Touch-screen focus pulls - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-14-2013, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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An important option for video is to shift focus from one subject to another while shooting. Doing this manually takes much practice, and is probably impossible to do handheld and without camera noise.

But touch screens enable focus pulls that are precise and quiet and accurate. And it requires little skill - you just put your finger where you want the camera to focus.

Here are some examples using the touch screen of the Panasonic GH3 and a 45-175mm zoom lens, handheld:

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post #2 of 13 Old 07-14-2013, 08:15 AM
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Nice demo of that technique. Damn, I want your camera budget!

I looked at shop.panasonic.com (http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-GH3KBODY?t=accessories)) and don't see a 45-175 lens. What lens or lenses are you using?
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-14-2013, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Nice demo of that technique. Damn, I want your camera budget!

I looked at shop.panasonic.com (http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-GH3KBODY?t=accessories)) and don't see a 45-175 lens. What lens or lenses are you using?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/818956-REG/Panasonic_H_PS45175K_Lumix_G_X_Vario.html

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/h-ps45175k?t=reviews
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-14-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) focus pulls:

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-14-2013, 03:50 PM
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The Canon EOSM and the 700D & 70D DSLRs also do this.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-15-2013, 10:38 AM
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This is exactly what I bought the Sony HDR-HC1 for - for touch focus pulls. Did not use this feature much.

The professional HVR-V1U that I bought later, has the same feature with more bells and wistles: you can set focal length and focusing distance of the starting point, focal length and focusing distance of the ending point, and effects like slow, fast, slow-at-beginning, slow-at-the-end, etc. Makes for a very nice and controlled effect IF YOU HAVE PLENTY OF TIME AND SHOOTING NON-MOVING OBJECTS, like the flowers in your example. I was also thinking shooting something like a standup in front of say, a building, and zooming in and re-focusing from a person to an object on the background. Since I don't do video like that it made absolutely no difference for me, so I sold the V1U just like I sold the HC1 before it.

The TM700/SD600 had the similar feature, but they had very annoying behavior, that is, the very instant the camera loses focus it immediately tries to refocus onto something else, which usually was the backround. Looked horrible. In contrast, Canon cameras with similar feature do not re-focus right away, they stay focused where they were even if they lost focus, then they afford a couple of seconds to regain focus at the same distance, and if failed, only then they gently re-focus. Much nicer behavior.

Also, automatic re-focusing can sometimes cause "breathing" of the image, when the camera goes pass the focusing distance, then retracts back. Very distracting, although your particular videos does not exhibit this much. The G6 test videos in somewhat low light do exhibit such "breathing" because Panasonic's AF system is not as advanced as Sony's and Canon's. Too bad, I was thinking of the G6 to replace my Nikon D3200.

Also, AFAIK spot-focusing works only in auto mode. On the SD100 it worked in manual mode too, but apparently Panasonic realized that if a user sets brightness too high or too low, the camera won't be able to focus and Panasonic would be blamed. So they changed how it works, and - correct me if I am wrong - now using spot-focus requires switching to auto exposure mode. Deal breaker for me.

Similarly, face recognition and following did not work for me as well.

So I got a bit disallusioned in this feature. To work, it must be bulletproof, fast, intelligent, no "breathing", no switching of focus there and back, should work in manual exposure mode. It might take another couple of years to make it usable in real life, not just in a garden.

P.S. 0:07 - 0:16 - couple of obligatory focus pulls with a joystick (not even a ring) . ;-)
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-15-2013, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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On the GH3, spot focus works in manual and auto mode (I never use auto mode on that camera). The ZS30 is always in auto mode, so the point is moot.

The purpose of the ZS30 and GH3 videos is to show there is no focus-hunting whatsoever - the cameras shifts focus and stays there - no bounce or wiggle. The transition is smooth also. And you can do this with no setup and no tripod (with care).

The SD1 "garden" video looks pretty good 9and the focus pull not bad), although I know it is very soft by today's standards (back then it was terrific). I had an SD1, and recently reviewed some video I took.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-15-2013, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

The purpose of the ZS30 and GH3 videos is to show there is no focus-hunting whatsoever - the cameras shifts focus and stays there - no bounce or wiggle. The transition is smooth also.
Good to hear this. The G6 in low-ish light works less smooth: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_G6/ , in particular https://vimeo.com/66462899
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-15-2013, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Good to hear this. The G6 in low-ish light works less smooth: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_G6/ , in particular https://vimeo.com/66462899

It could be the lens. The latest GH3 update I think improved the AF on both the camera and specifically the 45-175mm lens I used.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-15-2013, 04:03 PM
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the NEX-5R can also do that very well, with no hunting
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-16-2013, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Canon EOS-M Touch-Screen Focus Pulls

Uses the new firmware and the kit lens, in dim light (dusk). Seems effective - no seeking or bouncing, and focused where I wanted it to:

https://vimeo.com/70453609
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-16-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Canon EOS-M Touch-Screen Focus Pulls

Uses the new firmware and the kit lens, in dim light (dusk). Seems effective - no seeking or bouncing, and focused where I wanted it to:

https://vimeo.com/70453609

Looks good.

What settings on the M do you have to get in the touch focus mode?
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-17-2013, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xfws View Post

Looks good.

What settings on the M do you have to get in the touch focus mode?

I used the tracking mode, but I am not sure you cannot also use single-point spot focus as well. With tracking mode, even if you move the camera the spot you originally focused on stays in focus. Btw, there is also focus and/or exposure lock capability.
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