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camilleguignard


Dec 12, 2010, 2:13 PM
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continuous AF for bouldering video
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hi
I m looking for a new camera (nikon d3100 or d7000 or canon 550d 60d or 7d) mostly for taking picture but as i am interested in video too my main wonder is: does it help to have continuous af for bouldering movie?
Thanks


jeffkash


Dec 12, 2010, 2:47 PM
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Re: [camilleguignard] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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camilleguignard wrote:
hi
I m looking for a new camera (nikon d3100 or d7000 or canon 550d 60d or 7d) mostly for taking picture but as i am interested in video too my main wonder is: does it help to have continuous af for bouldering movie?
Thanks

It really depends... First, I recommend the Canon 5D or 7D, but I am biased and have the most experience with them.

Anyways, it depends on how far you are shooting from. If your focal point is set to infinity than continuous focus is a non-issue. I'd say what you would want to consider the most is the focal length/point. If you are not at infinity and are needing a more precise range than consider how much the subject (the climber) is going to be moving away or closer in regard to the lens. If they will not be moving very much as far as distance is concerned than a fixed focal point will do the trick.

Check out this stuff: http://magazine.creativecow.net/...or-the-canon-5d-mkii

Focus puller is what I am thinking of here if you do need to change smoothly and/or to set distances while shooting.

IF, you have never known about how this is done on cinema sets, the focus puller for the camera will sometimes pull out a measuring tape and measure from the lens to the subject of focus and then dial that in (look on your lens and it will give you distances in feet and meters).

Hope that helps.


altelis


Dec 12, 2010, 4:10 PM
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Re: [camilleguignard] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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camilleguignard wrote:
hi
I m looking for a new camera (nikon d3100 or d7000 or canon 550d 60d or 7d) mostly for taking picture but as i am interested in video too my main wonder is: does it help to have continuous af for bouldering movie?
Thanks

This is pretty obvious, BUT just in case....

If you happen to already own nice glass that's new enough to let you take advantage of the all the features these new dSLR's offer- stick with that brand.

Otherwise...carry on....


theextremist04


Dec 14, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Re: [camilleguignard] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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At the point it's at, AF in video is not gonna be great on any camera I would recommend except the D7000 (though I'm a Canon guy.) I would say learn how to pull focus and do it that way, or just use a wide enough focal length you're at infinity the whole time.


camilleguignard


Dec 14, 2010, 12:02 PM
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hi guys
thanks for those useful info


styndall


Dec 14, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Re: [camilleguignard] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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Nikon and Canon dSLRs, if they'll autofocus during video at all (I think only the Nikon D7000 will do this in the Nikon lineup, and I'm not sure about the Canon line) only do this with contrast detection, which is really, really slow.

Sony has a camera, the alpha55, that has continuous phase detection autofocus during video. It looks really, really nice.

This video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dASmzrGswc8

demonstrates the speed of the AF.

I wouldn't switch from one of the big manufacturers to Sony just for this, but if you're buying a video-specific dSLR, you could do worse.

EDIT: Also, don't take all your video with your focus set to infinity. It'll look really amateurish. If you're going to spend all this money on a nice camera and glass capable of shallow depth of field, take advantage of it.


(This post was edited by styndall on Dec 14, 2010, 12:23 PM)


camilleguignard


Dec 14, 2010, 1:32 PM
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Re: [styndall] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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Nikon 3100 has a continuous AF as well (and it is very slow) but none of the canon line have it, it is true. I have also seen tha Panasonic GH1 or 2 has something good but as you said I would not go to pana or sony just for that.

I have seen really great video made by canon reflex and the guys did not have AF but... well they are pro...and I guess i will never have the budget to buy the lens they use.....Unsure

I wonder if I should not simply start with a "cheap" one such as Canon 550d or 60d and keep my money for lens and wait for Canon to develop something better.

a bit off topics

I have old lens with I bought with my non Digital SLR Canon EOS 300 years ago (28-90 and 75-300) they came wit the kit. I know they are far to be ideal to use with DSLR but would it really by a good enough reason to saty with Canon?

thanks anyway


kennoyce


Dec 14, 2010, 3:02 PM
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Re: [camilleguignard] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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camilleguignard wrote:
Nikon 3100 has a continuous AF as well (and it is very slow) but none of the canon line have it, it is true. I have also seen tha Panasonic GH1 or 2 has something good but as you said I would not go to pana or sony just for that.

I have seen really great video made by canon reflex and the guys did not have AF but... well they are pro...and I guess i will never have the budget to buy the lens they use.....Unsure

I wonder if I should not simply start with a "cheap" one such as Canon 550d or 60d and keep my money for lens and wait for Canon to develop something better.

a bit off topics

I have old lens with I bought with my non Digital SLR Canon EOS 300 years ago (28-90 and 75-300) they came wit the kit. I know they are far to be ideal to use with DSLR but would it really by a good enough reason to saty with Canon?

thanks anyway

They are kit lenses (and canon kit lenses at that) which means they probably aren't all that great. I'm sure they don't have built in AF motors so you couldn't use them with the 550D and have working AF, so If that is the only glass you have I wouldn't let it hold me to canon.

Like everyone has said, for bouldering videos you'll probably just want to learn to pull focus manually, autofocus in live view just isn't fast enough or consistent enough to get good results.

If you know what you are doing when it comes to photography, I'd get the Nikon D7000 which in my opinion is the best camera for the money available today. If you are just learning, it might be better to get a simpler camera like the D3100 (I'd stay away from the 550D just because canon's entry level DSLR's aren't all that good). As far as the 60D goes, it's really just a crapy version of the 50D (a much better camera in my opinion) with the bonus of having video. The 7D is an amazing camera, but you get almost everything the 7D has (and in many cases more) with the D7000 for a lot less cash.

Do what you want, those are just my thoughts.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 14, 2010, 6:28 PM
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Re: [camilleguignard] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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I would have agreed with what everyone else said until this weekend. The brand new Panasonic GH2 will do continuous autofocus during video with micro four thirds lenses and it can use any lens from any manufacturer in manual focus mode with a cheap adapter.

It can also do a lossless 2.6x zoom for any lens while taking iso 3200 1080p @ 24 FPS video. This camera is a game changer. Too bad most people will never even hear about it because it is not sold in Best Buy.

Here is an indoor bouldering competition I shot with my GH2 this past weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ahT2JHsYZo


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Dec 14, 2010, 6:28 PM)


kennoyce


Dec 15, 2010, 7:02 AM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] continuous AF for bouldering video [In reply to]
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Sorry Jason, I have to disagree with you here. I think that your video proved the point that you don't want continuous autofocus while shooting bouldering. While the GH2 does a very good job with continuous autofocus compared to pretty much anything out there, I could still see some focus jumps and focus hunting in your video. This is fine for what you were shooting, but if you want great (professional quality) video, you need to pull focus manually.

The only exception to this would be the Sony a55. The a55 uses a semi-translucent mirror to direct most of the light to the image sensor, but it diverts some of the light to a phased array autofocus sensor. Because of this it can autofocus perfectly with movies.

The GH2 is a great camera, but I wouldn't call it a game changer when it comes to large sensor video, the a55 on the other hand is.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 15, 2010, 7:49 AM
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kennoyce wrote:
The GH2 is a great camera, but I wouldn't call it a game changer when it comes to large sensor video, the a55 on the other hand is.

Yea I do see your point. There are several spots where you can see the focus change. However, I donít agree that the Sony is flawless. It focuses very fast but it is not always accurate. The GH2 can be just as fast with the right lens. I was using the worst lens for autofocus that day because the good lens for auto focus(14mm F2.5 pancake) hadnít been delivered yet. I have that lens now.

Honestly, I donít think the OP was talking about pro video here. He just wants to film bouldering and not have to worry about much. For that the GH2 is definitely better because of the teleconversion feature. Now you donít have to use small aperture zooms or expensive large aperture ones. You can use a semi-wide angle very large aperture pancake lens and get great autofocus video at several focal lengths.

In the end manual focus will always beat autofocus if it is done by a skilled user. For those non skilled users at least there are options for auto focus now. I would love to see a test of the A55 against the GH2 with the best lenses on both cameras. I bet they could both do some very impressive things in the right hands.

Do you have the A55? I would love to see some climbing samples from it.


kennoyce


Dec 15, 2010, 8:05 AM
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No, I don't have the A55, I shoot Nkon and mostly stills, but I do like playing around with video a bit. I do agree that the sony isn't flawless, but the nice thing about phased array AF verses contrast detect AF is the fact that the camera knows which way it needs to go to achieve proper focus. Just by the nature of contrast detect it has to hunt to determine if the subject moved toward the camera or away from the camera.

I kind of took the OP's question to mean that he wanted the option of taking really high quality bouldering videos, but he didn't explicitly state that so the GF2 might be a great choice for him. I also agree that it is very nice to have the option of autofocus in video these days.


styndall


Dec 15, 2010, 8:23 AM
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I'm shooting Nikon as well, and I take occasional video. I don't miss autofocus at all while shooting video - I really like focus pulling, and it's not all that difficult, particularly if you're not aiming for professional or commercial video.

Here's some video I shot at during a breakdancing performance at a charity fashion show last summer. I was only planning to shoot stills, so I was handholding the camera and pulling the focus on a non-VR 50mm f/1.4 lens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQr03520n44


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 15, 2010, 8:59 AM
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kennoyce wrote:
No, I don't have the A55, I shoot Nkon and mostly stills, but I do like playing around with video a bit. I do agree that the sony isn't flawless, but the nice thing about phased array AF verses contrast detect AF is the fact that the camera knows which way it needs to go to achieve proper focus. Just by the nature of contrast detect it has to hunt to determine if the subject moved toward the camera or away from the camera.

I kind of took the OP's question to mean that he wanted the option of taking really high quality bouldering videos, but he didn't explicitly state that so the GF2 might be a great choice for him. I also agree that it is very nice to have the option of autofocus in video these days.

Yea I agree phase detection autofocus is much better at not hunting. The GH2 is in a different league than all other contrast detect systems though. They did a really good job with it.

Just curious but what makes a video really high quality in your mind? Resolution, color, contrast? All of the above? I think the GH2 has all of those down pretty well.


kennoyce


Dec 15, 2010, 9:48 AM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
kennoyce wrote:
No, I don't have the A55, I shoot Nkon and mostly stills, but I do like playing around with video a bit. I do agree that the sony isn't flawless, but the nice thing about phased array AF verses contrast detect AF is the fact that the camera knows which way it needs to go to achieve proper focus. Just by the nature of contrast detect it has to hunt to determine if the subject moved toward the camera or away from the camera.

I kind of took the OP's question to mean that he wanted the option of taking really high quality bouldering videos, but he didn't explicitly state that so the GF2 might be a great choice for him. I also agree that it is very nice to have the option of autofocus in video these days.

Yea I agree phase detection autofocus is much better at not hunting. The GH2 is in a different league than all other contrast detect systems though. They did a really good job with it.

Just curious but what makes a video really high quality in your mind? Resolution, color, contrast? All of the above? I think the GH2 has all of those down pretty well.

Sorry, my wording was probably a bit off, I do agree that the GH2 will make very high quality video. What I meant to say was something like video with a professional feal to it. I do believe that you can get this with the GH2, you would just need a good video tripod and could probably get the best results if you were pulling focus manually (I don't know how difficult this would be with the small pancake lenses as I haven't used them). I don't have any problem with the GH2, in fact I do believe it has the best contrast detect AF system available in a large sensor camera. I just think that for best results with any good camera (except maybe the a55) you will want to pull focus manually for video.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 15, 2010, 10:24 AM
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I tried doing a focus pull with the 14mm pancake on the GH2 and it really can't be done. The lens is too small and manual focusing is a pretty difficult with it.

What I like about the GH2 is that I can use lenses like the Canon 55mm F1.2 and the Nikon 85mm F1.8 to do focus pulls. That works extremely well as those lenses have great focus rings.

The touch screen on the GH2 does make it fairly easy to do an AFS focus pull though. The clip below shows how affective it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BoO6QEkR5o


kennoyce


Dec 15, 2010, 10:34 AM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
The touch screen on the GH2 does make it fairly easy to do an AFS focus pull though. The clip below shows how affective it is.

That looks pretty cool, so (since I haven't used the GF2 yet), do you just touch the screen where you want the focus point to be or how does it work?


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 15, 2010, 7:18 PM
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kennoyce wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
The touch screen on the GH2 does make it fairly easy to do an AFS focus pull though. The clip below shows how affective it is.

That looks pretty cool, so (since I haven't used the GF2 yet), do you just touch the screen where you want the focus point to be or how does it work?

Yea that is right. You can click or drag the focus point on the touchscreen. I thought it was a gimmick until I tried it.


kennoyce


Dec 16, 2010, 8:10 AM
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That's pretty awesome, I retract my earlier statement about the GF2 not being a game changer in large sensor video.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 16, 2010, 9:45 AM
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kennoyce wrote:
That's pretty awesome, I retract my earlier statement about the GF2 not being a game changer in large sensor video.

Here is a sample of what the GH2 can do for autofocus. In my mind this is pretty awesome.


http://www.youtube.com/...OPEwpAro&t=4m21s


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Dec 16, 2010, 9:46 AM)


styndall


Dec 21, 2010, 7:37 AM
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Honestly, that video mostly shows the serious weaknesses of contrast-detection AF. The camera is slow to focus and frequently inaccurate. Until that technology is better, phase detection or manual is where it's at.


JasonsDrivingForce


Dec 21, 2010, 7:47 AM
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styndall wrote:
Honestly, that video mostly shows the serious weaknesses of contrast-detection AF. The camera is slow to focus and frequently inaccurate. Until that technology is better, phase detection or manual is where it's at.

Not sure that this is really better though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQr03520n44
I had swap my GH2 out for a new one(Defective unit). I ended up getting the 14-140mm lens that Panasonic claims offers the fastest autofocus of any "Light" based AF. I will do some tests with that lens and see how it does.

Also remember that the video was without any additional lighting. Take your camcorder in a gym some time and try to film. My guess is that it won't look so hot either.

I wonder if low light affects the Sony AF at all. I haven't seen any low light samples yet.


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Dec 21, 2010, 7:47 AM)


shellc0de


Dec 4, 2011, 9:52 AM
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The nikon D3100 is the only dSLR with continuous video autofocus out right now (and not very good at that). I'd recommend a video camera, or just practice with your lens a lot before hand, you are using a professional camera by the way, and no professional camera in hollywood has autofocus..


kennoyce


Dec 4, 2011, 10:26 AM
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shellc0de wrote:
The nikon D3100 is the only dSLR with continuous video autofocus out right now (and not very good at that). I'd recommend a video camera, or just practice with your lens a lot before hand, you are using a professional camera by the way, and no professional camera in hollywood has autofocus..

Wow, I've seen like four posts from you this weekend and the information you have presented in every single one has been incorrect. The D3100 is NOT the only DSLR with continuous video autofocus right now. Other options include the Nikon D7000, the Sony A55, and the Sony A77for continuous autofocus in video as well.


shellc0de


Dec 4, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Well I thought we were talking canon/nikon not throwing in sony too.. horrible lens selection.

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