A99 Soft Video Note~

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
photo chris
Regular MemberPosts: 281
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Re: A99 Soft Video Note~
In reply to daqk, Jan 13, 2013

daqk wrote:

Baron LaCat wrote:

So to get the A99 to record video in anything other than a fully open lens, you have to switch to Manual Focus to achieve, for example, an F8 video recording.

Manual Focus suxs, especially if you want to record kids playing on a soccer field, or aircraft landing at an airport, or virtually anything else that is not static. What fun, having to adjust the focus all the time, while you try to record video !!!

I had to switch to MF too on my A65 to shrink aperture ... although peaking focus helped a bit but it troubled me a bit when I need "focus" on thinking the composition and lighting ...

Anyone here knows why is the camera needs to be at MF so Sony will let you adjust aperture? Hope this is not the typical "Sony" trick to protect its video equipment sales...

Unfortunately if you want to use AF while shooting video - Sony forces you into auto exposure and manual functions are disengaged.  So if you want to change aperture - or anything else - you'll need to use manual focus.  I couldn't get the silent adjustment knob to do anything outside of audio volume unless in MF mode, drove me nuts.

That was a big disappointment since it rendered video AF completely useless, I need to be able to control the aperture and shutter speed since the camera defaults - especially on shutter speed - made no sense.  Instead of giving you proper shutter angles, you get goofy numbers like 1/160 which turns motion into a stuttering mess.  Lighting changes cause strobing as the camera starts tweaking exposure, its not a smooth transition compared to auto ISO.  I can go full manual on my EM5 with AF, I would think its possible to do on the A99 with the new AF system, maybe in a firmware update.

Practice helps more than anything with MF, you can get good at following subjects while focusing.  The focus confirm box will light up when you nail focus - provided its on the subject.  Or you can use peaking and with a little practice you can find the sweet spot to know when you've nailed focus.  Once it becomes second nature to turn the focus ring in the correct direction for something moving closer or further away it gets pretty easy.  I don't use AF when shooting video - ever - because it always hunts and I hate that look.  I used to shoot lots of sports for TV - football, hockey, baseball, volleyball and so on and it was always manually focused since broadcast lenses don't have AF capability.  With practice you can get good at shooting full MF.

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