Many professional video makers often advise to use manual focus and—in fact—swear by it, but does that mean there is no place for autofocus when making and producing wedding videos? Which one should your videographer go with to get the best shot?
There is a time and place for everything, right? This saying is also true when your videographer is filming a video and has to choose between manual or autofocus.
When to use autofocus:
When moving objects are involved
Suppose I’m filming a couple’s first dance. There is no choreography and they are moving wherever they feel like it. Sometimes they move side to side, other times they move away or towards the camera. Keeping the camera on autofocus is preferable for this situation. By doing this, I am able to clearly capture the movement especially when it’s unpredictable.
When to use manual focus:
When the objects stay in one place
During a couple’s first look or while they are standing still taking photos is an appropriate time to use manual focus. Any setting that requires the object to stay in one place and where the distance between the camera and the object remains roughly the same does not need autofocus. All a videographer needs to do in this instance is adjust the manual focus before starting the video and they are all set.
Both auto and manual focus have their place when it comes to wedding videography.
Sometimes I need to use manual focus and sometimes I just need to let the camera do the hunt. It is all up to the person behind the lens and it’s important that you find a wedding videographer who knows how to use the lens appropriately.
You do not need to know technical terms or memorize when videographers should use which approach so you can ask the right questions. Watch videos of their past work and get a feel for the clarity and style of the footage. This, along with finding out how your wedding videographer communicates, can go a long way in helping you make the right decision.