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using dslr for video


Steppenwolf 10 1.2k
17 Mar 2012 2:39PM

Quote:When a SLT is in movie mode, it autofocuses yes? So does it do this invisibly, because otherwise it will be distracting unless it is perfect and fast.


Slightly confused by the question. You just set up the AF in the same way as you do for a still photograph (spot, local, wide, etc), set the camera to "P" and then push the "movie" button. You can then select the focus point using the toggle control and the camera focuses to that point. It's pretty fast and the focus shows in the EVF - and you can select to get the EVF to tell you what's in focus ("peaking") if you want. It's pretty well thought out. The camera needs to be in "P" mode because the AF won't work at smaller apertures than f5.6 - and it plainly doesn't have the luxury of setting up the focus point at maximum aperture as it does in stills mode.

One of the reasons that Sony went down the SLT road was because they didn't like the way that DSLRs handled video. They abandoned the A700 when video became a consumer requirement rather than put in a half-baked function. While Nikon updated the D300 (to the D300s) Sony pondered what to do for a few months and then did their usual slam-dunk and introduced the SLT - and then very quickly canned all their DSLRs. I admit I thought this was premature, but the more I use the A77 the more I think they're right - I haven't used my A700 since I got the A77.
thatmanbrian 10 342 3 Spain
17 Mar 2012 3:16PM
I think you misunderstand. I'm not talking prefocusing before shooting. I am referring to the lens auto-focusing during filming, as the subject or camera moves. I was told on a Canon forum that my Canon 7D doesn't have auto focus during filming at all and that it is undesirable because the lens will hunt and that this is why pros never auto-focus but use a focus-puller or tracker. Having said that wildlife documentaries do seem to use auto-focus!

This comes back to my original post. If one has to manually pull focus during handheld filming, it is near impossible without expensive accessories. I agree completely that an SLT will allow one to keep the eye to the viewfinder and follow focus that way rather than trying to squint at a 3" lcd two feet away!
Steppenwolf 10 1.2k
17 Mar 2012 3:30PM

Quote:I think you misunderstand. I'm not talking prefocusing before shooting.


Maybe I wasn't clear in what I said. I'm not talking about pre-focussing either. When I said "You just set up the AF in the same way as you do for a still photograph (spot, local, wide, etc), set the camera to "P" and then push the "movie" button" I should then have said "you're now shooting movies". So you set up the camera in the way you want AF to work, then you press the movie button to start recording. You're now taking movies and you can move the camera around and it'll follow the focus point you've selected and re-focus as necessary - and you can toggle a different focus point while not moving the camera and it'll refocus. Alternatively you can stick it on a tripod and just use the toggle control to move the focus point. You can also set it to MF and do it yourself - it's your choice. In each case you can configure it to tell you what's in focus, in various configurable ways.
User_Removed 17 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2012 4:19PM
There's definitely some advantages to Sony's SLT system. For whatever reason though they simply aren't catching on with film-making enthusiasts in the same way that the Canon DSLRs have. I'm guessing the output doesn't look as nice?

Brian, if you're determined to shoot video with your 7D it looks like you're going to have to invest 20 in something like this (I've got one and it works great) and you might have to learn to pre-focus, focus manually when shooting or - using wide angle lenses and narrow apertures - reduce the need to focus as objects move in and out of shot.
thatmanbrian 10 342 3 Spain
17 Mar 2012 4:21PM
Sorry, OK. I was mislead on a Canon forum when it said the 7D can't autofocus in movie mode. Seems it can, but I suspect only in contrast detection mode since the mirror is always up. I will simply go off and try it!
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
17 Mar 2012 4:56PM
The 7D can't auto focus whilst the camera is actually recording, but it can auto focus prior to pressing the record button, even with the switch set to video mode and with the rear screen active and displaying the scene.
Live mode has the advantage of allowing you to move the focusing square all over the scene and keeping the rear screen live whilst focusing. It's disadvantages are, reduced focus accuracy and much, much slower focus acquisition.
Quick mode is generally a much better option. It's advantages are, better accuracy and much, much quicker focus (it's the same focusing method as when shooting stills). Disadvantages are, screen temporarily blacks out for a split second whilst the mirror moves out of the way and a big drawback on the 7D is you can't physically select a different focusing point without having to come out of video mode. The 5D II is much better in this regard allowing the focusing point to be changed instantly. A huge advantage when you've got to react quickly to a fleeting moment.
thatmanbrian 10 342 3 Spain
17 Mar 2012 5:17PM
Confusion reigns! So it now can't focus in movie mode which is what I thought in the first place!!!Sad

OK thanks everyone. It was never my intention to go so deep into this. As I said, the option was there on my camera so I thought it an idea to look into it. Ta.
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
17 Mar 2012 5:22PM

Quote:So it now can't focus in movie mode


It never could Tongue

Prior to recording, yes. Whilst recording, no. Tracking a moving subject, no.
thatmanbrian 10 342 3 Spain
17 Mar 2012 5:29PM
Duh! So why wasn't I told three pages back!Tongue
Steppenwolf 10 1.2k
17 Mar 2012 5:31PM

Quote:There's definitely some advantages to Sony's SLT system. For whatever reason though they simply aren't catching on with film-making enthusiasts in the same way that the Canon DSLRs have. I'm guessing the output doesn't look as nice?




Yes, you're guessing. Since I don't think that Canon can teach Sony much about video processing I reckon that your guess is wrong. My guess would be that Canon made a bit of an early "land grab" when they put video into their DSLRs and history shows that this tends to work well - initially. Sony decided to think about it a bit more and come in later with a better solution. History also shows that the late-comers to a party - who come in with better technology - tend to win in the end. The fly in the ointment, as far as Sony is concerned, is that there are loads of Canon/Nikon users out there who want to use their lenses for video and don't want to change system, understandably. So, like the OP, they will get the next Canon/Nikon video-enabled camera body - and then wonder how it can be used.


Quote:Prior to recording, yes. Whilst recording, no. Tracking a moving subject, no.


By contrast, the SLT specs are: Prior to recording, yes. Whilst recording, yes. Tracking a moving subject, yes.
User_Removed 17 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2012 6:32PM

Quote:History also shows that the late-comers to a party - who come in with better technology - tend to win in the end

Really? Like Betamax, Memory Stick, MiniDisc? Some great late wins for Sony.Grin Maybe you should start some forums for SLT film-making enthusiasts, get in early as there doesn't seem to be any and the superior tech is going to win Smile


Quote:
Yes, you're guessing. Since I don't think that Canon can teach Sony much about video processing I reckon that your guess is wrong



Got any links to great examples of movies shot on SLT so that I can see if my guess is wrong?
User_Removed 12 1.4k England
18 Mar 2012 3:18AM
Why would sony bother to perform in this price bracket?
Steppenwolf 10 1.2k
18 Mar 2012 8:30AM

Quote:History also shows that the late-comers to a party - who come in with better technology - tend to win in the end
Really? Like Betamax, Memory Stick, MiniDisc? Some great late wins for Sony.Grin



Betamax failed because Sony refused to license it to other manufacturers, which was a bit stupid. Memory Stick is pointless and MiniDisc was a major pain to use. It had great editing facilities but not many people needed this.

It's going to be very interesting to see how the digital camera world evolves over the next 10 to 20 years. My guess is that there won't be many people using DSLRs to do video - even fewer than there are now. In fact the DSLR itself will probably be a niche market with mirrorless CSCs dominating the consumer enthusiast market. I'm not sure if the SLTs will still be around. Only Sony make them and they are ruthless at axing products that don't make them money.
sausage Plus
17 704 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2012 10:02AM
Sony don't need to worry about video recording in their still cameras, their market is professional video cameras and they've brought out full frame pro video cameras to do just that. The top end DSLRs provide a better HD picture with 4.2.2. colour sampling which gives you better control in post production.
rogerfry 16 543 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2012 11:20AM

Quote:So it now can't focus in movie mode

It never could Tongue

Prior to recording, yes. Whilst recording, no. Tracking a moving subject, no.



This is not strictly true......certainly there is no way of tracking a moving subject, but if the focussing is in Live Mode pressing the AF-ON button will cause the camera to focus during filming.......the results will be fairly dire as the lens will hunt for a while, but it will achieve focus

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