It's Time to Admit It: It's OK to Use Autofocus for Video - Trust Me Shops

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It's Time to Admit It: It's OK to Use Autofocus for Video

It's Time to Admit It: It's OK to Use Autofocus for Video

B&H explora - All posts
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I can picture the eyerolls after reading that headline, and I totally understand. Will the cinematography departments of digital films now utilize autofocus in their carefully planned, meticulously lit, and choreographed productions? No, and for many reasons other than to keep focus pullers employed. But, using AF technology in smaller films, documentaries, reality shows, sporting events, and streaming productions can benefit greatly by the use of autofocus for their shots, so the camera won’t lose focus when a compact crew is busy juggling five jobs on a limited schedule.

The truth is that autofocus will never be perfect. And not all lenses support autofocus, especially most high-end cinema prime lenses. But the technology has advanced so dramatically, video camera operators have been successfully using tech like dual-pixel autofocus for years now, with lenses that have built-in autofocus support. More autofocus support has been added to cinema cameras in recent years, and the tracking accuracy and facial recognition features have dramatically improved.

There are several situations in which autofocus makes little to no sense, if you already have timed or slow focus adjustments, or if you have a focus puller who is working on a complex sequence that needs patience, precise blocking, and constant adjustment. Also, if you are using specific primes with manual focus and have your setup tuned for that lens line, it is impractical to slow the production down just to swap in an autofocus lens for a brief shot or two.

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