Most pros use auto focus for sports and general shooting only. A majority of the time you won't find them using auto focus at all, nor will you find many 1st year media students using it after a week in to their courses. Better-looking video is always a result of control.
The only time I use auto focus is when I need to quickly get a clear shot of live action subjects. For scenes with a lot of movement, I let the auto focus run loose and hunt as my camera moves around the room getting ready to record something important. When I find what I?m looking for and need to focus on it, I let the auto focus take control. When its done focusing on its own- which is seconds, auto focus is then turned off and I manually fine tune the focus and start recording. The auto focus does most of the work for me and I get a perfect shot in little time. If I was to zoom in on the subject manually focus, then zoom out, the subject and entire shot could have been long gone. This technique does take some time to master and use towards your advantage.
Hunting can be used for or against you. When your camcorder is constantly focusing, it not only looks bad but it wears down your battery. Auto focus should never be used when the record button is on. See it to your advantage to get the clearest shot.
Last update: 03:10 PM Saturday, April 28, 2007