July 25, 2014, 11:24:37 PM

Author Topic: Video Question: What can I do to make it easier to see if the video is in focus  (Read 3725 times)

JonB8305

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I've used a 5d 2 and 6D to shoot videos, but it's very difficult to tell if the shot is in focus on the tiny LCD. Would I have to purchase an external field monitor?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 07:37:44 PM by JonB8305 »

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jdramirez

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 it would be nice if the af  points lit up when  the subject was in focus.   and then we could compose based on af  point location  and adjust the focus ring and stop when it lights  up.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

cinema-dslr

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Installing magiclantern will give you focus peaking wich will help by putting a redline on infocus subjects.
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RunAndGun

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jdramirez

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Installing magiclantern will give you focus peaking wich will help by putting a redline on infocus subjects.
I love magic lantern... I really should install it some day.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

JonB8305

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it would be nice if the af  points lit up when  the subject was in focus.   and then we could compose based on af  point location  and adjust the focus ring and stop when it lights  up.

The 6D does have some facial recognition focus confirm by putting a green box around peoples faces, at least I think it confirms focus.

JonB8305

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Installing magiclantern will give you focus peaking wich will help by putting a redline on infocus subjects.

I don't think it's available on the 6D.

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paul13walnut5

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There are a few things you can do to help.

The first thing I would say is that I tried shooting video with a 5d2 before I bought my 7D, and found wide aperture focusing very difficult, aps-c is much more forgiving, but still achieves that large sensor look.

Use the lenses innate depth of field for certain subjects.  Getting in close with a wide angle is much easier than zooming in with a tele.  Same physics apply as for photography.. long lenses and wide apertures really throw the background focus out, but depth of field can be in the mm's. 

Don't be afraid to stop down.  Your lenses will be at their best a stop or two down from max anyway.  Not everything has to be done in that wide open shallow dof style, you'll be surprised how a stop or two retains most of the look you want, but makes focusing much more forgiving.

Finally, use live view zoom to pre-focus before recording.  Works well for fairly static situations.  If you have parfocal lenses you can do this live, but many canon EF lenses aren't parfocal (that is, they hold focus through the range of the zoom) 

If you want to spend some money on the issue and get better video then mechanical lenses are good, with focus end stops and large, well dampened focus rings.  The Samyangs are a starting point. 

Magic Lantern does have focus peaking, but many external monitors also offer this without having to run ML (I've never been all that confident with it)

I would avoid AF, AF assist, or AF reference points, many lenses are focus by wire, it would be good if canon introduced a temporary 'one touch AF' button, should be feasable with STM lenses, but until then..

Lloyd

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Camranger will allow live view from my 5Diii to be displayed wirelessly on my iPad and includes focus peaking in latest software. http://www.camranger.com
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joema

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it would be nice if the af  points lit up when  the subject was in focus.   and then we could compose based on af  point location  and adjust the focus ring and stop when it lights  up.


The AF points are deactivated and physically removed from the light path when the mirror is up in video mode. This diagram is with the mirror down, but you can see when the primary and secondary mirrors flip up (Live View mode), no light reaches the phase-detect AF sensors: http://leongoodman.tripod.com/d70/dslrchartweb500.jpg

As already stated, ML will give focus peaking assistance, however it's not available in a stable build on some cameras, and not available for the 5D3 running 1.2.1 firmware. This means you couldn't have clean HDMI out, or use cross-type AF point at f/8, or any other features and enhancements of 1.2.1.

One solution is using a clip-on LCD loupe to magnify the LCD. Several companies make these; I've used the Zacuto Z-Finder which is good.

Another solution is a field monitor which has focus peaking built in. Yet another is an EVF.

The Zacuto EVF Pro is my preferred solution since it provides another point of contact to stabilize the camera, shields your eye in bright conditions, is more private than a field monitor, plus has focus peaking and zebra exposure aids.

JonB8305

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it would be nice if the af  points lit up when  the subject was in focus.   and then we could compose based on af  point location  and adjust the focus ring and stop when it lights  up.


The AF points are deactivated and physically removed from the light path when the mirror is up in video mode. This diagram is with the mirror down, but you can see when the primary and secondary mirrors flip up (Live View mode), no light reaches the phase-detect AF sensors: http://leongoodman.tripod.com/d70/dslrchartweb500.jpg

As already stated, ML will give focus peaking assistance, however it's not available in a stable build on some cameras, and not available for the 5D3 running 1.2.1 firmware. This means you couldn't have clean HDMI out, or use cross-type AF point at f/8, or any other features and enhancements of 1.2.1.

One solution is using a clip-on LCD loupe to magnify the LCD. Several companies make these; I've used the Zacuto Z-Finder which is good.

Another solution is a field monitor which has focus peaking built in. Yet another is an EVF.

The Zacuto EVF Pro is my preferred solution since it provides another point of contact to stabilize the camera, shields your eye in bright conditions, is more private than a field monitor, plus has focus peaking and zebra exposure aids.


EVF Pro looks like what I need, but that cost is steep. If I start making real money from these videos i'll have to invest in one.

thgmuffin

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6D+Focus Peaking from ML have saved many of my shots!

joema

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...EVF Pro looks like what I need, but that cost is steep. If I start making real money from these videos i'll have to invest in one.


I also agonized a long time before getting it. It is the best money I've ever spent on DSLR video. It absolutely transforms my ability to nail focus and exposure, plus the additional contact points helps stabilization.

You have other options at lower price points. The Zacuto Z-Finder (several models available) are good. There are competing products from Hoodman: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/573167-REG/Hoodman_H_LPP3_HoodLoupe_Professional_LCD_Screen.html and Cinevate: http://www.cinevate.com/store2/cyclops-viewfinder.html#sthash.RQV9s3yl.dpbs

RedRock Micro announced an EVF back in 2011, but they have not shipped it yet: http://store.redrockmicro.com/EVF

Cineroid has an EVF that's a little cheaper than the Zacuto: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=982065&Q=&is=REG&A=details

Your best low-cost approach is an LCD loupe of some kind. This also avoids the HDMI sync delays (a few sec) when you switch between still and video mode.

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JonB8305

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...EVF Pro looks like what I need, but that cost is steep. If I start making real money from these videos i'll have to invest in one.


I also agonized a long time before getting it. It is the best money I've ever spent on DSLR video. It absolutely transforms my ability to nail focus and exposure, plus the additional contact points helps stabilization.

You have other options at lower price points. The Zacuto Z-Finder (several models available) are good. There are competing products from Hoodman: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/573167-REG/Hoodman_H_LPP3_HoodLoupe_Professional_LCD_Screen.html and Cinevate: http://www.cinevate.com/store2/cyclops-viewfinder.html#sthash.RQV9s3yl.dpbs

RedRock Micro announced an EVF back in 2011, but they have not shipped it yet: http://store.redrockmicro.com/EVF

Cineroid has an EVF that's a little cheaper than the Zacuto: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=982065&Q=&is=REG&A=details

Your best low-cost approach is an LCD loupe of some kind. This also avoids the HDMI sync delays (a few sec) when you switch between still and video mode.


Is Zacuto the best of the bunch?

sjschall

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You can start with the z-finder or similar loupe instead of the EVF. It's a more affordable solution and still helps a lot with focus and adds the contact point. There's lot's of cheaper options that still work well, such as the Carry Speed ones.

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