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Old June 20th, 2016, 08:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Minneapolis
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Nailing Focus

So I shoot videos by myself, of myself, in my basement (super lame). I use a GH4 and have experimented with the continuous auto focus face tracking but it seems to hunt a bit randomly. The other option is to turn off continuous auto focus, set the focus, sit in a chair to prevent moving, and shoot the video.

The GH4 has a remote app for controlling most of its functions, but this app unfortunately doesn't show focus peaking so I don't know if I'm ever leaning in and out of focus slightly (kind of impossible to tell on my cell phone - need a bigger screen!)

You guys have any recommendations? Would a monitor be worth it? What aperture do you recommend for interview style video?

video for reference:
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Old June 20th, 2016, 09:42 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,482
Re: Nailing Focus

Thats a pretty good video. For shooting yourself like that you need a monitor. It does not have to be a fancy video monitor, just hook up a TV so you have a big image of your shot. Place it directly under the lens to minimize looking at it.Even there it will show if your looking at it so use it as a reference monitor to set up the shot BEFORE you record the take. Use the smallest aperture your light source will allow to increase DOF. I would stick with manual focus.

In places where you know you are going to jump cut change the composition of the shot like wide to tight or left third to right third and you can make it look like a two camera shoot instead of jump cuts.

Why is your audio so far out of sync? Did you redub it after the shoot? Whatever your doing that is what you need to fix first.

Kind Regards,

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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Old June 20th, 2016, 10:32 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Minneapolis
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Re: Nailing Focus

Hi Steven! Thanks for the compliments!

By manual focus, I assume you mean use auto-focus pre-recording, and once the focus is set, don't touch it while recording. Literally using manual focus is a little tedious even w/using a target or something similiar to set the focus initially.

I like the idea of changing the composition when I jump cut! Also, the audio in the beginning seems pretty lined up but towards the end it gets pretty noticeably bad. Maybe I'm dealing with a drift issue? Could be using 48kHz on the recorder and 44.1kHz on the GH4. I'll look into it!

Thanks for the feedback!
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