June 11, 2016 at 10:35AM, Edited June 11, 11:32AM

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Keeping Everything In Focus

Hello, I am new here. I am having trouble keeping my lumix g7 in focus when doing pan shots of simple scenery. For example, I wanted to end my shot of an abandoned home after panning from the left, but it kept going in and out of focus all the way through. In contrast, my phantom 3 professional drone always keeps everything in focus so I was tempted to just get it out and hold it while taking video. But I want to understand how to make clear shots of video without it going in and out of focus. Should I start my shot, focus, and then set the lens to manual? Or will anything close or far away stay out of focus? Thank you for your help.

4 Comments

I always turn off auto-focus when shooting video. You don't want the camera trying to guess focus for you. Or worse, trying to out-think you. Set focus to manual and you should get a good pan.

Now, it should be said that sensor size tends to have a large effect on depth of field. Which is why ENG (news) cameras were designed with relatively small sensors. The G7 will have a shallower depth of field than your drone camera, which is a feature to exploit. If instead, the feature defeats you, then crop way in on the G7 (using a sufficiently wide angle lens to get the field of view you want from the reduced sensor size).

June 11, 2016 at 11:54AM

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I think that using continuous focus for video is a bad idea.

Turn it off, (auto) focus somewhere in front of the middle of the region that is you want in focus once and then your pan should be fine. If you need a larger region in focus use a smaller aperture.

June 11, 2016 at 11:59AM, Edited June 11, 12:02PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
1955

In film and video you always use manuall focus.
Look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pUZf-JY6JM to know more about how to pull focus.

June 12, 2016 at 8:43AM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
1859

Of course, like stated above, manual focusing is usually the best route. But, another key thing to understand is aperture. If you want everything (or more) to be in focus, you should lower your aperture (which means increasing the F-stop) to a higher number like 8, or 11. In contrast, if you lower your aperture to something like 2.8, or 4 (depending on what your lens will allow) it will drastically decrease the depth of field, which will make focusing much harder for you, if you're not very experienced with focusing.

June 13, 2016 at 9:59AM

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Craig Douglas
Editor/ Videographer
1968

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