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A7SIII - with great toneh comes great responsibility


scotchtape

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We've come full circle boys (and girls).

Is it just me? I'm noticing some pulsing backgrounds as the eye AF works it's "magic". Sony magic so strong I got Panasonic footage. Ok it wasn't that bad, it 95% was fine, subjects were always in focus but the focus pulse combined with focus breathing is really annoying if you notice it. Maybe because I noticed it in some of the "bad" shots I started noticing it everywhere! It's a very quick 1 or 2 frame pulse every once in a while, blink and you miss it.

I used the Zeiss 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.8 with a typical 2 camera set up, maybe a bit closer than usual. I noticed the same thing in both cams.

I also noticed that weirdly - in one shot I got what I can only describe as a lens correction pulse - for one frame as the focus shifted, the vignette correction seemed to flick off for one frame.  Very weird and annoying on the 50mm F1.4.

Firmware was PRE V2.0

Paid job so no examples, sorry.  Thankfully it shouldn't affect the final product.

Probably the best solution is to go easy on the Toneh and shoot F2 50mm and maybe F2.8 or more for the 85mm+ for now.

If you think about it, if focus is 100% locked to the person's eye, then at very shallow DOF this issue is going to crop up as most people are not robots and move back and forth. 

BUT, I've just looked back at my A7III footage and don't notice this issue, so I do think some tweaking can be done for the A7SIII...

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Can focus be 100% using AF?

I'm assuming you are using AF or any kind of pulsing cannot exist?

But otherwise yes, your Sony is simply trying to be the Panasonic that it isn't 🤣

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Thank you for the real-world report, @scotchtape So I guess it wasn't possible to have the on-screen talent constantly jumping in and out of the frame the way all those wonderful AF testers on youtube do? That seems to be where Sony excels at autofocus.

The focus breathing is one of the things that gets me less excited about Sony AF, and the lack of focus breathing in Panasonic lenses has me happier about owing a couple of Lumix bodies.

I know I won't be able to do the super shallow DOF thing (but those lenses are pretty much out of my price range anyway). 

Some situations the AF is good enough on the S series of cameras. Sometimes you just have to go manual I guess. And yes, I have experienced the thrill of having my S1 or S5 focus drift off in to the heavens never knowing where the focus point will land again. 

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Just did more testing, A7SIII definitely needs some tweaks.

Just filmed my partner while they were on zoom calls, the A7SIII is quite sensitive which has the unfortunate effect of wobbling and pulsing the background when the subject nods (or is, you know, human).  The A7III is much less sensitive so it's actually better for interviews. I manually set the eye focus and speeds to 1 for the A7SIII and left the A7III in the default speeds. Again 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.8.

Hopefully more people pipe up to Sony about this and we can get another mode in there, as it stands the A7SIII isn't great in this application.  I can't believe no one else has noticed this?!

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1 hour ago, scotchtape said:

Just did more testing, A7SIII definitely needs some tweaks.

Just filmed my partner while they were on zoom calls, the A7SIII is quite sensitive which has the unfortunate effect of wobbling and pulsing the background when the subject nods (or is, you know, human).  The A7III is much less sensitive so it's actually better for interviews. I manually set the eye focus and speeds to 1 for the A7SIII and left the A7III in the default speeds. Again 50mm F1.4 and 85mm F1.8.

Hopefully more people pipe up to Sony about this and we can get another mode in there, as it stands the A7SIII isn't great in this application.  I can't believe no one else has noticed this?!

I noticed very minor pulsing sometimes but not disturbing at all even for paid jobs. It's nowhere near as what my Panasonic S1H and S5 did when it comes to pulsing. Those were great cameras but yeah I felt the need for AF in a lot of shootings. 

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I haven't noticed any pulsing like that, but I'm usually not shooting anything faster than f/2.8 or 4 with talking heads because they move around so much and the camera really sticks to the eye or face, if your lens breathes at all it will show in the footage - and most lenses do shift at least a little bit. Maybe slow down the AF a bit more so changes aren't so abrupt. Fuji did wonky things with shading too, the solution was turning off lens corrections. Off to try this with my 24GM and 35/85 1.8's to see if I get the same thing. 

Chris

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So there (to me) are two issues;

The pulsing (as @scotchtape brings up and demonstrates), which to me isn't quite as bothersome as the focus breathing, which @Trek of Joy brings up.

Of the two, the focus breathing when using a wide aperture with a more animated on-screen talent is more annoying. 

As for the pulsing, even in the magnified examples above, I don't really notice it that much (yes, even zoomed in and with a big red arrow pointing at it, I guess I just didn't notice that much).

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2 hours ago, MrSMW said:

Focus breathing is a lens issue not a sensor one.

If there aren't lenses available for Emount that don't focus breath it could be problematic though. But yeah you are right. 

 

On 3/10/2021 at 8:40 AM, John Matthews said:

Just an idea... why not use manual focus and let the person just go slightly in and out of focus? ...much less distracting than electronic pulsing.

I have never had an issue with manual focus for say interviews. If you are really crazy with your DOF wants on the close up shot though it can be problematic. I usually stop down quite a bit for close ups. Even at f5.6 you get a nice background blur on most close ups. 

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I'm just saying that I've used the same setup with my a7siii with no issues, so the fact that a7siii is showing this behaviour is an issue.

I get that super shallow dof is difficult, but the a7siii does it fine so surely sony could add another mode to make things better.

Secondly, I have worse examples but I forgot to put them in as I'm currently working on several projects so you can imagine that those are the priority.

Maybe I will make another video in a few weeks.

 

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2 hours ago, scotchtape said:

I'm just saying that I've used the same setup with my a7siii with no issues, so the fact that a7siii is showing this behaviour is an issue.

I get that super shallow dof is difficult, but the a7siii does it fine so surely sony could add another mode to make things better.

Secondly, I have worse examples but I forgot to put them in as I'm currently working on several projects so you can imagine that those are the priority.

Maybe I will make another video in a few weeks.

 

Have you messed with settings to see if that helps?

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