SONY - movie mode focusing nightmare (with workaround?)

Started Jan 21, 2018 | Discussions thread
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h2videoNL New Member • Posts: 7
SONY - movie mode focusing nightmare (with workaround?)

I own a set of Sony's A7M2 camera's and use these with matched color profiles for fast interview turn around. I need two cameras because it's easier to cut in post and I want to have two angles...

Anyway: I record in movie mode and the talent will be off center. And that is a nightmare for focusing with Sony cameras.

The default mode for Sony camera's in video mode is center focused. So the moment the camera loses face follow or object tracking focus (because of glasses, or the talent turning it's head) the focus will shift to center, thus: the talent will be out of focus... No matter what focus mode I choose, the default apparently is pre-auto focus in the center.

There is only one solution and that is: shift to manual focus... But for manual focus to hold this method is limited to the depth of field created and the talent staying in that focussed space... I will frequently have to refocus, during a shoot. But I am also doing the interview, so I want a camera that can focus reliably !!! The way i want ti to be and not have any 'strange behaviour'

So I prayed for a DMF option in video mode, but there is only CF of MF... But, since there are about 1.000.000 options o this camera, I figured there must be a way to get close to DMF and still use the autofocus settings you can choose and set (wide zone center etc - I know where the talent will be off center to left of right so can set the auto focus detalt there)). I have assigned an AF MF focus toggle button and it works: focus using the shutter button during recording and quickly switching to manual using the preset button.

But there is an easier way I found: assign the AF/MF lever to focus and assign the button to <AF/MF control hold>. This will work exactly as DMF: pressing this button now will focus using the preset method of focussing and then switch to manual (as in hold this focus position - DMF).

The only problem is that I have to increase the depth of field so use an aperture of 5,6 - 7.1 or something because the focus following is not active. If I see the talent will stay in the face recognition box i can switch to CF and let the camera do the work, but if not I have to quickly focus and switch to manual.

What a nightmare: the single most important issue to ditch ALL my sony camera's because what use is background blur, full frame, slog2, grading, image quality etc etc if your talent turns out to be recorded out of focus....

Focus is the number one issue of any camera. And extreme depth of field is only nice in video if it can stay in focus, what you want to be able to stay in focus... For interviews that is, and with the talent out of center...

Any thoughts - ideas, suggestions, direct links to Sony engineers, petitions etc would be welcome: it would be great if Sony would allow a change in the movie mode default focus behavior to be expanded to more options. Now we only have a default center focus...

NB: this applies to all Alpha (7 - 9 etc) range of camera's and I guess a large range of other sony type camera's in video mode as well, so it's a big issue (using video that is...)....



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