If you want to shoot a professional video production, whether it’s an interview or a sports broadcast, knowing how to resolve common problems such as improper camera focus is key. If you’re shooting a segment for a sports broadcast that involves lots of movement, the audience is going to flip the channel if they can’t see what’s happening. Luckily, this guide is here to teach you how to maintain good focus while filming moving subjects. This way, when you shoot your next video, it’ll look like a professional production instead of an amateurish one.
Use a Follow Focus System
A complete follow focus system uses many moving parts to help camera operators consistently maintain focus during shoots that involve subjects moving around in-frame. Instead of awkwardly fidgeting with your camera’s focus ring during a shoot, using a high-quality follow focus system provides you a knob to turn the focus in a more comfortable and precise way. Plus, follow focus systems have an area by the name of the “white disk,” which allows the camera operator to write directions down and erase them when they’re no longer needed. This means that if you need to rack focus, you just have to glance at the ring and move to the designated point on the white disk. To put it simply, follow focus systems help you maintain focus and shoot videos like a pro.
Consider Using an External Monitor Too
In order to ensure your focus is on-point, you need a way to clearly see the image. In-camera monitors typically aren’t big enough to give you the best look at your focus quality, so you should consider investing in an external monitor. A high-quality external monitor should be lightweight enough to ensure the camera operator remains comfortable and steady. It needs to do this while simultaneously providing crystal clear images. The camera operator can use these images to determine whether or not the footage is properly in focus when filming begins and ensure it remains that way throughout the shoot.
When in Doubt, Try Autofocus
You might be reading this and wondering why we didn’t immediately recommend using autofocus. The reason for this is because using the camera autofocus can yield inconsistent results. Some higher quality brands on the market can provide you with suitable autofocus, but not all of them will. However, if it’s your last resort, it’s worth trying autofocus to capture clean, in-focus footage.
Reviewing footage and discovering it’s out of focus can be very frustrating. If you stick to these tips for how to maintain good focus while filming moving subjects, you’ll be able to produce a high-quality, professional video for your client or boss.