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[Part 3] EOS 70D – Advantages of Shooting Movies with Large-aperture and STM Lenses

Revolutionary changes to AF have been brought about by the introduction of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF on the EOS 70D not only for still photography, but also in movie shooting. In the third article of this series that explores the advancements made in the movie AF feature, I will test its effects in movie shooting using large-aperture and STM lenses, which characterise the EOS series. (Edited by: Video Salon, Reported by: Kazuhiko Saika)

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Focus can be maintained even with a non-STM large-aperture prime lens

One of the benefits of shooting movies with a DSLR camera is that it allows for expression with a shallow focus when you are using a large-aperture lens that have a bright maximum aperture. In the past, it was almost impossible to move the camera and maintain the focus accurately at the same time while keeping the depth of field shallow. However, this can now be done on the EOS 70D with the latter's highly-precise AF control. The lens that I used here is the EF85mm f/1.2L USM.

I had three girls stand side by side one another, and panned the camera horizontally to shoot a movie. From the link for the sample movie below, you can tell the [Face + Tracking] AF performance of the larger-aperture prime lens when the focus is shallow. Take note of the footage starting from about 00:01:11.


With a lead-screw type STM lens, AF drive is near silent

In the past, when recording EOS movies, the sound from driving the lens elements during focusing and other operations would be transmitted through vibrations of the body and picked up by the microphone as a loud noise. This meant that in many cases, built-in camera microphones could not be used for recording the audio of EOS movies. With the use of a lead-screw type STM lens, however, operation is silent with the lens drive sound close to non-existent. The stereo microphones that are built into the EOS 70D are sufficiently functional, and you can record very clear sound without the use of an external microphone.

Two stereo microphones are built into top of the camera on the two sides of the hot shoe.


The silent touchscreen operation is well-suited for movie shooting

Besides face detection in the [Face + Tracking] AF mode and AF point specification in the [FlexiZone - Single] AF mode, the EOS 70D also enables easy touchscreen operation of the different camera settings, such as aperture value and shutter speed. It leads me to re-acknowledge that on-screen control interfaces are extremely well suited for shooting movies on a DSLR camera. Some cameras, such as the EOS 5D Mark III, come with features specifically to ensure silent movie shooting, such a silent control touch-pad on the rear to prevent operating sound from being recorded when using the Quick Control Dial. In comparison, volume level control via the touchscreen operation on the EOS 70D is far more user-friendly. However, take note that volume control on the EOS 70D is disabled while recording is in progress.

The EOS 70D supports touchscreen operation. You can touch the LCD screen to adjust the different camera settings.

Kazuhiko Saika

Currently a professor with the Faculty of Media and Information Resource at Surugadai University, Mr. Saika was formerly a planning producer at an advertising company and a certified trainer for a high-end editing system. His recent artistic activities centre on videography with DSLR cameras, and he is currently experimenting with 4K videos.

Video Salon

Video Salon started publication in 1980, and is Japan's only niche magazine on videographic equipment. Catering to readers who range from serious amateurs to professionals, it enjoys an established reputation not only for the information it provides on video cameras and editing software, but also on its drive-run reviews on videography with the latest DSLR cameras and its expert tips and tutorials.

Published by GENKOSHA Co., Ltd