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Author Topic: Canon to Offer Dual Pixel CMOS AF Upgrade for the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera  (Read 20312 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Manual focus for movies started out with no other option.  This meant carefully measured and planned scenes, hiring a person to pull focus, putting tape on the stage for actors to stand at so the focus would be perfect, a whole system was developed and honed over a near 100 year period.
 
All of a sudden, autofocus becomes available for equipoment that is usable for Cinema, and the prospect of having it controlled on a touch screen or by eye control will change the way some think about it.  Obviously, there are labor unions, and a billion or two dollars worth of equipment as well as resistance to change that we all have. 
 
This means, as usual that some people will adapt and if they are successful, others will follow.  There are Academy awards given to those who make significant developments in Cinema, so go out and earn one! 
 
If a focus puller can be eliminated, then smaller Indies can produce for less, or use less expensive help.  All that is needed is to touch the screen where you want focus (the simple case).  Sure, I know there is a art to it that justifies the high salaries, but tell that to the banker.
 
For sports, I can imagine eye control of focus, the possibilities are many, so I would not rule out autofocus for the future of professional cinema or video in general, its a opportunity waiting for someone with vision and who has the drive to see it thru.

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JonB8305

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I want this upgrade for my 6D.  how much? :D

Cosigned.
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tjc320

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Manual focus for movies started out with no other option.  This meant carefully measured and planned scenes, hiring a person to pull focus, putting tape on the stage for actors to stand at so the focus would be perfect, a whole system was developed and honed over a near 100 year period.
 
All of a sudden, autofocus becomes available for [equipment] that is usable for Cinema, and the prospect of having it controlled on a touch screen or by eye control will change the way some think about it.  Obviously, there are labor unions, and a billion or two dollars worth of equipment as well as resistance to change that we all have. 
 
This means, as usual that some people will adapt and if they are successful, others will follow.  There are Academy awards given to those who make significant developments in Cinema, so go out and earn one! 
 
If a focus puller can be eliminated, then smaller Indies can produce for less, or use less expensive help.  All that is needed is to touch the screen where you want focus (the simple case).  Sure, I know there is a art to it that justifies the high salaries, but tell that to the banker.
 
For sports, I can imagine eye control of focus, the possibilities are many, so I would not rule out autofocus for the future of professional cinema or video in general, its a opportunity waiting for someone with vision and who has the drive to see it thru.

Yea, there are definitely going to be two sides to this and neither are necessarily wrong. That said, mark me down as part of la résistance.

I oppose autofocus in the same way that I oppose gas grills, coffee machines, wood laminate furniture, cheap beer, and implants.


verysimplejason

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Manual focus for movies started out with no other option.  This meant carefully measured and planned scenes, hiring a person to pull focus, putting tape on the stage for actors to stand at so the focus would be perfect, a whole system was developed and honed over a near 100 year period.
 
All of a sudden, autofocus becomes available for [equipment] that is usable for Cinema, and the prospect of having it controlled on a touch screen or by eye control will change the way some think about it.  Obviously, there are labor unions, and a billion or two dollars worth of equipment as well as resistance to change that we all have. 
 
This means, as usual that some people will adapt and if they are successful, others will follow.  There are Academy awards given to those who make significant developments in Cinema, so go out and earn one! 
 
If a focus puller can be eliminated, then smaller Indies can produce for less, or use less expensive help.  All that is needed is to touch the screen where you want focus (the simple case).  Sure, I know there is a art to it that justifies the high salaries, but tell that to the banker.
 
For sports, I can imagine eye control of focus, the possibilities are many, so I would not rule out autofocus for the future of professional cinema or video in general, its a opportunity waiting for someone with vision and who has the drive to see it thru.

Yea, there are definitely going to be two sides to this and neither are necessarily wrong. That said, mark me down as part of la résistance.

I oppose autofocus in the same way that I oppose gas grills, coffee machines, wood laminate furniture, cheap beer, and implants.

Ah.. you forgot to add... electric shaver, electric stove, electric iron, ATM, washing machine, elevator, escalator, bread toaster, etc... Why would someone hate such conveniences?  If it makes life so much easier, why'd you hate it?  It's not  yet perfect but somebody/someone got to start somewhere... right?  It is there because you want to enjoy life more.  Stills AF was first developed with that thing on their mind.  Now, you almost can't live without AF.  :)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 01:11:07 AM by verysimplejason »

paul13walnut5

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AF has no place on a serious video camera.

really?? Because not every type of video shooting scenario is exactly ideal for carefully set shooting with an extra focus puller. Just because you only shoot one particular type of thing doesn't mean that is the only thing everyone does. Sure the regular MF way with carefully pulling is best for lots of stuff but absolutely not for all stuff!

Most of the stuff I do these days is on the hoof.  No focus pullers.  I know that my way is not everybody elses way.  But I do know, that in the professional arena, amongst my peers, no matter where they work, or what camera they use (generally 2/3rds ENG format) none of them use a camera with AF on it, let alone, AF.

Day one of cameraman school.  You get get your fingers rapped if you use auto anything.  So you practise for 2 years before they set you free.  Yes there are muppets shooting stuff for the PA or Getty, trashy celeb type stuff, with z1's or XHA1's and use AF.  But they are muppets.  Muppets with tiny sensors.  And short careers.

Once again you still have only listed a small portion all potential types of shooting.
You entire forget about certain types of wildlife and natural world shooting to name one. Sure MF can be better for that too in many cases, but absolutely not for all.

Up until very very recently the Bbc shot it's wildlife / natural world stuff on film.  Totally manual cameras.

The excellent hebrides series was shot on a mix of panasonic p2 eng cameras and phantom.

Neither have af.

I know this because I asked John Aitchison what he used.

In the follow up documentary 'Wild Cameramen at work' it showed you how the most memorable shots from the bbcs natural earth output was captured.  Lots and lots of planning.  Lots and lots of waiting.  Lots and lots of takes.  A little bit of luck here and there.  Not any of these guys, widely considered to be the best in the business, used an af camera.

They have baftas and rts awards coming outthrir collective bottom, so I'm more inclined to follow their lead.

For sports stills and nature stills, yeah.  AF has its place.  I've always made the distinction clear.  For hobby family video guys, af has its place.  For professional video work it does not.

Max ☢

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In the follow up documentary 'Wild Cameramen at work' it showed you how the most memorable shots from the bbcs natural earth output was captured.  Lots and lots of planning.  Lots and lots of waiting.  Lots and lots of takes.  A little bit of luck here and there.  Not any of these guys, widely considered to be the best in the business, used an af camera.

They have baftas and rts awards coming outthrir collective bottom, so I'm more inclined to follow their lead.

Up to now all documentaries that commended top prizes and awards were shot using only manual focus cameras. Up to now only the best and brightest pros use manual focus. Got that, but what's really the point? Do you mean that the only and strict use of manual focus in pro shooting is a sacred and absolute rule? that sounds like a dogma to me.  Before the advent of steam-powered carriages the fastest way on the road was always achieved with horses, that was also an absolute rule until something better came along.

Until now manual focus has prevailed in those situations you refer to only because AF technology is not yet good enough for the intended use, but that does not mean that this technology and its associated UI will not improve to a point when it will finally takeover the manual focus way of working in most professional shootings. I think this trend will actually start with Canon's dual pix technology.

syder

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AF has no place on a serious video camera.

really?? Because not every type of video shooting scenario is exactly ideal for carefully set shooting with an extra focus puller. Just because you only shoot one particular type of thing doesn't mean that is the only thing everyone does. Sure the regular MF way with carefully pulling is best for lots of stuff but absolutely not for all stuff!

Most of the stuff I do these days is on the hoof.  No focus pullers.  I know that my way is not everybody elses way.  But I do know, that in the professional arena, amongst my peers, no matter where they work, or what camera they use (generally 2/3rds ENG format) none of them use a camera with AF on it, let alone, AF.

Day one of cameraman school.  You get get your fingers rapped if you use auto anything.  So you practise for 2 years before they set you free.  Yes there are muppets shooting stuff for the PA or Getty, trashy celeb type stuff, with z1's or XHA1's and use AF.  But they are muppets.  Muppets with tiny sensors.  And short careers.

Once again you still have only listed a small portion all potential types of shooting.
You entire forget about certain types of wildlife and natural world shooting to name one. Sure MF can be better for that too in many cases, but absolutely not for all.

Up until very very recently the Bbc shot it's wildlife / natural world stuff on film.  Totally manual cameras.

The excellent hebrides series was shot on a mix of panasonic p2 eng cameras and phantom.

Neither have af.

I know this because I asked John Aitchison what he used.

In the follow up documentary 'Wild Cameramen at work' it showed you how the most memorable shots from the bbcs natural earth output was captured.  Lots and lots of planning.  Lots and lots of waiting.  Lots and lots of takes.  A little bit of luck here and there.  Not any of these guys, widely considered to be the best in the business, used an af camera.

They have baftas and rts awards coming outthrir collective bottom, so I'm more inclined to follow their lead.

For sports stills and nature stills, yeah.  AF has its place.  I've always made the distinction clear.  For hobby family video guys, af has its place.  For professional video work it does not.

Basically this.

First cinematography lecture I give one of the things that is repeatedly drummed into either undergrads or postgrads is not to switch camera settings to auto. There's always at least one group a year who choose to ignore that because they think it'll be easier for them with auto on. When their rushes come back with focus hunting/exposure/white balance changes they soon learn why professionals don't use autofocus.

I'm really intrigued by what this 'natural world' and 'wildlife' stuff LTRL is on about actually is... I used to occasionally hang out with some of the BBC natural history unit guys when I lived in Bristol - you don't spend two weeks waiting to see a big cat take down its prey only to come back with unusable footage because of AF hunting (on subjects rapidly moving and changing direction). But then the people who do that are f***ing good at what they do. I would bet on them over AF in those challenging conditions every time. That may change in time - but AF would have to be a lot better than it is on top stills systems now to be usable with wildlife film - which is up there in terms of being one of the most demanding things people do skill wise.

In fairness, being a one man band is actually damn hard. Having to simultaneously sort out composition, focus, audio levels, eyeline etc whilst having an engaging interview with someone takes skill and practice. Hell just getting an engaging interview can be hard enough. And that's part of why cameras like the EX1 have been such staples for run and gun work - one less thing (focus) to worry about makes those situations that much easier.

That said I'm pretty sure cameras like the EX1 and HVX201 have autofocus. I've just never known anyone other than my failing 1st year students to actually use it.

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paul13walnut5

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+1

Video af makes things easier, not better.

I wonder how many folks hailing the arrival of a new kind of video af to a professional video body actually get paid to shoot video?

A fair enough point was made earlier, in that nobody knows how well it will work yet.
Interesting that those rushing to defend it can't possibly know if its worth defending.

I'm not a luddite, nor am I a stills shooter who doesn't understand that video is contiguous.

Whats also interesting is that dual pixel live view af seems to work best with stm lenses.  Where are the stm fast primes or constant fast aperture zooms?

The ex1 example is pertinant.  It has a half inch sensor.  Vastly more forgiving than an s35 or 135 type sensor.

Here us the thing that non-video folk don't get, running and gunning isnt the same thing as spray and pray.  Television, even warzone news reports, even zoo format yoof tv, its all produced.  Surprisingly little is sincerely spontaneous.  Even the hardest worked single man crew, in fact particularly the hardest worked stringer, has to set up.  Plan to be where the story is.  When the story is. Facing the right way. With a charged battery and memory space.

There is time to focus manually. Not everything that is shot will work, or will make the edit.

If you have an animated interview subject go a little wider with your lens, switch down your nd filter and clise your iris.
This is 101.  And it may not always be the way it is done, but for now it is best.

If my work ever shells out for a new camera It may even be a c100.  I may even spec a shorty forty (stm) and the dual pixel upgrade, and I promise I'll approach it with fresh eyes.

Eyes.  Somebody made a point about ecf and video af..

Potentially a good idea, and not to fall into the trap of thinking that because domething is great for stills that it will be great for video, ECF worked great on my 3 for me.

Couple of problems though... 
It didn't for everyone.  Some folk just never managed to get it to register.

It required your eye close to the vf. 10 years ago folk shot video this way, standing back from an lcd is more common these days, and desirable for many situations.

Shooting video, even with a vf. Usually means one eye on the real world, one eye through the viewfinder, the eye at the viesfinder may flick down to check the vu display in the corner, or the filter wheel number top right during a take.  Bang. Focus gone.

Its common for me to take my eye away entirely, say if I need to identify the source of an unwanted noise, to check my xlr is set to +48, to adjust the peaking level etc.  even during a take, i'm looking around the frame at lots of things other than the subject? "Is that a reflected tripod leg in that glass door" "has the screen saver just came on in that vdu, thats not going to cut"

And with an mf lens, set up properly, focus is fine throughout.


sanj

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AF has no place on a serious video camera.

"Just don't use it. Just ignore it. Just put up with it. And no, it won't be cheaper without AF." 
same as video on each and every stills camera.
:P

Haha, yes.  Very good.

The pedant in me would point out that video adds virtually no cost to a live-view enabled DSLR, wheras adding AF to a video camera body requires extra components.  The C-Series must be one of the first professional camcorders to have in body AF.

At a professional level, which is where these cameras are pitched, AF is not required.   It really isn't.  I've chucked folk off my sets for using AF on hdv cameras. 

For shooting crappy family videos, AF makes them a bit less crappy.  If you know how to manually focus video and have a well set up video camera, then AF really is absolutely superflous.

The C100 is aimed at documentary, news, run and gun. Often done by one man band, operating camera while interviewing a subject. As some have pointed out, this can help the videographer concentrate on the interview even while the subject wiggles all over town, instead of having to split attention to keep the subject in focus.

A tool is a tool. If it helps get a better result, then it's a good tool.

Ya man.

sanj

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I want this upgrade for my 6D.  how much? :D

:)

sanj

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I think it's a bit too soon to be saying auto-focus isn't required on a professional video camera. We need to see what the autofocus is capable of first.  Purists don't need to get the upgrade or can set the focus to manual if it keeps them happy. I expect autofocus will be a big selling point for low budget productions and one person companies.

Absolutely correct. And I might add that when I work on a full fledged video job I use cameras better than C100. C100 is aimed at productions with limited budget and in this case this feature is super welcome. Even for documentaries... Lets see what future holds..

paul13walnut5

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And do those cams have af sanj?  And if so does the dop or cameraman use it?

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unfocused

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Has anyone figured out if they are replacing the sensor. I don't understand how this can be just a firmware upgrade. Someone suggested the dual-pixel sensor had already been put in place in the C100, but that seems like really incredible advance planning to have put the sensor in a camera that was announced more than a year ago.

sanj

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And do those cams have af sanj?  And if so does the dop or cameraman use it?

No Paul the cameras I use come with manual focus lenses and my focus puller has worked with me now over 16 years through several main steam movies.

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