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Focusing with Panasonic HC-V800

Overbeyond

Novice Member
How is manual focusing done on this model. Is it by a ring or a button maybe. Can focus be altered during recording (to change depth of field say) and how smooth is it?
I am thinking of buying this model.
Many thanks in advance.
 

Overbeyond

Novice Member
Suggest you download the manual from Panasonic UK & read that before deciding.
Many thanks,
Of course; that never occurred to me. I will do that.
But that will not tell me how smooth and efficient it is. I think there are some members here who have first hand experience of using this model.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
How is manual focusing done on this model. Is it by a ring or a button maybe. Can focus be altered during recording (to change depth of field say) and how smooth is it?
I am thinking of buying this model.
Many thanks in advance.

There is no traditional manual focussing on the 800. In MNL mode Manual focus can be selected on the LCD screen and moved using the icons provided. In practice I never use it as the auto focus is so good BUT the 800 is no good if you want to force shallow focus scenes you might be better buying a DSLR if you want to carry out specialised video.
The camera "highlights" the focussed object in a blue halo of light on the LCD screen when in focus.

The manual is the HC-VX1 User Manual. It covers the HC-VXF1, HC-VX1 and the HC-V800.

I do like the 800, it is a very versatile camera for general use, it has good low light response a handy zoom and good OIS. The audio is adequate for general use.
 

Overbeyond

Novice Member
There is no traditional manual focussing on the 800. In MNL mode Manual focus can be selected on the LCD screen and moved using the icons provided. In practice I never use it as the auto focus is so good BUT the 800 is no good if you want to force shallow focus scenes you might be better buying a DSLR if you want to carry out specialised video.
The camera "highlights" the focussed object in a blue halo of light on the LCD screen when in focus.

The manual is the HC-VX1 User Manual. It covers the HC-VXF1, HC-VX1 and the HC-V800.

I do like the 800, it is a very versatile camera for general use, it has good low light response a handy zoom and good OIS. The audio is adequate for general use.
Terfyn, thank you for taking the time and for your comprehensive and helpful reply which has explained the focus methods of the camcorder.
Am I correct in saying that compact camcorders cannot record in black and white?
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Am I correct in saying that compact camcorders cannot record in black and white?
Actually in the 800 you can.:clap: First time I have seen it.
Tap iA. Tap on the "paint pallet" (between iA+ and HDR ) You will see four thumbnails on the left of the screen, the third one down is "Silent movie" and shows in black and white.
I have never tried it and I worry that it may include bits of scratches and weird marks just to imitate an old worn piece of film. The only way is to try it! :eek:

If I was wanting to convert video from colour to B&W, I would do it in my video editor by switching down the colour.

So two ways of making a B&W movie.

P.S. Yes it does put a few fake scratches on to the recorded video - not serious but there all the same.
 

Overbeyond

Novice Member
Actually in the 800 you can.:clap: First time I have seen it.
Tap iA. Tap on the "paint pallet" (between iA+ and HDR ) You will see four thumbnails on the left of the screen, the third one down is "Silent movie" and shows in black and white.
I have never tried it and I worry that it may include bits of scratches and weird marks just to imitate an old worn piece of film. The only way is to try it! :eek:

If I was wanting to convert video from colour to B&W, I would do it in my video editor by switching down the colour.

So two ways of making a B&W movie.

P.S. Yes it does put a few fake scratches on to the recorded video - not serious but there all the same.
Thanks again. Well, that is a bit of a bonus. Could do without the trendy scratches but it will be worth a try. As you say i can always desaturate in editing.
You have been so helpful.
 

Overbeyond

Novice Member
Thanks again. Well, that is a bit of a bonus. Could do without the trendy scratches but it will be worth a try. As you say i can always desaturate in editing.
You have been so helpful.
Actually in the 800 you can.:clap: First time I have seen it.
Tap iA. Tap on the "paint pallet" (between iA+ and HDR ) You will see four thumbnails on the left of the screen, the third one down is "Silent movie" and shows in black and white.
I have never tried it and I worry that it may include bits of scratches and weird marks just to imitate an old worn piece of film. The only way is to try it! :eek:

If I was wanting to convert video from colour to B&W, I would do it in my video editor by switching down the colour.

So two ways of making a B&W movie.

P.S. Yes it does put a few fake scratches on to the recorded video - not serious but there all the same.
Have got the 800 now. Such a pity about the black and white option being fiddled with those lines etc. So many menu options to learn about. I imagine I just end up needing no more than half a dozen. Not finding the screen very sesitive to the touch; need to hold the touch for a little to get change.
Otherwise I like the camera very much.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
I have used the time lapse and the slo-mo options, both very useful. I tend to stay on the iA option for normal filming and tend to leave the OIS on for manual filming.
The "insensitive" screen is handy as you need to deliberately press to change any option. So, in a way, it is a good thing.

I have Neewer CN-LUX360 for extra lighting, they sit neatly on the camera cold shoe and I use a number of mics and headphones to record and monitor the sound. I also tend to use the Smartphone based remote control App when I need an unobtrusive camera for nature filming - so versatile.
Much of my input is by using the video editor, the camera looks after itself most of the time so any personal input comes through the editor. Dark scenes are made very viewable by lifting the brightness as the camera is very sensitive and records detail in the most dimly lit scenes. (In my case Halloween trains on the Ffestiniog railway) Plus using Mercalli and the OIS will give steady handheld telephoto shots. (Not advised - but it works)
 

Overbeyond

Novice Member
I have used the time lapse and the slo-mo options, both very useful. I tend to stay on the iA option for normal filming and tend to leave the OIS on for manual filming.
The "insensitive" screen is handy as you need to deliberately press to change any option. So, in a way, it is a good thing.

I have Neewer CN-LUX360 for extra lighting, they sit neatly on the camera cold shoe and I use a number of mics and headphones to record and monitor the sound. I also tend to use the Smartphone based remote control App when I need an unobtrusive camera for nature filming - so versatile.
Much of my input is by using the video editor, the camera looks after itself most of the time so any personal input comes through the editor. Dark scenes are made very viewable by lifting the brightness as the camera is very sensitive and records detail in the most dimly lit scenes. (In my case Halloween trains on the Ffestiniog railway) Plus using Mercalli and the OIS will give steady handheld telephoto shots. (Not advised - but it works)
Thanks for the insight into how you work and added information and tips..
Have no idea what Mercalli is though!
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Have no idea what Mercalli is though!
Mercalli is an effect in a video editor that steadies an unsteady picture. It works by taking the centre of the picture and steadies all the frame around it. It's quite good especially in conjunction with OIS for handheld telephoto shots.
 

Graceheart

Novice Member
Greetings,
I have been searching the internet regarding an issue with the Panasonic HC-V800. I found this forum/discussion and thought Terfyn or others might be able to share some info. When I am shooting videos I can see the lighting change from darker to lighter randomly watching the view screen. The actual videos of course end up with this issue. Light to darker, and dark to lighter. It seems like a malfunction of an auto-lighting feature. This happens without any changing of the room lighting during video shoots. I am new to the camera and would like to know if this is something that can be corrected in settings or is it a malfunction that needs repair. Thank you in advance.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
It sounds very much like a malfunction. If the camera is new, I suggest a guarantee exchange.
My 800 holds its light levels correctly even down to very low light levels.
 

Graceheart

Novice Member
Thanks for your reply, Terfyn. I assumed that it was malfunction. It is under the 3 year warranty and I will contact Panasonic.
 

Graceheart

Novice Member
Update:
I had two additional HC-V800 cameras that I bought planning a 3 camera video podcast shoot. I had never used them. So I tried doing a video with all three side by side on tripods and all three produced videos with the same light going back and forth dim to light, slight but very obvious. I then checked all three for any auto settings that might be turned on by default. I found the auto-contrast control on and turned it off on all three cameras. Problem solved. Issue ceased.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
FWIW, I bought a Pana V800 and am not pleased with "Manual Focus" - it does behave as Terfyn says... but the LCD +- buttons are far from easy to work and I don't see any distance figures, to know if I'm near enough. The blue halo needs some care in watching, as you are filming - it's not easy. The AF may be good, but after my older Sony ( which has focus tracking via the touch-screen,), AF-only is IMHO a backward-step.
Since buying the Pana V800 I guess I've lost interest in filming - partly the pandemic and some other reasons - but the poor control over focus doesn't help. I don't doubt the shorter zoom lens is far better image quality - but having no focus-scale on the screen doesn't make me want to use it in the great outside. The lack of focus-tracking is unforgivable - I expected it with a "touch-screen" - but it's not present.

Reasons for buying this model were: Dolly-zoom +the Onion effect in Animation +being one of the last HD-only models* . . . . . And, I wanted the 25Mp Stills feature. I find the Menu far-from-easy to fathom .... I need a crib-sheet to arrive at these effects that I may want to try. I am disappointed with this model.

Cheers... + I hope other owners fare better.

*
I'm not convinced 4K is worth the extra Cost+Effort when the audience eyesight is likely to be satisfied with less.... "Content is King" and Audio is still the Poor-Relation wherever I go in Amateur venues.
(( I had a 16Gb/64bit PC built to take 4K but the front-end Win 10 means I don't use it...)) - ( currently Win7/32bit,). I was planning on buying 4K Edit-software - but "now" any filming is way down my activities list.....
Audience sighs of relief.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
I am disappointed with Harry's reaction.
1) The Menu system is straightforward and IMO easy to use, plus it supplies an info system for each action.
2) The 800 is a very good "point-and-shoot" camer and will respond well tto any light or focus situation.
3) Any camera with inbuilt mics will only be any good with "local" sound. That is why I bought an independent audio recorder which supports the camera audio with a sync track.

I am glad that Graceheart solved the contrast problem he had but it does prove that the answer is there. I also have learnt something from this post.
 

Gordon Streeter

Active Member
Having used Panasonic camcorders for years IMHO the best camcorder they made that does "everything" that you need was the 900 series. Although I do have a 4k HC VXF990 I also have 2 SD 900s and one HDC TM900 that has a built in hard drive and also takes an SD card but is otherwise identical. I use these 3 for multicam shots, they shoot in full 1080p and are fully manual or auto and have a "proper" front focus ring.
The 990 although a later 4k camera does the same as the old 900 but isn't as user friendly as it doesn't have the focus ring in the "normal" place but on the side.
I use the 900 models all the time for just about all of my videos including this one hand held on our local beach.
 

asik1

Novice Member

Graceheart,​

do you have any youtube clip with that issue so we can see?​

Could it be 50/60hz flickering? Where do you live and what exact V800 models you have?
(look where the battery is)
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Terfyn,
You say (Post no 5), there is no manual focus for V800. Such a pity they didn't remove it altogether, then.... yet there is MF - so I'm at a loss to understand your comment...

---I was giving my reaction ( Post 18) to the V800 I have. There is no distance scale "on-Screen" - so I have to rely on the sharpness of the LCD viewed image and the blue halo guide. If I'm trying to focus on a subject beyond some near-subject images, any AF is going to fail. If it's at infinity that would be easy enough if the "+-" buttons made any sense. If trying to focus on something slight;y nearer, I'll have to give-up (( Or bring out the older Sony, which has Focus-Tracking, or shows the approximate distance in metres in "Manual Focus" mode.)).
Considering V800 is 10-years newer... I'm not impressed with "progress"

I was unaware of this V800 MF problem, although I'd read-up User-Guide "Features" beforehand.
Post 17 =V800, Light-level changes - I haven't noticed this - is it seen on the LCD - or only when a file is on the PC ? er, I haven't used my PC Editor recently... ( since about 2-years),

bty MC + HNY

Cheers H.
 
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Terfyn

Well-known Member
The point is that the auto focus is so good that there is no need to use manual focus. BUT the camera is useless for deliberately soft focussing the background and that sort of effect.
 

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