A super beginner, but very important question about manual and auto focus in video recording

Oscar

New member
Hello everyone. How are you? First of all, thanks for this amazing forum.
It's super embarrassing to ask this, but I need to.
I bought a Panasonic Lumix g7 a few months ago and I've shot a few videos for my YouTube channel without tweaking anything at all. I'm working a lot on my audio post production projects and whatever results were all right. The thing is that I've come to loving video and I decided to investigate the most unknown part: video recording.
I recorded a video last night in auto focus with face detection and this morning when I was ready to start editing I've noticed that it's totally out of focus. On Friday, exploring my camera, I noticed that the lens has a wheel of focus. I knew this but honestly, I had even forgotten it. The thing is that I played with the wheel and left it, taking for granted that when I switched to AF the camera would adjust everything. So, this is my question. Do I have to adjust then wheel on the lens because the camera can't do it because AF deals only with camera stuff or is it something else that doesn't have anything to do with that wheel what has ruined last night video takes?

Thank you so much in advance and I'm sorry for such a lengthy post. I wanted to be as clear as possible.
Best regards to you all!

Oscar
 

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
Hello Oscar! Don't worry, we all encounter many situations that are tricky to solve.
The "Auto" mode can seem easy to use at first, but it has many flaws. The problem is that usually, the focus goes randomly on anything else except the subject, which is out of focus. The "Manual" mode is what you need to use. I do not have experience with Panasonic, as I use a Sony but some things are applicable on all devices. FIrst, you need to find a Camera Mode that is right for what you are filming. Second, you need to set up manually all other options, such as exposure, focus, contrast etc. Don't worry, it is only difficult the first few times, until you understand how your device works.
Maybe this guide can help you:
 

Oscar

New member
Hello Oscar! Don't worry, we all encounter many situations that are tricky to solve.
The "Auto" mode can seem easy to use at first, but it has many flaws. The problem is that usually, the focus goes randomly on anything else except the subject, which is out of focus. The "Manual" mode is what you need to use. I do not have experience with Panasonic, as I use a Sony but some things are applicable on all devices. FIrst, you need to find a Camera Mode that is right for what you are filming. Second, you need to set up manually all other options, such as exposure, focus, contrast etc. Don't worry, it is only difficult the first few times, until you understand how your device works.
Maybe this guide can help you:
Thanks a lot, Maura. I'm struggling haha! Self-learning sucks ;) The thing is that I can manage, up to a point, all the parameters and read the histogram, the exposure meter, etc. But as I am on my own and I don't think the focus can be locked when recording video... so, I thought that keeping the AF with the face detection mode would work. It didn't... But, I'm not sure that the AF is the responsible this time.
What you say that the focus goes somewhere else has happened several times. I'm sure it's normal to beginners. However, this time is something else because there's no focus. Everything is blury.

Anyway, I'll run some tests tomorrow and hopefully I'll get some info. I'm studying how to connect the camera to a tablet because its screen is so small that I can't see these things from where I'm sitting when recording.

Thanks so much for your help!

Oscar
 

Oscar

New member
Hello Oscar! Don't worry, we all encounter many situations that are tricky to solve.
The "Auto" mode can seem easy to use at first, but it has many flaws. The problem is that usually, the focus goes randomly on anything else except the subject, which is out of focus. The "Manual" mode is what you need to use. I do not have experience with Panasonic, as I use a Sony but some things are applicable on all devices. FIrst, you need to find a Camera Mode that is right for what you are filming. Second, you need to set up manually all other options, such as exposure, focus, contrast etc. Don't worry, it is only difficult the first few times, until you understand how your device works.
Maybe this guide can help you:
Thanks for the video. I had already seen it but I've just watched it again. Interesting stuff on focus :)
 

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
Thanks for the video. I had already seen it but I've just watched it again. Interesting stuff on focus :)
I am sure you will get it to work, you just need to practice a bit. :) Or press all the buttons and see what each of them does. Sometimes, that works, too. :D
 

Oskar Kuusk

Active member
Never rely on "auto" settings, because you are not in control of what you film. You need to do tests with your camera until you get it right, especially if you have little to no experience. You literally learn by doing.
 
Learning by yourself is difficult but no tutorial can teach you like real-life experience. I usually press all the buttons until I see what each of them do. Not the smartest way to learn something but it works up to a point. For more, I can look up tutorials. But until I look up tutorials, I need to understand each option of my gear.
 
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