Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Started Apr 1, 2021 | Questions
SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

I thought that using an external mic would eliminate the clicking noises from the auto-focus, but no such luck.

I thought it might be because I was using older lenses but I see that even the $5K 20-70 f2 makes that noise.

Any advice on eliminating AF noise? I've watched a few videos, to no avail.

Thank you.

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Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic LX100 II Olympus TG-6 Canon EOS R GoPro Hero5 Black
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Steven Blackwood Senior Member • Posts: 2,108
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

When using an external mic, are you setting the sound manually to a very low setting just above zero? If not, do so and adjust your gain on the external mic.

I tested this on the R6 and the 35 f1.8 STM which is the loudest of all my lenses. No external mic with internal amps set to 12, the whole video was loud in general and the shifts in AF were horrible. It wasn't picking up noise so much as vibration.

I next set the amps to 2, and set my Rode Stereo VideoMic to its loudest setting. The resulting recording was much cleaner and the noise of the AF shifts were MUCH less noticeable although I can't say they were completely eliminated. But then I was listening for them.

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Steve
stevenblackwood1950@gmail.com
Milwaukee WI

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Canon EOS R Canon EOS R6 Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Canon EF 70-200 F4 II Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro +1 more
OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Steven Blackwood wrote:

When using an external mic, are you setting the sound manually to a very low setting just above zero? If not, do so and adjust your gain on the external mic.

I tested this on the R6 and the 35 f1.8 STM which is the loudest of all my lenses. No external mic with internal amps set to 12, the whole video was loud in general and the shifts in AF were horrible. It wasn't picking up noise so much as vibration.

I next set the amps to 2, and set my Rode Stereo VideoMic to its loudest setting. The resulting recording was much cleaner and the noise of the AF shifts were MUCH less noticeable although I can't say they were completely eliminated. But then I was listening for them.

But at that low setting will I still pick up the sounds, voices etc. I want in the recording? And you're talking about the manual settings on the camera, correct?

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Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic LX100 II Olympus TG-6 Canon EOS R GoPro Hero5 Black
Steven Blackwood Senior Member • Posts: 2,108
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Yes, I am talking about the camera mic. Set it low and the external mic higher. The idea is to limit the internal camera noises in favor of the outside world. In order to set the camera sound to low, you have to so it manually.

Another alternative is to use a truly external sound source not connected to the camera. To this, you will sync your camera audio to your external sound source and then mute the camera audio track in software. It sounds daunting and it can be. That is why I would recommend experimenting with an external mic plugged into your camera. You should be able to come up with something you will be happy with.

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Steve
stevenblackwood1950@gmail.com
Milwaukee WI

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Canon EOS R Canon EOS R6 Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Canon EF 70-200 F4 II Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro +1 more
OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Steven Blackwood wrote:

Yes, I am talking about the camera mic. Set it low and the external mic higher. The idea is to limit the internal camera noises in favor of the outside world. In order to set the camera sound to low, you have to so it manually.

Another alternative is to use a truly external sound source not connected to the camera. To this, you will sync your camera audio to your external sound source and then mute the camera audio track in software. It sounds daunting and it can be. That is why I would recommend experimenting with an external mic plugged into your camera. You should be able to come up with something you will be happy with.

I have a couple of different external mics but the one I want to use is the Rode, but it does not have its own sound settings. But what you're saying makes perfect sense. When I'm recording music videos, for example myself playing and singing, or playing music with my friends I also run my h4n and sync the sound in post. I have rarely used this camera to record quieter settings, in this case I was trying to record my 10-month-old grandson in my music room playing a bunch of percussion instruments. After I edited that video I decided to try the external mic.

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

I have the Rode videomic, cost around $150 10 or 15 years ago from Calumet. I think I need the videomic pro R. $229 from sweetwater. Man, I'd love to wake up in the morning, just once, and not find out that I have to suddenly drop a couple of hundred bucks on something. Oh well, better than the 5K I thought I might have to drop on a new lens. Look at the money I saved.

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Or, make that $300.

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Okay, I knew I remembered something on this microphone. Inside the battery compartment there are three choices on a tiny tiny little switch, 0, - 10, and - 20. Which would be the highest setting?and deargod, However will I move those tiny little switches?

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

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rmexpress22 Senior Member • Posts: 2,205
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

You can use tweezers or a small flathead if it has an indentation. 0 is the highest setting and -20 is the lowest setting.

Also, I don't know if the R has this but if you can set the AF speed in video to the slowest setting, it'll help with the noise if you don't need fast AF.

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Okay, I think I fixed it. After staring at that diagram, with the phone photo enlarged, for a very long time, I finally figured out the layout. Light dawns on Marblehead.

I now have the external mic set on zero and the internal mic turned down two notches to the left. No noise.

Thank you, both.

You saved me $5,300. Now, how shall I spend it?

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Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic LX100 II Olympus TG-6 Canon EOS R GoPro Hero5 Black
Steven Blackwood Senior Member • Posts: 2,108
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

rmexpress22 wrote:

You can use tweezers or a small flathead if it has an indentation. 0 is the highest setting and -20 is the lowest setting.

Also, I don't know if the R has this but if you can set the AF speed in video to the slowest setting, it'll help with the noise if you don't need fast AF.

+1 on the slowing of the AF speed but I don't think you have to go all the way down, maybe 2 ir 3 notches.

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Steve
stevenblackwood1950@gmail.com
Milwaukee WI

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Canon EOS R Canon EOS R6 Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Canon EF 70-200 F4 II Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro +1 more
PicPocket Veteran Member • Posts: 5,075
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Edit - I see you got a satisfactory resolution from the other branch of the thread. Still leaving below comment in case it helps others

SaraPia wrote:

I have the Rode videomic, cost around $150 10 or 15 years ago from Calumet. I think I need the videomic pro R. $229 from sweetwater.

What you really need is take your mic off the camera body, or at least isolate it from camera sounds (shotgun type with a good mount)

All depends on what you are shooting with it. If run and gun, getting off body is hard. If people/interviews, something like videomic go would work very well (I use this). You can even plug in your existing videomic into the go if such a setup makes sense to you. I just put the tranitter on the subject most times

If you really want pro results, audio is a world in itself with lot of learning. It scares me a bit

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

All very helpful, thanks. When recording myself singing, or recording Irish traditional music sessions in my home, I use my h4n zoom and sync the audio to my video, so there's no problem. When chasing grandkids around, or on the move out of doors, the mic needs to be on the camera, and I think the issue is now resolved. The funny thing is, I've had that Rode video mic sitting on my shelf for years. I used it a couple of times when I first got it but didn't see any difference between the external mic and the internal mic on the camera, so there it sat. I even considered getting rid of the thing because it was taking up space. Little did I know that it was a matter of two simple settings to make it work properly. Happy now.

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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Well, I'm an idiot. I spoke too soon. The reason I wasn't hearing any lens noise is because the camera wasn't picking up any sound. The external mic is set at 0db and the camera mic is set manually to one notch to the left. No sound is registering on the level meter in the camera.  It makes me think that the manual setting on the camera is a global setting and is affecting the external microphone. Am I doing something wrong? I tested the mic on my h4n and there's nothing wrong with the mic. Here are photos of my setup.

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Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic LX100 II Olympus TG-6 Canon EOS R GoPro Hero5 Black
OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Okay, after watching a few videos and reading the specs on various Rode mics, I'm pretty sure I need the video mic pro that will allow me to boost the decibels by +20. The lens noise isn't as bad as with no external microphone but I think it could be better if I could boost the decibel level of the external mic. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Steven Blackwood Senior Member • Posts: 2,108
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

SaraPia wrote:

Okay, after watching a few videos and reading the specs on various Rode mics, I'm pretty sure I need the video mic pro that will allow me to boost the decibels by +20. The lens noise isn't as bad as with no external microphone but I think it could be better if I could boost the decibel level of the external mic. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You will need to boost your volume up on your external mic to compensate for turning the amps way down.

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Steve
stevenblackwood1950@gmail.com
Milwaukee WI

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Canon EOS R Canon EOS R6 Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Canon EF 70-200 F4 II Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro +1 more
OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Yeah, but was not possible with my existing video mic but will be with the video mic pro Plus. That 20 decibel boost is the missing link. Thanks, everybody, I learned a lot.

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PicPocket Veteran Member • Posts: 5,075
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

SaraPia wrote:

Yeah, but was not possible with my existing video mic but will be with the video mic pro Plus. That 20 decibel boost is the missing link. Thanks, everybody, I learned a lot.

One other thing - I notice from your pics that the mount your mic has looks to be a bit rigid. That may contribute to picking up lens sound through vibrations (like scratching near your ear). Recent models usually come with some kind of rycote shock mount which helps with that. If you do change mics, and cannot take it off camera, try to look for 3 things:

  • Telescopic pick up (so less sound is picked up from around than in front) 
  • Isolating shock mount (so vibrations from mount don't get passed through) 
  • Possibility to mount further ahead - you want to be able to slide the mic as forward as you can, specially if the lens is long, so that it doesn't happen to be in front of mic
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OP SaraPia Junior Member • Posts: 47
Re: Auto Focus Noise in EOS R Video

Good advice, thank you. You can't tell from the photo I guess but it is mounted on a shockproof mount. My new one's going to be even better I'm sure.

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Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic LX100 II Olympus TG-6 Canon EOS R GoPro Hero5 Black
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