Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

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JasonDavis50

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Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 7:53 am

Hi Guys,

I know the pocket 4k is a cinema camera, but just wanting to know if anyone else would like some form of continuous autofocus option on the pocket for additional ease of use, vlogging, and when the camera is out of arms reach? Hope this can be implemented in the next firmware update!! The lack of flippy screen was a hard one to look past for me, but continuous af is all im after now since the release of BRAW.
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michaeldhead

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 2:39 pm

I wouldn't hold your breath - that's probably a lot more than firmware can add.
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Craig Seeman

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 4:08 pm

Just some very wishful theorizing.

Since there's push to focus certainly that communication exists between the camera and certain lenses.
The wishful thinking would be to maintain that for "micro" focus adjustments. Running to/away from the camera would be hopeless.

But one might wonder depending on the lens and small focus changes that that might work. The big problems would be sustaining that at an "always on" state for a few minutes may be an enormous sustained power draw and also generate a sustained increase in heat.

Something like this might be useful for gimbal work though where there are small variances when trying to maintain a distance with a fairly shallow DOF.

So this wouldn't be a "long throw" focus tracking but just enough to track small changes when the subject moves a few inches within a range and would only be sustainable for a few minutes given power and heating limits.

Alas, just a fantasy.
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Chris Whitten

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 4:09 pm

No flip screen, no autofocus, it isn't designed to be a classic vlogging camera.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 5:30 pm

Adding continuous auto focus to the Pocket 4K would require additional hardware and would most likely double the cost of the camera. For $2K you can get a Nikon Z6, which has excellent video continuous AF support, and you get a Vistavision (135mm) size sensor too.
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MScDre

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 6:07 pm

What I'd like to see is cameras and wireless focus systems use my iPhone to do continuous autofocus.

My iPhone has all the hardware and software needed via APIs to take care of autofocus and tracking without having to re-invent the wheel.
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Australian Image

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 8:07 pm

The desire for AF seems to come consistently from the vlogging community. Other than the fact that the front record button is very useful for my mechanical shutter release, sadly, it has given many the impression that the BMPCC4K was designed as a vlogging camera. A poorly implemented vlogging camera.

Potato Jet did a video comparing AF with manual focus and why AF was better. But the test was only for a very limited situation of following a subject. Not very good if you want to change focus to various points of view, such as two subjects at different distances or placement. Or you want to go from close up to a specific subject at a distance, especially with a flowing change of focus.
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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostTue Mar 12, 2019 9:07 pm

I'd imagine due to the camera accepting touch focus, this would be more something that could be updated via a firmware update. Even if its basic continuous af where it just focuses on whatevers in center to make better use of that front record button I'd be a happy man!! I feel if this is implemented, it will satisfy alot of one man crews and vloggers and may be another reason to buy this over cameras like the gh5/s.
I use the touch focus a fair bit, but when I cant see and reach the screen it gets tricky.
I spose my big question is, if continuous AF was in the pocket 4k, would people use it?
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 11:12 am

Good AF is a big thing and requires a lot of resources and work (and computing power).
Any AF is about useless as in many cases it's not reliable. You need good one.
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Chris Shivers

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 12:19 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Good AF is a big thing and requires a lot of resources and work (and computing power).
Any AF is about useless as in many cases it's not reliable. You need good one.

Even good autofocus is not reliable
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 2:46 pm

Depending what you do.
For my holidays it's good enough. 1000x better than manual, which is simply unrealistic.
Poor AF is not good enough as then it's in reality basically useless.
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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostThu Mar 14, 2019 8:50 pm

Just been looking into this, seems to be more of a software thing. Even if it had basic focus tracking that even some smartphones offer, or at the very least to be able to constantly focus on whatever is within a certain area or square would be nice. And then maybe implement tracking later. If they master this it can be used in their cameras from the current generation moving forward!!
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carlomacchiavello

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostThu Mar 14, 2019 9:56 pm

MScDre wrote:What I'd like to see is cameras and wireless focus systems use my iPhone to do continuous autofocus.

My iPhone has all the hardware and software needed via APIs to take care of autofocus and tracking without having to re-invent the wheel.


You forget that phone Os is more complex and sofisticate than a cinema camera. Anyway ask to yourself why only few photocameras with excellent autofocus on photo, not have autofocus or continuos focus on video? Simple answer is that is not simple to do.


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MScDre

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostThu Mar 14, 2019 10:49 pm

carlomacchiavello wrote:
MScDre wrote:What I'd like to see is cameras and wireless focus systems use my iPhone to do continuous autofocus.

My iPhone has all the hardware and software needed via APIs to take care of autofocus and tracking without having to re-invent the wheel.


You forget that phone Os is more complex and sofisticate than a cinema camera. Anyway ask to yourself why only few photocameras with excellent autofocus on photo, not have autofocus or continuos focus on video? Simple answer is that is not simple to do.


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But that's exactly what I am saying, it would be trivial to write an app that controls a wireless focus system like the title nucleus to give a cinema camera autofocus. Without having to write code for the camera.
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David White

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostThu Mar 14, 2019 11:45 pm

As an event photographer, I too could use a good continual auto focus. I suspect part of the problem Black Magic faces is the variety of lenses we use. Each one may behave differently to focus commands making it impossible to avoid the extreme hunting I'm seeing.

On the other hand, I wonder if it would be possible for the camera to calibrate itself for each lens. In other words, for lens X, if it overshot last time, try a smaller command next time. Eventually, the camera would be reasonably well calibrated for all the lenses it has seen. I'd be willing to help the calibration by aiming the camera at different distance objects during a formal learning mode.

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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 3:54 am

I spose much like now, they support most lenses as best they can and include improved support along the way in the following firmware updates
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ricardo marty

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 4:01 am

Could this be a solution for continuos focus?

https://aputure.com/collections/follow-focus

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carlomacchiavello

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 8:06 am

MScDre wrote:
carlomacchiavello wrote:
MScDre wrote:What I'd like to see is cameras and wireless focus systems use my iPhone to do continuous autofocus.

My iPhone has all the hardware and software needed via APIs to take care of autofocus and tracking without having to re-invent the wheel.


You forget that phone Os is more complex and sofisticate than a cinema camera. Anyway ask to yourself why only few photocameras with excellent autofocus on photo, not have autofocus or continuos focus on video? Simple answer is that is not simple to do.


Inviato dal mio iPhone utilizzando Tapatalk


But that's exactly what I am saying, it would be trivial to write an app that controls a wireless focus system like the title nucleus to give a cinema camera autofocus. Without having to write code for the camera.


It’s a trivia write a code to found focus with phone lens, but to edit focus lenses you need to know what kind of lenses is connected. Some lens focus in clockwise direction some other opposite, some lenses have a long run some other small run to do focus. It’s not a standard space, unfortunately. You need to build a perfect database of all data’s, and enable to calibrate it be cause some lenses are not perfectly aligned to marker of distance, some lenses suffer of backfocus. It’s faster to build a sistem where you focus manually to do reference to phone that using a full auto system with database.


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Australian Image

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 8:16 am

I've read about focus devices for cine cameras that have been around for a while, though not sure how much they are or were used, but they featured a set of sensors that mounted above the cine lens and when set, would follow the subject (within reason). I think it did more than that, but can't find the reference anymore (came across it by accident).

I suppose it's not beyond the realms of the possible to produce a much more refined device that works in a similar way, given the substantial improvements in electronics, and imaging and other sensors. Just think of radar controlled cruise control, science fiction only a short while ago. This could mean universal AF independent of the camera system.
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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 10:03 am

There's already alot of lenses that the pocket 4k supports for the touch focus feature though. I was thinking if there was an option like touch focus where you can manually set the location of the focus area square, where the focus keeps refreshing in that spot without having to touch the screen all the time. If you can also adjust the size of the focus square, that would be great too :)
I'd love focus tracking or contrast detection focusing like in the gh5/s but wouldnt mind this option for the time being
This feature would only be a different arrangement of the existing code and functions within the pocket I'd say!!
Canon cameras are known for their color and dual pixel continuous AF, Blackmagic already have great color, if they get some good continuous AF happening that would complete it for me.. and maybe a flippy screen too :)
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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 6:08 pm

You answered your own question, good continuous a
aF needs at least a dual pixel sensor, with many AF focus points across the entire sensor area, like Canin and Nikon has done in the Z cameras. BM camera hardware/sensors do not supoort this type of AF systems, which you need for good useable continuous AF. If you need a continuous AF, then a GH5S or thr new Nikon Z6 is your best bet. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K was not designed to supoort continuous AF, so you are not going to get it via a FW upgrade. Perhaps a new a new 4K Camera in the future will offer this feature.
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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostFri Mar 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Thought I read somewhere that the pocket 4k sensor is the same as the gh5s or similar, is that true?
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rick.lang

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 4:48 am

Apparently it’s not identical, but apparently Sony will build a custom design to your specs; however the underlying technology has at some level a common base with the sensor in the Panasonic camera.


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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 4:49 am

rick.lang wrote:Apparently it’s not identical, but apparently Sony will build a custom design to your specs; however the underlying technology has at some level a common base with the sensor in the Panasonic camera.

And of course the colour science is different, thankfully!


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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 6:41 am

Interesting, so does that mean the sensor may have the same focus capabilities as the gh5/s maybe?
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Chris Whitten

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 7:29 am

Isn't focus more determined by the design of the camera? As such, the Pocket 4K and GH5 are VERY different cameras.
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JasonDavis50

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 10:45 am

Usually, however blackmagic use some kind of fpga chip in their cameras that enables them to update the functionality of the existing hardware and software even after the product has been released
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ricardo marty

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 3:59 pm

I found this in another Thread. Its about a wifi adapter that you can do follow focus. Dont know if it has been proven so.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=81591#p453855

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Re: Continuous autofocus for BMPCC 4K?

PostSun Mar 17, 2019 9:09 pm

This would help, but would much prefer something in camera to limit the amount of 3rd party accessories/devices you have to use with it

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