (Currently bogged down with heaps of editing ...)

Hopefully some others will benefit from all this.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Forester View Post
I am still learning my EX1 and haven't had much time to spend with it other than shooting my boys, but I've got quite a few hours in doing just that. I'm new to videography, from still photography, and I find focusing a much bigger challenge, especially with my EX1.
Welcome to the world of cinematography, Buck :-) There is a reason why a number of talented people upon this earth make a career as focus pullers. New compact HD cameras give us exceptional resolution that rivals film (in particular the EX1), but getting into the major league means you must learn the same skills.
I second Andy's tips about maximizing DoF... shooting wide will help you with run&gun work anyway.

I supplied three EX1's to a church, to be operated by young volunteers. After 5 minutes of showing the auto focus, we were all fed up with its erratic performance, and I opted to train how to manually focus; they've got the hang of it within a few days, and are thankful we went that route.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #23
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For run and gun shooting try this. I do a lot of hand-held documentary type stuff where you don't get a "Take 2", and would recommend setting your camera focus on infinity and physically moving your camera in and out for most things and minimizing zooming where possible. This will maximize your depth of field and keep most things in focus. Foreground and background.
I have peaking set to blue and for more critical focus situations always use the expanded focus feature with the view finder.
I have zebra set to 95 and push it to the limit.

kj
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #24
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Hey guys this is my first post on this forum and also my first day of shooting with my EX1. For the most part it went great with the typical learning curve mistakes. I do have to do more experimenting with the peaking focus assist however. I was in a low light situation. And the peaking said I was in focus. When I looked at the footage later I was focus 10 behind the subject. I think there was enough detail in the out of focus footage to fool the peaking. In the future I will use other techniques to check critical focus.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #25
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Bob, I got my 10" field monitor from ManhattanLCD and focus has never been the same since - very happy! :)
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Old August 14th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #26
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Here's a high resolution low-cost 15" monitor which I am finding very useful as well: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sdtv-hdtv...etty-good.html
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Old August 14th, 2009, 11:16 PM   #27
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Probably already been said, but.....

If you're having trouble focusing, when shooting outside, try using the ND1 filter instead of the ND2. This will force the camera to use a smaller iris (like f8 or higher) which will give you a much wider depth of field.

Setting up and using the peaking is also a good idea (as has already been mentioned).
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Old August 15th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
This will force the camera to use a smaller iris (like f8 or higher) which will give you a much wider depth of field.
True, but I think it's pretty commonly accepted that you lose a lot of sharpness when you go past f5.6 and the sweet spot of the lens is closer to f2.8.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #29
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I agree, but he's having trouble focusing....

I think an image with some de-fraction due to a high f-stop will still look better than an image that's simply out of focus.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 12:11 PM   #30
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you're not alone. this has plagued me since I have had my camera. I have to wear my glases to shoot with it. REally, it is almost too much to think about when you're
running and gunning. I have had more OOF video with the EX1 than my Z1u, which
was turn it on, and concentrate on composition.
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