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08-16-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
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Does any DSLR auto-focus in HD video mode?

I am pretty sure the K-7 doesn't. Why doesn't it? Any camera that does?

08-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #2
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I believe one of the Nikons does - you might check the dpreview reviews, which tend to be pretty thorough about that kind of thing. A reason to not allow it is because the nosie would be picked up in the video, and as I recall a review of one of the Nikon's in Shutterbug mentioned that explicitly. Also, the occasional hunting action of AF would probably be quite distracting. Sure is in most home videos I've seen when AF was engaged inthe middle of a shot.
08-16-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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There is not a film ever made that used autofocus. I guess that might have something to do with it. It's a useless feature no-one in their right mind would want.
08-16-2009, 04:31 PM   #4
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Its not a dslr but

Its not a "dslr" but instead a interchangable lens mount digital that autofocuses while filming video:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

In the meantime theres a wave of rumored dslr cameras due in next few days from canikon so maybe soon one or the other will launch a dslr that will autofocus during video capture.

08-16-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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I've heard that the Nikon D5000 has a Contrast-Detect AF in movie mode. Is that the same thing as autofocus as traditionally understood?
08-16-2009, 04:55 PM   #6
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Here's amazon.com's dpreview "Nikon 5000"

Dpreview is handy:

Here's Nikon 5000 article:


Nikon D5000 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
08-16-2009, 09:47 PM   #7
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Well if you could somehow get ahold of the K-7's firmware 0.2 you could have AF enabled while shooting :-) Nikon or Pentax currently do not have AF capabilities while shooting. Canon's two models can but they're not very practical: they hunt and grunt and take forever to decide where the right focus is (I've used my dad's Rebel for videos several times and just gave up trying to autofocus while filming). I suspect the pre-release K-7s did this too. If it's a feature you REALLY need you'd be better off with either a camcorder or a GH1 and its kit lens (hope you're not in the US!) Technically the Olympus EP-1 is the only camera with interchangeable lenses that can AF continuously while shooting (the GH1 requires its kit lens for this feature), but it borders on disastrous with most lenses - I tried it at the store - it is slow and can hunt needlessly and the grinding sound made by the AF motors gets picked up on the mic (still better than the Rebel though!) It also has fewer controls in video mode than any other model - I don't think you can even lock down the exposure! Right now the GH1 with its kit lens is about the only game in town today for an SLR-like camera with a video mode that can give the camcorders a run for their money. I'm sure in a year or two there will be more, probably many more.

BUT, having said that the K-7 can do beautiful videos in good light, though like the Nikon and Canon SLRs it's meant more for short clips rather than long takes. Unfortunately my K-7 gets too hot too fast here in Texas, which leads to banding, but I'm gonna try another one I like it so much, apparently the banding is variable from camera to camera. I thought AF in videos was going to be important to me when shopping for a video-capable SLR but now it's very low on my priority wish list (tops would be a way to have SOME control of shutter and/or ISO, or at least know what they are when shooting). The one thing that makes the K-7 stand out from the pack is the in-camera stabilization, which is a big plus since any lens you slap on the camera will be stabilized. For me 70mm seems about the limit for acceptable hand-held shooting, steadier hands could probably do better.

Right now I'm still experimenting with the video mode quite a bit, mostly at the 1.6mp resolution. The only thing I can say for certain so far is that turning the sharpening way down is highly beneficial if you want to do much post-processing of your videos or extract stills (to me they look good enough for smaller photos or web use). Properly done videos can look gorgeous on a high-definition 1080p TV (heck, even videos casually shot using the presets look good from a distance). Hopefully the interest of the K-7 as a usable camera for video will be enough to push Pentax to improve on it and future models
08-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #8
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Do you mean auto focs continuously? I am sure all models that have video can AF during movie capture (excluding the Nikon cameras I THINK)

08-17-2009, 02:26 AM   #9
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Well my K-7 can't autofocus while you're recording unless you know something I don't. AF before shooting starts yes, but not while you're recording. It was listed as a feature when the K-7 was first rolled out but they later recanted. I'm sure they could reimplement it since it was in an early firmware version, but like I said earlier it would be much more useful to have controls (or at the very least the knowledge of) the shutter speed and ISO you're shooting at. And the 2 Nikon cameras with video capability cannot autofocus while recording either. I think their about-to-be-released model (300s?) may offer it but don't quote me.

And yes the EP-1 and GH1 (with its 14-140 kit lens) can continuously autofocus while shooting if desired. Only one of those cameras does a decent job of it though. The Canons can focus while recording if you press a button on the back of the camera.

It would be nice if someone started finding creative "backdoor" solutions to control or monitor things like shutter speed or ISO. Some user of the Canon T1i has a website that has several clever ways around their pretty much automatic systen (apparently slightly unscrewing the lens to lock an aperture, etc). I see no why reason manual controls can't be implemented on the K-7, the K20d had it in their ultra-fast burst mode, which apparently laid the foundations for the K-7's video mode
08-17-2009, 02:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
There is not a film ever made that used autofocus. I guess that might have something to do with it. It's a useless feature no-one in their right mind would want.
Yet nearly all tv shows are made using autofocus cameras
08-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #11
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At this point of development Live autofocus and Live automatic exposure during Video capture are still very much the domain of purpose-built Video cameras.

Even then, most consumer-grade videocams have pretty slow autofocus and auto exposure reaction. If the either focus point or brightness of the scene suddenly changes, the video camera will take a couple of seconds to react - but it will do it automatically.

Still photo dSLRs with Video capability are pretty much still limited to setting autofocus and aperture before you start the Video. I'm sure some new release models will make the breakthrough one of these days.
08-17-2009, 09:50 PM   #12
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Here's something I made without AF with my K-7 at Cambodia: http://diegojosephoto.blogspot.com/2009/08/take-on-video-at-cambodia.html

Very happy with the results!
08-18-2009, 07:23 AM   #13
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the major problems with AF on video are:

1) Noise.

2) Extended wear on the servos and warranty issues therein.
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