Is there a D90 Movie Mode Autofocus hack?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by supraman215, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    I didn't know where else to post this but is there a firmware hack that allows one to autofocus while filming in movie mode with the D90. I need a new camcorder and I wanted to see if I could put off the purchase a little longer and get by with my D90 but the autofocus in movie mode is really holding me back. Thanks.
     
  2. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    bump
     
  3. MohaimenK

    MohaimenK TPF Noob!

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    you might want to try a nikon forum
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I might be wrong, but I think the issue is that the mirror needs to be down for the AF to word, that works for still photos because the mirror is down until right before the shutter opens, but that obviously won't work for video mode because the mirror has to be up.

    On models that do have AF during movie mode, but they use some sort of contrast detection AF system, pretty much like most P&S digital cameras. From what I understand, it's not nearly as fast/good as the regular AF system in your DSLR.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    In virtually all 35 mm format dSLR cameras the auto focus module is in the bottom of the body.

    The main mirror is only 50% reflective, passing 1/2 the light from the lens up to the viewfinder, and the other 1/2 on through the main mirror to a second smaller mirror behind it that reflects the other 1/2 of the light down to the AF module.

    Like Mike said, the mirror has to be up to shoot video, so no AF from the still shot AF module, and hence no hack.
     
  7. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    Then how does it AF in live view mode when taking stills?
     
  8. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    Either:

    It quickly flips the mirror down, focuses, then flips it back up and takes the shot. (phase detect, or "Quick" AF on a Canon)

    Or:
    it uses contrast detection like a P&S ("Live" AF on a Canon) which can also perform face detection on some cameras. This is painfully slow (up to 1 second) as the lens hunts for the highest contrast.
     
  9. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Big Mike, I didn't know this.

    OP: Ya I find the lack of AF when doing video on my 7D is quite annoying as well.

    The video that it produces is so beautiful, but having to manual focus is a pretty large limiting factor in my opinion.

    When I try to record my son playing, I seem to lose focus a lot because he moves so much/quickly.
     
  10. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    I am pretty sure it uses that contrast detection thing Big Mike mentioned.

    The AF in live mode on my 7D is super slow compared to normal shooting. It is also far more likely to fail alltogether, and I have to manual focus a lot.
     
  11. Neil S.

    Neil S. TPF Noob!

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    I didn't really know this. Thanks. :thumbup:

    I do remember now seeing two types of AF in the live view settings. I just didn't know the difference.
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is manual focus really that hard? Autofocus and movie making seems extremely problematic.
     

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