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focus during live event

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Christopher Mayfocus during live event
by on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:41:15 pm

So I normally shoot corporate video. All pretty Static stuff on a tripod. I am now being asked to shoot a reality style video with lots of hand-held shooting.

My question is: does one focus manually or use AF? I've always used manual focus. Zooming all the way in focusing, then framing the shot. What does one do when shooting hand held and moving subjects? By the time I zoom in focus and the frame the shot my subject will be on to something else...


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Peter RalphRe: focus during live event
by on Oct 21, 2010 at 6:58:53 pm

better to switch off AF when you are shooting a stationary subject. You might use the AF to find focus but you don't want to run the risk of focus-hunting during a take.

Hand-held live-action shooting is an art. The most important thing is that you have reliable feedback with regard to focus and exposure, and that you have fingers on focus/exposure/zoom controls all the time.

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Mark SuszkoRe: focus during live event
by on Oct 21, 2010 at 10:21:07 pm

Good cams have a momentary button dedicated or assignable to an auto- focus or auto-iris. Think about how you would shoot reality stuff: generally you'd stake out a spot and work it for a while, then move in tighter or farther off, or to the side, but in each case, once you picka spot, your focus point will tend to stay aboutt he same unless everybody is constantly walking down a hallway like in an Aaron Sorkin Drama. The compositions I usually see are relatively static within a space. I would run manual focus 90 percent of the time unless you're in a scuffle, or where you'er going to have to whip-pan to cover tow things on opposite sides of a room with one angle. And just occasionally use the auto for a split second to get me "in the neighborhood".

Any autofocus can be fooled; the best one is the one between your eyeballs.

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grinner hesterRe: focus during live event
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 12:19:09 am

I use auto focus when I can. It's much easier to override it than pull focus full time while life is happening.

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