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Question about focusing while filming

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Gina Miller
Question about focusing while filming
on May 31, 2012 at 8:59:12 pm

How do I change the focal point when I am recording? For example if there is a sign behind a person and I want to focus on that initially but then shift the focus to the person in front of the sign. The screen is so small that I am unable to see well enough when I try to do it manually. I usually magnify into my subject before recording but to switch like this of course I can't, how do I accomplish this?

I am using a canon Mark II, thank you! Gina


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on May 31, 2012 at 9:51:40 pm

This is where a good HDMI monitor, or a shoulder rig with a magnifying viewer/eyepiece can be very useful. Another slightly more arcane suggestion is to use the Magic Lantern software:

http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Lantern_Firmware_Wiki

This, among other amazing capabilities not built into the Canon 5D Mark II, gives you the ability to do follow focus using the buttons on the camera. It takes a bit of getting used to, but works pretty well. But even with this suggestion, you will want something that magnifies your viewfinder. I personally like the eyepieces:

http://nofilmschool.com/dslr/lcd-viewfinder/

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Everest Mokaeff
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on May 31, 2012 at 10:44:38 pm

There is another ol' school solution - marks on focus ring. If you use primes on stationary camera you can easily put two marks and do focus racking. It's a little bit tricky with Canon glass though. Otherwise, use external monitor.

Production and Postproduction in Moscow
http://www.mokaeff.com


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Brent Dunn
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:41:07 pm

You have an autofocus button on the camera. It doesn't help if what you are going to focus is behind something, but it does lock in your focus on whatever is in the center. Just hold the button, it searches your image, and then adjusts.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on Jun 1, 2012 at 6:28:40 pm

[Brent Dunn] "You have an autofocus button on the camera. It doesn't help if what you are going to focus is behind something, but it does lock in your focus on whatever is in the center. Just hold the button, it searches your image, and then adjusts."

I thought with 5d Mark II in liveview mode you can't autofocus. While i could do this perfectly with T3i, i could not make it work with 5d.

Any tips?



Sohrab

FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi & Adobe PPro



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Gina Miller
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:28:16 pm

Sohrab - If you start recording first, and then you hit the auto focus button it's supposed to work. However since you are already recording before you focus you will have to cut the first part of your video out in post. Here is a video about it:




Although I have noticed that this method doesn't always focus perfectly, so I usually opt to do it manually with the magnification.


Gina


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Casey Petersen
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on Jun 1, 2012 at 9:28:37 pm

Magic Lantern shows peaking, or as they call it "Focus Assist".

I don't leave home without it :) Highly recommended!

Casey



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Brent Dunn
Re: Question about focusing while filming
on Jun 4, 2012 at 4:52:45 pm

It doesn't autofocus like a video camera, but you can hold down a focus button to lock in or adjust your focus automatically. On my 7D it's on the back. I don't have a 5D anymore, but I think it's similar.

When you hold the button, it searches for a focus point and locks it in. This is how you make sure you are right on the focus and not soft.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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