550d Zooming during movie

Started Feb 26, 2010 | Discussions
zombieball Regular Member • Posts: 133
550d Zooming during movie

I almost feel like I may need to move to a videographer's forum for questions the T2I has brought about for me, but here I go nonetheless:

While I do not own a 550d (yet, considering the switch), I am curious: While filming a movie how does one zoom in on an object while simultaneously focusing? Is this possible to do while filming handheld? Maybe I am missing something.

Thanks!

scott_o New Member • Posts: 10
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

I am guessing the best use of DSLR video is fixed position setups, on a tripod. No zooming, keep refocusing to a minimum.

The form factor and manual zoom simply do not allow for smooth movement on video.

OP zombieball Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

scott_o wrote:

I am guessing the best use of DSLR video is fixed position setups, on a tripod. No zooming, keep refocusing to a minimum.

The form factor and manual zoom simply do not allow for smooth movement on video.

This is what I was thinking as well.

skanter
skanter Forum Pro • Posts: 24,032
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

zombieball wrote:

scott_o wrote:

I am guessing the best use of DSLR video is fixed position setups, on a tripod. No zooming, keep refocusing to a minimum.

The form factor and manual zoom simply do not allow for smooth movement on video.

This is what I was thinking as well.

Zooming during a shot is a sure sign of an amateur. Next time you watch a movie, see if there are any zooms. Also, no filmmaker uses autofocus.

DSLRs like the T2i are best used by aspiring filmmakers willing to put some work into it, not for family home movies of the kids with everything on automatic.

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caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,637
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

zombieball wrote:

I almost feel like I may need to move to a videographer's forum for questions the T2I has brought about for me, but here I go nonetheless:

While I do not own a 550d (yet, considering the switch), I am curious: While filming a movie how does one zoom in on an object while simultaneously focusing? Is this possible to do while filming handheld? Maybe I am missing something.

Thanks!

It has to be on a tripod. And the puller/operator have a smooth touch as the zoom ring is on the lens. There is no rocker switch as in true videocams. This is going to be tough, as far as maintaining a steady continuous zoom when it will take several rotations on the focus ring.

Also, the lens has to be parfocal. It means, it must maintain the initial focus otherwise, there is added work to re-acquire focus.

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scott_o New Member • Posts: 10
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

It all depends on the look and feel you are going for. Steady Cam was invented for a reason.

skanter
skanter Forum Pro • Posts: 24,032
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

scott_o wrote:

It all depends on the look and feel you are going for. Steady Cam was invented for a reason.

I actually have a Steadicam JR (consumer version of Pro Steadicam) - I plan to see if it can work with my 550D tomorrow!

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AV Janus Senior Member • Posts: 1,994
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

But if you do use the zoom, does the camera automatically refocus the frame after you stop zooming or do you have to half-press the shutter or worse do it manually?

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caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,637
it's the camera not the lens

AV Janus wrote:

But if you do use the zoom, does the camera automatically refocus the frame after you stop zooming or do you have to half-press the shutter or worse do it manually?

It would not matter if you were zooming or not. The camera's contrast detect (CD) AF is slow. When in video, if you choose to have it AF, you are like in Ai-servo. The camera will try to AF it. But CD is slow. You are better off, manually focusing.

As I also posted in this same thread, if your lens is parfocal, if you achieve focus on the long end, you will still be in focus if you zoom out. That is, if your lens is parfocal. If it isn't, then it will lose the initial focus. Trust me, though, you'll be worrying more than the zoom losing focus. You'll worry more on keeping your camera still and not rocking or moving the camera as you manually focus or zoom. You'll end up setting your shot well in the beginning as changing focus or zoom is going to be tricky when you are already recording.

There are focus puller/rings you can buy to make this less jarring and possible. You attach them to the lens focusing and zoom ring and then the process is smoother and maybe you can focus and zoom without the camera moving. This is added expense again. Then you will be thinking of a rig. Then a decent video tripod that pans smoothly (your photo tripod may not have a fluid head good for panning). Then you will be thinking of getting a stabilizer. Then you will find the LCD hard to look at at odd heights, so you will start looking at hoods or angled viewfinders or external LCD monitors! The quest to make this vDSLR work soon mounts on your expenses!

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AV Janus Senior Member • Posts: 1,994
Re: it's the camera not the lens

Thanks for explaining that in detail!

LOL All that still sure sounds like a gimmick!:(

I have a TZ7 and I find its so called "HD" interpretation ... crap!

And now all have 1080p... LOL 330MB/min T2 does 720p in only 50fps so even that means 330 MB/min ...crazy...
haha.:)

I guess pocket 3CCD FTW if you want to play with video.

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skanter
skanter Forum Pro • Posts: 24,032
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

caterpillar wrote:

Also, the lens has to be parfocal. It means, it must maintain the initial focus otherwise, there is added work to re-acquire focus.

Is this listed in specs - or, how can one accurately test if a lens is parfocal? All prosumer videocams I've used are parfocal, not sure about zoom lenses I use with T2i.
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caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,637
Not all zoom lenses are parfocal

skanter wrote:

caterpillar wrote:

Also, the lens has to be parfocal. It means, it must maintain the initial focus otherwise, there is added work to re-acquire focus.

Is this listed in specs - or, how can one accurately test if a lens is parfocal? All prosumer videocams I've used are parfocal, not sure about zoom lenses I use with T2i.

Not all lenses are parfocal. Most L lenses are. But there is no guarantee as I have not tested all the Ls. But I know some consumer grade lenses are NOT parfocal. I know my 70-200 f2.8L IS is. You can test it by zooming in to the max, say 200mm at the widest aperture, AF and lock focus, Shift the lens's AF to M or manual, take a picture. Then pull out the zoom at the widest FL, also at widest aperture, take the picture. Go to your PC or MAC and download the images. If your image is in focus at 200mm as well as as it's widest FL, well in my case it's a 70-200mm lens so it's 70mm, the lens is parfocal.

You may also try to visit the Canon lens web site. It may be listed there. Not sure though. But you can always test.
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nyer82
nyer82 Senior Member • Posts: 1,613
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

Zooming during a shot is a sure sign of an amateur. Next time you watch a movie, see if there are any zooms. Also, no filmmaker uses autofocus.

DSLRs like the T2i are best used by aspiring filmmakers willing to put some work into it, not for family home movies of the kids with everything on automatic.

The dolly zoom (vertigo effect) is OFTEN used in many films. In order to achieve it, the operator must zoom during filming and also needs to move back or forward (best with a dolly for smoothness).

I always thought the effect was interesting. Maybe someone could try it with the T2i, I know its more difficult without a proper dolly, but you can still move in and out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_zoom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y48R6-iIYHs

There's also no reason why the T2i cannot/should not be used to make home videos of kids! Why not?! That's absurd!

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caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,637
Re: it's the camera not the lens

AV Janus wrote:

Thanks for explaining that in detail!

LOL All that still sure sounds like a gimmick!:(

I have a TZ7 and I find its so called "HD" interpretation ... crap!

I guess that is what HD Lite is.

And now all have 1080p... LOL 330MB/min T2 does 720p in only 50fps so even that means 330 MB/min ...crazy...

Well, there are standards, you know. Although the T2i is not fully AVCHD compliant or even considered as one, 1080-60p is not part of that standard. Only 720-60p is part of it. To implement that, will require a new standard or Canon can make up their own. The trouble with that is there might be no NLE that can edit it. So, standards have to be in line of what is supported by other softwares.

A 1080-60p will also probably need 2 x digic-4 or a new digic-5. That would still be next year most likely.

haha.:)

I guess pocket 3CCD FTW if you want to play with video.

Yes. I keep an hf-100 just for that. You don't need 3-sensor anymore to get the colors.

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skanter
skanter Forum Pro • Posts: 24,032
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

nyer82 wrote:

There's also no reason why the T2i cannot/should not be used to make home videos of kids! Why not?! That's absurd!

Here is the main reason, sans any absurdities:

Kids move around fast and T2i has very slow AF. An inexperienced user will have lots of problems, i.e. the countless posts by novices saying their DSLR takes lousy videos.

Beginners shooting video of kids and pets are better off with a cheap, dedicated auto camcorder or flip. DSLR video is for more experienced users, who understand DOF, manual focus, etc.

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Sam K., NYC

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nyer82
nyer82 Senior Member • Posts: 1,613
Re: 550d Zooming during movie

I think there's no reason you can't take videos of kids knowing those limitations and how to get around them. Esp in good lighting where you can stop the aperture down for larger DOF.

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Martysj Regular Member • Posts: 183
Re: Not all zoom lenses are parfocal

And I can add EF-S 17-55 isn't because I have specifically tested for parfocal and it failed in this area.

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