Does the Z5 have a focus problem or not? - Page 2 at
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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.

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Old July 27th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
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No, the only problem with autofocus is people who don't know how to use it effectively.

I don't have a lot of experience with other brands, but every Sony I've owned has had autofocus that is blazingly fast and remarkably accurate across all focal lengths. Of course it can't know what you're thinking artistically so the obvious solution is to let the cam lock in the focus and then switch to manual, so it doesn't shift until you tell it to.

Even doing this, I get far more usable footage from my shooters when they leave the cam on autofocus than when they try to prove how brilliant they are by going full manual. But to each his own. My priorities are less about artistic brilliance than about getting the highest percentage possible of clear, clean, usable footage.

It's just my opinion and may not apply to everyone -- and certainly not to our fellow DVInfoers -- but I think many pros who insist on doing everything manually and deriding the automatic features are just doing it to puff up their own egos and show how brilliant they are -- and I have to spend most of my time in post cleaning up their messes. YMMV.
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."

Last edited by Adam Gold; July 27th, 2010 at 04:13 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 05:42 AM   #17
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Location: sydney
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Zach, every "professional" I know started shooting before auto-focus was around - manual was the way you did it, doesn't mean you can't do auto-focus now. I do.
Do we still use film and prime lenses? Why - they still give the best quality? Why, because It's outdated and frankly not worth the trouble on 99% of jobs
However we can get very close with HD and good non- prime lenses. We can get fantastic results with AVCHD and auto focus, AWB and auto-exposure...most of the time.
I see some pictures on forums of camera rigs with all sorts of pimped up gadgets hanging off them - upside down with Nikon primes, rails, giant LCD's, shoulder supports and steadicams and it makes me laugh because a lot of them are going against the grain of what this camera is set up for - that is, a simple, light, meduim quality, user friendly camera.
Auto = safe and easy...MOST of the time. With AWB and auto-exposure it is a reference point from which we can depart when conditions are not perfect.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 05:33 PM   #18
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: upper hunter, australia
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well said chris (and as ever, you too adam).

there's much too much obsession with technology nowadays (with content suffering) that in a lot of cases is totally pointless....
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