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Sony A7s3 doesn't display distance of focus point in video mode!

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    Thank you Doug for your feedback, which does not surprise me. this is why I was talking about an approximate distance, it is certain that it is not worth a picking it is just to have a rough idea where the focus is. For example I put in autofocus (face detection) and switch to manual focus that gives me the distance of the focus on this lens. On last A7s3 face detection is verygood and i can trust it.
    It is still crazy that we cannot have the return on screen of the calculated focus distance. This information is only on my batis lens.....not the screen.
    Have you actually tried using the numbers that way on any Sony camera? yes I tried 1,2,3 but it's only the photo modes that work (PASM). This problem dated since my first alpha R2.
    Sony has made good progress, but there are details like this that seem small but are huge when you can't display them. Obviously when we don't need this info we deactivate it and we don't think about it anymore. This is not my case on my FS7.
    Last edited by rudo_fr; 11-08-2021, 06:00 PM.

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  • Doug Jensen
    replied
    Originally posted by rudo_fr View Post
    Doug, they are several situations, for exemple, when you shutdown camera, focus can change. This information can help you to understand where is your focus when your screen is not as good as viewfinder and your are outdoor, in fact you can see where is your focus and approximatly confirm that is right. I think it is a mininum to know where is the focus on screen because sometime you can't read this information on lense because it is too high.
    Have you actually tried using the numbers that way on any Sony camera?

    I think you are overestimating the accuracy and repeatability of the focus distance readout. For example, if you happen to note that the focus is at 17' before you power down, and then you simply refocus the lens so that the display says 17' feet again after you power back up, I wouldn't count on the subject being in focus. It might be, but it just as easily won't be. The calibration of the lens isn't that accurate, and also you have no way of knowing whether the focus was really 17.2', 17.9' or whatever. A one-foot increment is not precise enough for tack sharp focus.

    Why not just focus the right way with peaking and be done with it? I absolutely guarantee you that I could re-focus with peaking faster than you could dial in a certain number -- and I wouldn't even have to remember to memorize that focus number before I shut down in the first place. I would never trust anything but peaking on my cameras.

    BTW, I've been working on a wildlife project this fall with my FX6 and Sony 200-600mm where I DID want to have the focus distance displayed so I could get a general idea of how far the animals were from the camera. And I can tell you that there were many times that I'd focus on A . . . focus on B . . . and go back to A but the number shown would be very different the second time. You can't trust those numbers. I was also shooting some test footage with several different Sony lenses from the same camera position and the same subject to show the differences in composition between different focal lengths, and there was no consistency of the focus distance between lenses. One lens would say 20' and the next one might say 24' and hte next one something else.

    You are wishing you had a feature that I'll bet you wouldn't use if Sony gave it to you in a firmware update. But I agree, it is strange not to have it in both photo and video modes.
    Last edited by Doug Jensen; 11-08-2021, 03:29 PM.

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    Doug, they are several situations, for exemple, when you shutdown camera, focus can change. This information can help you to understand where is your focus when your screen is not as good as viewfinder and your are outdoor, in fact you can see where is your focus and approximatly confirm that is right. I think it is a mininum to know where is the focus on screen because sometime you can't read this information on lense because it is too high.
    Last edited by rudo_fr; 11-08-2021, 03:04 PM.

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    As info focal distance run very well with emount lenses on A7 still mode, there isn't raison that doesn't run on video mode but as you said Norbro there are quirks.
    We can work without, but it is not serious to look on lense where focus is.

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  • Doug Jensen
    replied
    Originally posted by rudo_fr View Post
    Franckly focus distance exist in photo mode in A7series, why not in video mode on video orented camera....it is just what i'm tryng to say.
    I agree that seems like a strange oversight. But I have a serious question, how does that focus information benefit you? How do you use it? That display is one of the very first things I disable on my video cameras because to me it is just unnecessary clutter. How would you use it on a real shoot, if you had it?

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  • NorBro
    replied
    There have been worse decisions like no zebras in video mode in most Canon stills cameras for the last 10 years (only the last few models have had them).

    Unexplainable but that's how it was and there are many other omissions and quirks like that.

    Besides Sony not wanting to, if we're trying to logically figure out why it's missing then maybe a possibility is because the task is tall for all of the different lenses out there to communicate with the camera and provide accurate, real-time focus distance measurements during high-resolution video acquisition in different framerates while using different focus modes.

    Maybe the majority of lenses are the problem?

    Likely? I don't know...doesn't seem like it in 2021, but who knows.

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    A7S3 is a very good video camera to me, it replace my very good fs7!, Put a7s3 on light gimbal like (dji rs2) you could do very good things (without tripod and big camera) but you are right Doug, it is not an shoulder cam and can't completly replace it totally, there is always a compromise but to me the more important thing is to be small and light..
    Franckly focus distance exist in photo mode in A7series, why not in video mode on video orented camera....it is just what i'm tryng to say.

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  • Doug Jensen
    replied
    I'm still not sure exactly what features you feel are lacking in the A7s3, or how you would use them if you had them. But with that said, clearly the A7s3 makes a poor choice for a video camera unless size is all that matters. All of the A7 series cameras are clearly designed to be stills cameras . . . with a video mode tacked on as a bonus. That's why Sony also makes quite a few cinema cameras, ENG cameras, and handycams that are designed solely to meet the needs of video production. If the mirrorless cameras were real video cameras then Sony wouldn't need the rest of the product line.

    You can haul gravel in the trunk of a sports car and complain it doesn't perform very well, or you can get a pickup truck and use a vehicle that was designed for a certain purpose. The right tool for the job. :-)
    Last edited by Doug Jensen; 11-08-2021, 01:18 PM.

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    A7s3 is an light video camera oriented i want keep as light as possible with good internal tools. I can do without but frankly it seems not impossible to implement.

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  • Doug Jensen
    replied
    Originally posted by rudo_fr View Post
    All external monitor have this waveform tool, it is great to see precisely your exposure and your white balance. no?
    No.
    I don't see the value of it. Shooting with a video camera is different than with stills camera and I don't see how/why that information would be useful or practical to change if you didn't like what you saw on the scopes. The reason you don't have it is because Sony (correctly) assumes you don't need it. Having that capability in a monitor is a totally different situation from having it onboard a camera.

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    what is crazy is that you have thoses tools (info distance focus and waveform LRGB) in photo mode in A7 serie but not in video mode it is my point.

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    All external monitor have this waveform tool, it is great to see precisely your exposure and your white balance. no?

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  • Doug Jensen
    replied
    Originally posted by NorBro View Post
    Which cameras have you used that have RGB waveform? (Just curious.)
    Yeah, I'd like to know the answer to that one too. And why it would be helpful? RGB dipslay In post for grading, yeah, but on a camera? What's the point? You're not going to be grading individual RGB channels onboard the camera in the middle of a shoot.

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  • NorBro
    replied
    Which cameras have you used that have RGB waveform? (Just curious.)

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  • rudo_fr
    replied
    This problem of displaying focus distance in video mode on alpha serie is not new unfortunately.
    Even on my Fs7 there isn't Rgb waveform for control our exposition, only zebra (not bad) or this bad histogram i never understood.

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