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Author Topic: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?  (Read 2543 times)

Siavash

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MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« on: February 27, 2013, 02:39:58 PM »
Hi,
I have a canon 60d and I want to use it for video. I was tempted to sell it and get t4i because of the continuous Autofocus feature, but I've read over and over again, that u should manually focus for video anyways.

But here's the thing, just by looking at the little LCD on my camera, I cant tell if everything is fully focused. It might look focused when its small, but when you blow it up on your monitor, it might be a just a bit out of focus. for a professional video, this is not acceptable.

Am I missing something, is there a secret to manual focus? is there a feature I should be using? or do you all just have super human vision, and can tell just by looking at on camera LCD?

Thanks

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MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« on: February 27, 2013, 02:39:58 PM »

JasonATL

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 03:31:11 PM »
I focus prior to hitting the record button. To do so, just zoom in using the magnify function. Set the focus, then hit record.

To focus during recording, things are not so easy. I use a viewfinder, which does help. The one I use is fairly inexpensive (around USD100) and is called the LCDVF. This magnifies the LCD screen and makes it visible in daylight (plus adds a bit of stability if shooting hand-held). Still, getting precise focus this way is fairly challenging. I can almost do it on my 5D3, which has a better LCD than the one on the 60D, I think.

As is pointed out many times here, DSLR's are not substitutes for traditional video cameras, especially when it comes to the need to change focus during the recording.

There are other methods that use a firmware hack, called Magic Lantern. But, that's opening up a can of worms that you might not be interested in. If you are, try searching on "Magic Lantern Focus Peaking" in Google and you'll find plenty of information. If you have questions about that, I and others here will be happy to respond.

charlesa

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 04:24:16 PM »
Live View and full magnification for stills, dunno if the same technique would apply for video

cayenne

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 05:26:35 PM »
Live View and full magnification for stills, dunno if the same technique would apply for video

That is exactly the way I do it......

And if you are a one man show...do what I did, get a LARGE ruler type thing at the hardware store, put it in a large heavy clamp that will stand up on the floor on its own, and use that in place of where you'll stand..focus on that...hit the button and walk into the scene, move ruler and stand there in its place in focus.

I've done this even with VERY shallow depth of field, and it it just fine.

On the videos section of the forum, I posted a basic test video of me trying out different lighting, and Marvels cinestyle, etc...on about the 3rd or 4th take, you can see my moving my ruler out of the way. The ruler is nice too, in that I know where to focus and compose, since I know and mark on it where my nose it, top of my head...etc...

HTH,

cayenne

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 09:35:44 PM »
Manual focus works if the subject is not moving, and the camera is fixed on a tripod,  but if you want to video a soccer game or football game, its going to be pretty frustrating.  Cancorders with autofocus, are designed to do a better job of capturing moving subjects.
As far as the 60D goes, manual focus during video is your only choice, there is no autofocus during video.  You can use AF before starting the video, but if anything moves, your focus is lost.

wickidwombat

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 10:39:12 PM »
magic lantern and focus peaking is king here
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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 01:17:58 AM »
'cause it looks like Sh*t when you don't?

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 01:17:58 AM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 01:58:19 AM »
Hi,
I have a canon 60d and I want to use it for video. I was tempted to sell it and get t4i because of the continuous Autofocus feature, but I've read over and over again, that u should manually focus for video anyways.

But here's the thing, just by looking at the little LCD on my camera, I cant tell if everything is fully focused. It might look focused when its small, but when you blow it up on your monitor, it might be a just a bit out of focus. for a professional video, this is not acceptable.

Am I missing something, is there a secret to manual focus? is there a feature I should be using? or do you all just have super human vision, and can tell just by looking at on camera LCD?

Thanks

10x zoom if you can pre-focus if not get magic lantern and try focus peaking or live focus zoom box- it's absurd they don't ship cameras with firmware to do that stuff or plug into a larger external monitor or a small one with built in focus peaking

if you try sports, gonna be rough, magic lantern focus peaking plus f/22 and be there ;)

cayenne

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 10:30:45 AM »
Hi,
I have a canon 60d and I want to use it for video. I was tempted to sell it and get t4i because of the continuous Autofocus feature, but I've read over and over again, that u should manually focus for video anyways.

But here's the thing, just by looking at the little LCD on my camera, I cant tell if everything is fully focused. It might look focused when its small, but when you blow it up on your monitor, it might be a just a bit out of focus. for a professional video, this is not acceptable.

Am I missing something, is there a secret to manual focus? is there a feature I should be using? or do you all just have super human vision, and can tell just by looking at on camera LCD?

Thanks

10x zoom if you can pre-focus if not get magic lantern and try focus peaking or live focus zoom box- it's absurd they don't ship cameras with firmware to do that stuff or plug into a larger external monitor or a small one with built in focus peaking

if you try sports, gonna be rough, magic lantern focus peaking plus f/22 and be there ;)

Focus Peaking?

Hmm..that's a new term for me, but if it is what it sounds like, I need to look into this.

I've not tried ML yet, but I'm seeing some compelling reasons to give the latest Alpha for the 5D3 a try!!

cayenne

The_Arsonist

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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 12:29:00 PM »
I agree, Magic Lantern has been extremely helpful for video. Focus peaking is about the only way you're going to get decent results from run and gun setups without an external monitor. Focus peaking puts red and yellow pixels along the edges of whatever is sharpest in the scene. Be warned, Magic Lantern has a ton of tools, so jumping right in to using it can be intimidating. It also has the ability to override the settings you make in the normal canon menus, so don't be discouraged if it keeps changing your shutter speed/iso, etc. You just need to find the right magic lantern menu to adjust those things
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Re: MANUAL FOCUS... how do you know you got it perfect!?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 12:29:00 PM »