Getting the Focus Right
Every shot you get must be properly focused, which is crucial in any professional production. Soft focus shots, unless used for artistic effect, don’t count as shots that are in focus.
The Canon XF200 has three ways to focus the picture – Manually, Automatically and Focus Assistance functions such as peaking or magnification.
CAUTION: In most situations, using the AUTO FOCUS is not recommended simply because AF continuously adjusts the focus, which means that the focus might visibly shift away from your subject, which could ruin your shot, especially if you’re recording an interview.
Manual Focus – use the Focus Ring
To focus a telephoto lens manually you must calibrate it first
Make sure the FOCUS switch is set to M for MANUAL (A sets the lens to AUTO FOCUS).
MF appears in the screen when the camera lens is set to manual focus, or I.AF when the camera is set to automatic focus.
Zoom in all the way on your subject and focus by turning the focus ring on the lens. Then zoom out to compose the shot. Each time the camera gets moved you will need to calibrate the telephoto lens.
Getting the focus right means having to judge the focus properly. You might think you can judge the focus using only the OLED screen, but it’s actually impossible to rely on this 720p display to get the true focus because this screen doesn’t have enough pixels to render the image sharply. Focus errors are more obvious in high-definition, but fortunately there are focus assist options to choose from that will help you focus more accurately.
This assist function will magnify the image allowing you to see it more clearly for focus. The magnified image is not recorded into the video.
Press the MAGN button, located on the side grip.
Press MAGN again to cancel the magnification.
This assist function creates blue outlines of the subject when the area is in focus.
Press the PEAKING button, located near the bottom edge of the camera.
To cancel peaking, press PEAKING again.
Press the WFM button to toggle through various assist functions. The first is the Waveform Monitor, the second is the Vectorscope (these will be explained in the sections about Exposure). The third option shows you the Edge Monitor, which lets you focus with more precision.
Whilst using manual focus (MF), press and hold down the PUSH AF button. Autofocus is temporarily engaged until you release the button.