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Forums > Photography Talk > Focusing Video on the Nikon D800 Search   Reply
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


How are you supposed to maintain focus on a moving subject?  The screen isn't big enough, and you can't zoom the screen in once you start recording.
Apr 24 13 04:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BareLight
Posts: 508
Kansas City, Kansas, US


I haven't used the D800 and don't know if it has the ability to track a moving subject while shooting video but, generally speaking, an external monitor would make this considerably easier.

Alternatively (or in addition to an external monitor) a follow focus system with hard stops can be handy when you know a subject is going to move from point A to point B.  Basically, you pre-focus the camera for both the A and B positions and set your stops to take out the guesswork while shooting.
Apr 24 13 05:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jean Renard Photography
Posts: 2,046
Los Angeles, California, US


shoot fixed or focus manually.  No DSLR focuses fast enough in video mode for any sort of real world action.

You can get an external screen for the dslrs (and a holder), soon the simple rig can become not so simple and pretty expensive as you get more and more accessories. For some projects it can be worth it, but renting pro gear makes sense for serious productions.

As you move up the food chain into the reds or even the new 4k models coming out, all of them are manual focus
Apr 24 13 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,612
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Jean Renard Photography wrote:
No DSLR focuses fast enough in video mode for any sort of real world action.

Really?

Apr 24 13 06:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,612
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Extrosy wrote:
How are you supposed to maintain focus on a moving subject?  The screen isn't big enough, and you can't zoom the screen in once you start recording.

I use the hoodman when shooting video.  Lets you see what you're shooting & what the focus is on

http://www.hoodmanusa.com/products.asp?dept=1066

Apr 24 13 06:06 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
-JAY-
Posts: 6,537
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


External monitor and a good focus puller.
Apr 24 13 06:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sonn
Posts: 338
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


The d800 can refocus during recording.
If your subject is moving slow enough you can just move the focus point and refocus(it gives a certain look though which may or may not work with what you are doing).
Its good for focus pulls though.

If somebody is say walking towards you though, you either have to shoot with alot of depth of field or else measure everything with a tape measure and use a focus puller.
Or the final option is if you get focus with say about f5 then you move yourself and just make sure you stay an even distance from the subject while they move.
Apr 24 13 07:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Bruce Duncan
Posts: 440
Santa Barbara, California, US


It's my understanding that the Panasonic GH-3 is adept a focus tracking in video mode.

It's a micro four thirds camera with a fine sensor, the latest of the Lumix GH line, adored by fanboys and a fairly large contingency of film makers.

I have the D7000, and the D800.

Both really great for stills.

My limited experience in video suggests the GH-2 and GH-3 will be better at video, and, in particular, the GH-3 for focus tracking.

RBD
Apr 24 13 11:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,985
Costa Mesa, California, US


Extrosy wrote:
How are you supposed to maintain focus on a moving subject?  The screen isn't big enough, and you can't zoom the screen in once you start recording.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =3&theater This is my D800 video rig
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =3&theater
Shows the follow focus knob
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … permPage=1
Another view

The monitor I bought
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =3&theater

Apr 24 13 11:43 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,313
Baltimore, Maryland, US


The D800 shoots video? Wow. I really need to break out that manual...
Apr 25 13 11:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
liddellphoto
Posts: 1,801
London, England, United Kingdom


Follow focus and a monitor with focus peaking. Welcome to the expensive world of video sad
Apr 25 13 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


I guess I'll stick to shooting video of still-life and photographs of moving subjects.   Or something.
Apr 25 13 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SKITA Studios
Posts: 1,564
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Extrosy wrote:
How are you supposed to maintain focus on a moving subject?  The screen isn't big enough, and you can't zoom the screen in once you start recording.

It's not a camcorder...the DOF is too narrow.

It's for cinematic style video (stuff you see in movies, etc.).  No one uses AF when they film movies...even on the $15K RED cameras they use...

Apr 25 13 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frozen Instant Imagery
Posts: 3,695
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland


Crack The Sky wrote:
The d800 can refocus during recording.
If your subject is moving slow enough you can just move the focus point and refocus(it gives a certain look though which may or may not work with what you are doing).
Its good for focus pulls though.

If somebody is say walking towards you though, you either have to shoot with alot of depth of field or else measure everything with a tape measure and use a focus puller.
Or the final option is if you get focus with say about f5 then you move yourself and just make sure you stay an even distance from the subject while they move.

The D800 can refocus while recording video, but it isn't great - it overshoots and backs off, and it's audible. Much better to turn the AF off and focus manually.

As you say, do it the old-school way with a focus puller...

Apr 26 13 01:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sonn
Posts: 338
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


The other option is just to settle for slightly less than movie quality focus and stabilization and have fun shooting stuff.

IF you use a lens with VR and keep the camera moving and do a few takes you should get someting usable.

Beats just not doing video plus you can still make some cool stuff...
Apr 26 13 02:06 am  Link  Quote 
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