Often, we hear much talk about the advantages and disadvantages of phase detection vs contrast-based autofocus systems. But not everybody knows what that means or why it matters. I had a rough idea, but I didn’t really understand it myself until I watched this video from photographer David Flores for B&H. In it, David explains how each of the two systems work, when it’s best to use one or the other, and how various camera AF systems work today using one or a combination of both methods.
Getting precise and sharp focus at f/1.4 isn’t always an easy task, even with autofocus. In this video, Manny Ortiz shares some techniques that help him nail focus every time. He mainly shoots portraits, and he shares with you three tips that will help you get sharp and consistent focus.
Zone focusing is a term that often seems to confuse people. But if you don’t know what it is, then it’s quite easy to understand why. It’s a common technique for a lot of subjects, and particularly for street photography. I often use it myself because it means I can just raise my camera, take the shot and know it’s in focus where it needs to be.
This video from photographer David Coleman explains exactly what zone focusing is, with several ways to implement it in your shoot workflow. Once mastered, it can be a fantastic way to let you shoot with confidence on the street, just knowing that your subject is in focus.
For most people, exactly how phase detection autofocus in a DSLR works is a mystery. All we know is that the AF in the camera we’re using either sucks or it’s awesome. While autofocus can indeed suck, it often fails us because we don’t understand it enough to work around its potential pitfalls. This video from ZY Productions demystifies DSLR autofocus and explains why cross type AF points are a big deal.
The new Sony a7R III was announced yesterday and it has introduced some improvements over its predecessor, the a7R II. One of the improvements is 10fps continuous shooting, which doubles the speed of the previous model. Guys from DPReview have published a demo, demonstrating what the new mirrorless camera from Sony is capable of. They’ve tested the continuous shooting, as well as the Eye AF, which also seems to be pretty impressive.
We know that the Nikon D850 autofocus system isn’t that great for video. This wasn’t really going to be much of a surprise. But it seems that it’s not as quite good as it could be when it comes to stills, either. The Nikon D850 autofocus is the same as that found in the flagship Nikon D5. And while the D850 does seem to outperform just about every other Nikon out there, it can’t keep up with its big brother.
Matt Granger felt that he was missing more shots with the D850 than he was with his D5. So, he puts the two to the test, side by side in this video. With the assistance of a 4th dan taekwondo black belt subject, Matt sets to work pairing the two off against each other.
When you’re a one man video shooting band, keeping your subject sharp and in focus can be a huge pain. If you don’t have a focus puller following you around, or fancy remote control focus systems, it’s a constant struggle. That’s why we often see cameras locked off on tripods and sliders with static subjects that rarely move.
But there are some techniques you can use to keep your subject sharp and in focus when filming solo. Filmmaker Parker Walbeck demonstrates some of these techniques in this recently video. None of these techniques are always perfect, though, and Parker talks about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Samyang have added another lens to their slowly growing autofocus lineup. They’ve announced a new 35mm f/2.8 FE lens for full frame Sony mirrorless cameras. And, on paper, it looks like it might be able to compete with the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8, but at well under half the price.
Adding to the 14mm f/2.8 FE and 50mm f/1.4 FE, this brings the Samyang autofocus range up to three lenses. Samyang’s range of manual focus lenses has been rather impressive. So, it’s not much of a surprise that they seem to be putting the effort into their autofocus lenses. They’re playing it smart, too. Slowly building up the autofocus lineup, rather than trying to rush a complete range out of the door all at once.
We’ve already seen some of Sony a9’s impressive features in action. We’ve showed you how it focuses and shoots at 20 fps, and now there’s a video that shows its capability of eye-tracking autofocus. It’s pretty accurate and fast, and you can see it work on a person who moves, blinks, turns his head and more. Take a look.
Video responses might be a thing of the past as far as YouTube’s concerned, but that’s not stopping Panasonic. There’s been a bit of talk around the web and YouTube since the Panasonic Lumix GH5’s release about its autofocus system. Well, Panasonic were listening and have responded. Surprisingly, that response comes to us via YouTube.
Lumix Luminary Joseph Linaschke (aka PhotoJoseph) reads the announcement in a video on his YouTube channel. It’s a fairly brief statement, which offers some recommendations for best results. Joseph also got together with fellow YouTuber and filmmaker Max Yuryev to do some comparisons. Two GH5 cameras, with different AF settings.