Video Tech Tips- Auto Focus Vs. Manual

Learn the advantages and disadvantages of running auto focus

May 23rd, 2016

Hi, my name's Wade James, and thanks for tuning back into Guidefitter's Video Tech Tips. Today we're going to discuss the advantages of using manual focus over autofocus. Don't be afraid. With a little practice, you're going to wonder why you didn't take the manual jump sooner.

Running autofocus is great when filming your hunts as a beginner, but before too long, you'll find the disadvantages, like in this instance here. This gets very, very difficult and irritating at times, especially if you're self-filming.

Some key features that allow you to nail manual focus accurately are called focus peaking. Focus peaking is a highlighted area that you can choose between white, red, yellow or blue, that will highlight the area that is in focus. Simply turn on manual focus and focus peaking, and watch as the highlighted areas change as you pull focus from one option to another. This is one of those key features that you can utilize when you're trying to run manual focus and trying to make sure, in the heat of the moment, that you're focused on the right object.

Another thing that'll help you manually focus is also running a higher f-stop. f/8 is the aperture that I usually always set my camera on when I'm filming on the animal. f/8 seems to give me a good depth of field still, but yet the focus isn't as finicky. So, I can be off a little bit, but more objects closer to the camera and farther away from the camera are still in focus. On a bright sunny day, you could run it at f/12 if you wanted to, but keep in mind, the higher you run your f-stop, the more you'll pick up dust particles on your sensor.

So, it's just going out and finding time to practice and see what works best for you, something you can set your camera on quickly and not have to worry about if it's in focus or not.

I'm Wade James. Thanks for checking out Guidefitter Video Tech Tips, and get out there and shoot manual.


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