March 27, 2015

Redrock Has a New Autofocus Tool That Should Work with Any Camera & Lens

While video autofocus technology is getting better on cameras, many don't have it, and even if they do, there is no guarantee it's going to work how you want it. 

Thanks to Canon Rumors, this BTS video showed up online that gives a little info on a system that Redrock is developing (which they mentioned on Twitter) that uses their microTape along with what looks like a version of their microRemote wireless follow focus (in fact it could even be a software update):

And here's the final video:

Really high-end versions of this already exist like the Easyfocus, but it's likely that this version would be a bit more budget-friendly, and could even be an update to their current system. We've also seen some interesting systems like the one from Andra that attaches sensors to the objects that need to be in focus. Autofocus technology will never be perfect because you're always going to want to have some control over what's actually in focus. The more control over what's in focus, the better the system will be. 

The main problem with a lot of autofocus systems is that they depend on something being in the middle of the frame (though some systems do let you lock on to a specific object or face). While this doesn't seem to be a lock-on system, you could always position the microTape in such a way that it's pointed at exactly what you want to be in focus. 

We'll likely find out more about this autofocus solution at NAB.      

Your Comment

10 Comments

This looks like a good solution for indie type situations and when an AC is not available but just a warning (we have the same set up from another manufacturer):

-If you are not in the FOV of the narrow beam focus will not track.
-Sometimes even high end units will misread.
-Slight shift is possible (back and forth when tracking).
-There will always be a focus lag until the object is acquired. (As seen in the commercial focus pull to the man on one knee needs to happen a beat sooner)

Otherwise, nice concept. Funny commercial.

March 27, 2015 at 3:53PM

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Emre Tufekci
Director
176

The message of the commercial being...drink our tequila before you propose to your girlfriend? Get drunk after a proposal? Tech stuff aside, it's a poorly conceived commercial.

March 27, 2015 at 3:53PM, Edited March 27, 3:53PM

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Benjamin Lebeau
Cinematographer, Colorist, Editor
262

I think the message of the commercial is get drunk after a failed proposal. She might let you down, but tequila won't. I think it's fun and works well.

March 27, 2015 at 4:16PM

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Richard Lewis
3D Visualisation Specialist
178

I like it, know it all come down to price. Redrock is known for high quality gear but not inexpensive gear unfortunately.

March 27, 2015 at 4:08PM

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Joseph Bennetts
Owner of BlackWind productions/Editor/DP/Diretor
84

And your purpose in pointing this out is...?

March 27, 2015 at 5:44PM

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Connor Day
Director of Photography
325

Are you kidding? The MicroRemote is by far the most affordable high-quality wireless follow focus on the market. A fraction the price of a Bartech... And to Redrock: Make this a software update to the basestation, and I will place an order for a microTape that same day!

March 30, 2015 at 2:16PM

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did anyone else notice the "director" looking at the field monitor in direct sunlight without a hood on it? can't imagine he'd see much.

March 27, 2015 at 9:01PM, Edited March 27, 9:01PM

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Joe G
Student Filmmaker
81

At the risk of sounding like a twat, the best focusing computer is your brain.

Choose lenses with a decent focus throw and hard stops. Put your hand on the lens and practise, practise and practise until you don't even think about the connection between your eye, brain and hand. Focusing isn't rocket science, just something to practise. No focusing gimmick in the world will even be able to predict what you want in focus at any given time.

I recommend the side of a tennis court because the players constantly move from side to side and the players movement is erratic which helps to loose the feeling of thinking about the actions to just doing it. Also if wide enough to see their feet rather than look at their face for focus look at their feet because the face will be above the feet but seeing the feet means you can see the ground texture and seeing that lets you see where your focus is when you loose the subject so you can adjust.

March 27, 2015 at 9:03PM

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i hope it actually works. bcus the microremote really sucked....
still havn't found something more reliable than a preston tho its so heavy...

March 27, 2015 at 9:18PM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1424

The video looks great. Facing the same problem (not having a focus puller for most projects), I tested the Sony A7s face recognition+autofocus: it work much better than I hoped, seven in a pitch dark studio.

https://vimeo.com/122160970

March 27, 2015 at 9:56PM, Edited March 27, 9:56PM

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Almosh Taltosh
DP/Director
83

Holy Crap that commercial was actually terrible. I mean yeah sure it was shot well and everything, but when I realized it's for a tequila company I couldn't take it seriously anymore... but that rig looks sweet and I would love to shoot on it

March 28, 2015 at 6:49PM

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Frogy
Director / Shooter / Cutter
281