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03-22-2011, 01:35 AM   #1
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I wish Pentax had an auto focus in movie

Unfortunately my brand new Pentax k-r has been stolen from my car 2 months ago. Instead of buying the same camera I wanted to try another one for the following reasons.
1) I was looking for a camera with auto focus capability during movie shot. I really wanted to combine both camera and camcorder with auto focus in movie.
2) Tilting screen for convenience shot.

With these two specs in mind, I have been addressed to a sony translucent SLT A33. I purchased it.
I have no motivation to take photograph for about two months. No intention to have the camera in my hand. After my Pentax k-r, sony didn't satisfy me at all. I'm not here to blame sony but more to share my experience with you and to take the attention of Pentax company to the importance of auto focus issue for some users.

I've been walking around in the forums and I see that for some photographer movie is not important, while for the others like me it is important. Please think it like a walk around lens. People don't want to replace lens in different distances and they prefer to buy a walk around lens such as 18-200mm etc. They want to combine tele and zoom. This wish is like walk around lens. Walk around camera. Both camera and camcorder in one device.

The feature is ok in the sony SLT. But the build quality and image quality is never comparable with my Pentax k-r. Sony lens is not so sharp. It is too plastic and like a toy. I wish Pentax had the same feature and I could buy the same Pentax k-r again.

I read some rumors about Pentax Translucent mirror technology. How true is this I don't know. Is there any rumor about when it will be available in the market? I will wait for some more time. But my next camera will be definitely another Pentax. And I will sell my Sony to fund my Pentax purchase.

I miss my pentax k-r so much.

03-22-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear of your loss.
The K-r is a fine little camera.
But now if you really want a decent video camera with autofocus, you may have to (at this stage at least) go for a dedicated videocam - expensive as it may be, there isn't much around that will offer SLR stills and AF movies. There will always be rumours, particularly of the EVIL camera, but that will be some time coming if true at all.
03-22-2011, 03:13 AM   #3
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Panasonic GH2?
03-22-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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The GH2 and GF2 are the only usable implementations of continuous AF in movie mode that I've found. In particular, the GF2's tap-to-pull-focus option is pretty amazing. Aside from that, dSLR continuous movie AF functions are pretty universally crap.

03-22-2011, 07:51 AM   #5
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largely for the high end there is no impetus to make good AF in a DSLR for movies. Pros that shoot video all shoot Manual focus primarily whether they use a 5dmk2 or a more basic cam. It takes practice just like it does for still, and using really wide open is near impossible to hold focus on for me so far, but at 5.6 and up it's not hard to get used to
05-03-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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I have seen 4 to 10 minute videos shot with the GH2 and they are impressive, really really impressive - this thing is extremely impressive with its video capabilities, a ton of the "skateboarding manufacturers / brands / labels" are outfitting their video crews with these.

Now, on to the auto focus for video dslr issue. In my industry, which happens to be skateboarding, the simple solution is FE lenses and that is why 80% of skateboarding videos are shot with them, although the younger generation thinks that the reason is because it is cool, the real reason is actually functional...
05-25-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I have seen 4 to 10 minute videos shot with the GH2 and they are impressive, really really impressive - this thing is extremely impressive with its video capabilities, a ton of the "skateboarding manufacturers / brands / labels" are outfitting their video crews with these.

Now, on to the auto focus for video dslr issue. In my industry, which happens to be skateboarding, the simple solution is FE lenses and that is why 80% of skateboarding videos are shot with them, although the younger generation thinks that the reason is because it is cool, the real reason is actually functional...
Joe,

Can you technically explain? Is this because the FE lens effect distracts the viewer from any focus issues? Or is focusing easier with FE?
05-25-2011, 08:33 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by xetown Quote
Joe,

Can you technically explain? Is this because the FE lens effect distracts the viewer from any focus issues? Or is focusing easier with FE?
When focusing with an FE (the wider the better), set your focus to infinity, stay 5 foot or more back from the subject and that is pretty much it, no need to focus anymore. Depending on what FE lens you are using, the distortion could be so minimal that you won't even notice any distortion. For close up video work, the FE won't work as well as you will need to be within inches of the subject and depending on how large the subject is, distortion can show quite a bit.

To give you an example video, the following was shot with a 15mm Takumar (video was linked from an ebay listing for the sale of the lens) ->

Notice no distortion in the video and anything that happens to go out of focus just shows soft and not the normal out of focus look.

I will try and get a clip of maybe my kids when I get a chance using the 8mm FE focused to infin and post it for you to see the results...




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05-26-2011, 11:24 PM   #9
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Some of those shots have blurred background. So do you think it was the same lens but at a different focus setting? Because wouldn't infinity focus have deep DOF?
05-27-2011, 08:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by xetown Quote
Some of those shots have blurred background. So do you think it was the same lens but at a different focus setting? Because wouldn't infinity focus have deep DOF?
Yes, but, with that particular WA lens, they could have not had it at infinity, or some of the frames may have not been focused at infinity.

With an 8mm, as long as you are 8-10ft away from the subject(s) (maybe even as close as 6ft), @infinity will have everything in focus or everything will have the perception of being in focus.

I should be able to get some vid with the 8mm this weekend, I will post it as soon as I do...
06-02-2011, 11:38 PM   #11
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No video shot by a pro, or an aspiring film maker is ever shot in one take. What looks like a continuous 60 sec video sequence, could be the result of a full day's shooting multiple takes, trying different settings on the camera, and many, many hours spent on the computer editing the raw video footages. What you and I might think of as faults in a video could very well have been planned for and deliberately shot that way. My nephew has won some awards for commercials and short films and he says auto focus is unnecessary. I don't shoot video so I take his word of it.

Lloyd Choi - Director/Cinematographer

Thanks,
06-13-2011, 01:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
No video shot by a pro, or an aspiring film maker is ever shot in one take. What looks like a continuous 60 sec video sequence, could be the result of a full day's shooting multiple takes, trying different settings on the camera, and many, many hours spent on the computer editing the raw video footages. What you and I might think of as faults in a video could very well have been planned for and deliberately shot that way. My nephew has won some awards for commercials and short films and he says auto focus is unnecessary. I don't shoot video so I take his word of it.

Lloyd Choi - Director/Cinematographer

Thanks,
+1

I saw a canon 650D that has tilt LCD screen that would be handy in-crowded situation where you can see over people (especially if you short xD; , unsure if they have auto focus during movie mode though. I think they do. I know that the Nikon D3100 does. My friend has one. It's cool but auto focus for movie mode isn't really a must for me, I'm happy adjusting it myself. But then again ... might be different price range?
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