What We Lost with Hybrid Cameras: Real Power Zooming and Focus Pulls

Started Mar 24, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Markr041 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,127
What We Lost with Hybrid Cameras: Real Power Zooming and Focus Pulls

No doubt about it - the trend has been to turn still cameras into video cameras. But something was forgotten: servo zooming and focus pulling, pillars of video. The fact is that (almost) none of the native lenses offered by Sony, Canon, Panasonic etc. for their "video" cameras or any of their P&S hybrids have a power zoom ability, are parfocal and do not change magnification when focus changes at the same focal length ("breathing"). Most newer lenses also do not have real manual focusing ,just fly-by-wire. So, no zooms and no focus pulls.

Power zooms with parfocal lenses are a standard among camcorders. These hybrids deliver higher resolution, better color, more DR, better low-light performance. But standard tools of video are taken away. None of the lenses promised by Panasonic for the GH5 have power zooming or are parfocal or promise no "breathing" or have real manual focus.

Are there any exceptions? are there any lenses that can mimic a $200 camcorder's power zoom ability? Yes!

There are two costly options:

1. Mount a true Cine zoom lens with an adaptor. And pay $5,000-$20,000 or more.

2. Two relatively affordable (given the above options) new lenses from Sony that have E-mounts - work with Sony A7xx and A6XXX and FSX cameras. One is for full frame and the other is for APS-C. These lenses will add more creative options for video than 10bit color or even 60p - those give you better static video quality (always good), but that's it.

These two lenses are:

A. Full frame: Sony PE PZ 28-135mm. Parfocal, real manual focus, no breathing, power zoom with multiple speeds, OSS. And constant aperture - F4. Big and heavy and $2500. So, an all-in one lens, even good in low light (with big sensor) that can do everything.

B. APS-C: Sony E PZ 18-105. Parfocal, real manual focus, no breathing, power zoom with multiple speeds, manual Zoom, OSS. And constant aperture - F4. Big and heavy and $3500.

We need to zoom, for lots of reasons (not just sports).

So, I was tempted to try option A on the A7s ii. And I shot this [B]test[/B] video. It has real, smooth zooms with no focus change! We haven't seen many of those in a long time. Can you imagine: hundreds of videos posted and almost none with a real zoom! All those GH5 videos that we will be swamped with will have no zooms, and no good focus pulls either.

If you want to see some real, parfocal smooth zooming, here you go (note: servo zooms enable subtle zooms, that is their strength - slow and fast).

https://vimeo.com/209826546

 Markr041's gear list:Markr041's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic LX100 Sony RX100 IV Panasonic ZS100 Olympus TG-5 +6 more
Panasonic GH5 Sony a7S II
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