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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich: Hi, My name is Rich Harrington. Robbie: And I'm Robbie Carmen. Rich: And this week we're going to talk about a topic that I think bears repeating, which is critical focus. It's so easy to screw up, we wanted to revisit some simple techniques and some advanced ones that work really well. Robbie: Yeah, and you know, I'm sorry if we sound a little bit like a broken record. This is a topic that yeah, we've talked about before but we want to come back and revisit simply because this time around we're actually going to go out in the field and we're going to show this in a more practical setting than rather just here in the studio. But you know focus is one of those things that when it's on, you just don't notice it and obviously.
Rich: Yeah. Robbie: You disappear, or it disappears in the shot. Rich: Yeah. Robbie: But when focus is off, you're like It's out of focus! And all you want is for it to be back in focus, and you realize the reason it makes you so mad. It's cause you realize that it's a mistake that you could've easily avoided out in the field. Rich: Yeah, usually what happens here with focus is that it's going to be an issue with something that you chose to do. Maybe you were shooting at too shallow a depth of field, your subject moved, or you tried to manipulate the camera and you did it wrong. So, there are lots of techniques worth exploring. One of the first ones that we're going to take a look at is the idea of actually punching in on the camera.
Sort of an expanded focus range. And sometimes when it's called or you zoom in on the live view panel. Robbie: Mm-hm. Rich: And absolutely make sure the focus is set. And this is pretty easy to do. Then we also have the technique of using a loop. Robbie: Yeah, absolutely. You know loop is a device that you can apply to, attach rather to the back of your camera. And essentially what a loop will actually do is magnify the camera's LCD screen. By magnifying it, you can see it in a more sharp form and able to focus quicker and more accurately. Rich: To that same end, maybe when using external monitor where you could just see the picture more largely, and maybe an assistant can keep an eye on it for you.
And this is a useful way of doing this. Or even, dare I say it, allow the camera to do auto-focus. Now I find that the auto-focus before rolling, Robbie: Yeah. Rich: Using the photo mode, really quick and responsive. Robbie: Yeah. Rich: The auto-focus during shooting, even the new cameras, it tends to lag. Robbie: Yeah, and you know, it sound like you know, if you're, if you're really trying to bolster your DSLR skills, doing anything auto seems to be the antithesis of doing that. But don't be afraid to his that auto button. At least initially to get quick focus to lock onto a subject is, is usually a good thing.
Rich: Yeah, and then the last thing we'll explore is compensating with aperture to just change the overall depth of field. So these are all techniques we've explored in the past, but now we're going to put them into a live context. We're going to head out to the field for a music video shoot. And what I want you to see here is how all these techniques can be used to achieve critical focus.
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