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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 19th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Peaking Techniques

I am very nervous about trusting peaking with my EX1R (or any camera for that matter). It's too easy to wind up with soft focus when relying on peaking. I prefer to zoom in and focus and then back out and frame the shot. However when doing rapid sequence shooting, especially when shooting single camera. peaking is the only choice. Do you have any peaking tips to insure best results?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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Peaking

First off make sure you are in manual focus mode and you have auto assist turned off in the menu. Otherwise the camera will try to focus for you and mess things up.

Secondly pick a bright color like yellow or red so you can see it on the LCD easily.

Thirdly, use the extended focus button to zoom in on the subject and focus tightly. Unfortunately peaking doesn't work in extended focus mode where you need it the most. :(

Fourthly, if there is a lot of detail behind your subject like plants, sharp objects then back off on the focus a little to just highlight your subject. Otherwise it tends to find the sharp details and show peaking on them more so than your subject.

Hope that helps. :)

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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #3
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Trust your peaking. Joe makes great points. I use red on my EX1 and white on my PMW-500 since it is a C35W VF and both peaking help me nail focus in tough fast moving shots.

Peaking is an excellent tool, test it out and learn to trust it if you are not confident with your focus skills.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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i don't know about EX1R's, but EX1's have a moving rear element to compensate for breathing. so, when you zoom in tight and focus and then zoom back off to compose your image may be soft because the rear element has moved from the zoomed in frame to the new composed shot.


this is what a Tech told me once. just relaying to you the message i was given.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 12:54 AM   #5
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Since getting the EX1 when it first came out, I've trained myself to trust the peaking. I use red at mid level. I never zoom in then focus. As long as you see the trusty red fringe on your subject, you're in focus.

I also leave my macro switch on at all times. Macro on doesn't mean you're shooting in macro mode, it means you have the ABILITY to rack focus from macro to infinity (and everything in between) in manual mode.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 01:58 AM   #6
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I found peaking to be distracting. And during reality-type coverage, there's no opportunity to zoom-in and focus. I use the focus assist button instead. It's fast and very effective even with the lens at full wide.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:19 AM   #7
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In some cases, I find the peaking 'depth of field' to be too great. By that I mean that high contrast elements can show peaking even though they aren't at the point of sharpest focus. Conversely, elements such as a face, that are the element that you want to be the sharpest focus sometimes don't have enough contrast to show peaking.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:22 AM   #8
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BTW, I use a Hoodman Loupe on the LCD of the EX1. It provides a picture that has enough detail to get accurate focus. Much better than the stock viewfinder at the back of the camera.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:24 AM   #9
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That's why you need to go through the maximum peaking point. You need to see it peak and then start to go away again, that way you know where the true focus point is.

Peaking, used correctly is extremely accurate.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
BTW, I use a Hoodman Loupe on the LCD of the EX1. It provides a picture that has enough detail to get accurate focus. Much better than the stock viewfinder at the back of the camera.
Sounds interesting. Do you have a model number or a link?,
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 05:56 AM   #11
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Westside AV carries them. They are a DVInfo sponsor and Olof is a big contributor here. They also are accessible by phone to discuss equipment. Here's a link to the Hood Loupe on the Westside AV site:

HoodLoop
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