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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old November 1st, 2009, 03:29 AM   #1
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problems with my camera?

Hi all,

I am a happy EX1 owner. Sure I had backfocus problems and vignetting and battery drain and rubbed off letters. But I didn't care. I took it to the Sony place in Melbourne and they fixed it and gave it back to me.

That was a year ago, mind you. Which just shows how often I get to use my camera these days!

Anyway, a year later, the letters are all wearing off, the battery still drains and... the part I'm not sure about... the back focus problem might still be there. I'm stupid for not doing more thorough tests when they first gave it back to me.

Can someone confirm whether this is an issue, or whether it's normal behaviour for the camera.

I shot at HQ 1080p24 but imported to a DV PAL project. I didn't shrink to the smaller resolution, just cropped to the important area, and exported as a very low bitrate WMV but you can still clearly see the focus changes. Here's the video.

Focus ring was pushed forward, in AF/MF mode. Focus switch was in MANUAL. I can confirm that when out of focus, the camera was not auto-focusing. I was manually shifting so that the square was in focus again.

This video shows me manually focusing, zooming out, then in again and the focus point having changed...

But, is that the backfocus issue? Or just the way cameras work?
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Last edited by John Hewat; November 1st, 2009 at 04:06 AM.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 04:36 AM   #2
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John i'm sure that's not a back focus issue, if you had the back focus problem then you'd zoom in, get the focus, zoom out and the wide shot will look soft but if you zoom back in on the same spot it'll be in focus.
Your shot doesn't look soft to me when you pull out to wide.
I had the back focus problem when i first got my EX1 in January 2008 and remember well the testing and scrutinising i did before and after i did the back focus fix.
I did a video demo on vimeo showing me fixing my back focus.

Paul.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 05:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hewat View Post
Focus ring was pushed forward, in AF/MF mode. Focus switch was in MANUAL.
John, your camera is fine. I describe this problem in the focusing chapter of my EX1 training DVD and on pages 60-62 of my EX1 Field Guide.

Vortex Media's XDCAM Field Guides
Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

You're using what I call "Focus Assist Mode A" and it is the worst focuing mode to use. Even though you're focusing the camera manually, the camera is overriding the focus and changing it on it's own because it doesn't think you got it right.

Do one of two things:

1) Go to the MF ASSIST menu and turn that setting off so the camera will only take over focus when you tell it to. I don't recommend this mode, but it is better than the one you are using right now.

2) Put the focus ring of the lens on MF and take 100% control over the focusing. This is the only mode I recommend on the EX1.

Good luck.

Doug
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 10:18 AM   #4
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Gee Doug made that easy. All I need to do is follow Doug around and say "Doug's right" LOL.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 03:12 AM   #5
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Thanks guys! That makes me feel better.

I have your DVD Doug and love it - I don't know why I didn't turn to it first actually. Lucky we all have access to you as well!

I hate focusing with that camera. I do a lot of recording of remote control airplanes which are constantly changing their distance from the camera in unpredictable ways. It is practically impossible to maintain focus when zoomed in.

I also have a Z1 and a V1 and they are both fine at following the planes with auto-focus. The Z1 particularly is fatastic and does a much better job that I ever could.
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