Thread: AutoFocus - Komodo - are you going to use it?

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  1. #1 AutoFocus - Komodo - are you going to use it? 
    Senior Member Jeffery Anderson's Avatar
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    I know a big selling point for some with the Komodo is the size and Autofocus... you can rig it anywhere and turn on autofocus and let the operator go crazy with it

    are some people dreading autofocus and simply a setup, where you just get coverage and do really plan a shot with a 1st AC to get the look you want?

    it does seem like if your coverage is a single-tracking shot, then you can just follow them and keep it simple...

    does seem like an amazing opportunity for car interiors or tracking from a moving position, e.g. car, bike, skateboard ... but, that's very stylized and seems like cinematography has moved away from that

    any input or experiences are welcome.
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Yes and no.

    Do I need it at all times? Nope.

    Will I use it? Yes. When I want to use it.


    Autofocus is a hot topic in the industry and I am a bit of a fundamental filmmaker who prefers to pull and operate manually, but I'd be a fool to ignore a tool that might help get the shot.

    A quick jog around higher end sets and seeing how Light Ranger 2 units are being used and more recently things like Redrock Micro's Halo unit shipping, and desire for a tiny AF solution starts looking very appealing.

    Phase Detect, Contrast Detect, and sensor based AF isn't exactly the same as a full blown mini-Lidar unit, but the goal is the same. Track a moving subject without the assistance of um.... an assistant.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Fast moving, one man band documentary setups - sign me up if it works well. I don’t need it so much for situations like a sit down interview or tracking slower action but for things like gimbals and any action where it could be difficult to operate and manually pull focus without an assistant, then that could be very beneficial. I don’t own any cameras that do autofocus well. Canon and Sony seem to have that going for them.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Joel Arvidsson's Avatar
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    I actually think its perfect for a simple sit down interview as long as the focus sticks to the face without hunting around.
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  5. #5  
    If the autofocus can hold the tracking well, this would be a godsend for my smaller and low end, skeleton crew shoots. Is a game changer for gimbal work. Will save some time (mount/connect wireless FF -Rec & Trans) and weight (Lighter Gimbal!!)
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Jaime VallÚs's Avatar
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    Reliable, smooth face-tracking autofocus is essential for any new camera I purchase moving forward. If Komodo has it, I'm in. It's just too darn useful, especially for simple, sit-down interviews where the person can't sit still.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Jeffery Anderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    Autofocus is a hot topic in the industry and I am a bit of a fundamental filmmaker who prefers to pull and operate manually, but I'd be a fool to ignore a tool that might help get the shot.
    for getting stylized shots in a single take without a rehearsal, this could a easy answer

    Phase Detect, Contrast Detect, and sensor based AF isn't exactly the same as a full blown mini-Lidar unit, but the goal is the same. Track a moving subject without the assistance of um.... an assistant.
    I couldn't find any mini-lidar focus-pulling solutions... maybe I didn't search well enough? Personally, I don't know enough about how the technology works to comment, just more of applications as what I would like it to do...

    Autofocus could get crazy and you could do a million things... imagine this, you use face detection to analyze the size of the subjects head and use the zoom motor to automatic compensate to keep the subject the same size in frame at the same time keep focus... e.g. dolly zoom

    with the same effect, you could set a timed zoom out e.g. going from 85mm to 24mm

    really the only error could be the operator, which if you automated a gimbal to frame for you, by focusing on head, arms, eyes... then you could keep perfect headroom/frame size... it's pretty limitless

    do you think Jarred will add some autofocus communication out of the Komodo to a lens motor for manual lenses? (wonder how you would calibrate it)
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Jeffery Anderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherrick View Post
    Fast moving, one man band documentary setups.
    how long until we see some MTV producer with a 360 Komodo rig? no operator, no AC... just him and his rig on a monopod
    I have to try and change the landscape, whatever it is.
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  9. #9  
    No doubt that autofocus will change the way of doing things. For example filming horses on a race track. My colleges did such job, The camera setup was an Alexa with big optimo on a scorpio crane car. On the gimbal above the Alexa we put a little Sony a7 and set it to autofocus with a long lens with super shallow focus. On the optimo we had the best AC in town. All I can say, 90% of the footage from the a7 was tack sharp and very usable, the optimo footage with hand driven focus had almost the the complete opposite ratio, not an easy task to focus on long lens when horses run, camera moves fast and the camera car is chasing the horses back and forth with no coordination in between, the AC did a good job. But the a7 actually just sticked to the skin of the horses and pretty much stayed there in a really impressive way. I don't remember the setting used but it was something with multiple focus points and it did something no focus puller could ever do.

    So I think when we get such features in better cameras then yes it will be used a lot. As now there is not too many people that put the a7 on a crane car. But its easy to see if you use it on a gimbal, steady or what ever, it can simply stick focus to a face like no AC ever could when pulling focus by hand, so yes I see it very much as the future.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Tom Gleeson's Avatar
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    Maybe I have missed an announcement somewhere buried here on Reduser but why are people assuming that the Komodo has effective Autofocus? The present iteration of AF in Red cameras is not effective. Sony and Canon have leveraged decades of expensive R&D in their still cameras to implement their schemes as the real work is done in the camera body not the AF lenses. Don't get me wrong I hope the Komodo has an AF system as good as the Sony FX9 or Canon C500mk2.
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