DSLR Video Tips – 3 Ways to Accurately Focus Your Camera.

- December 7, 2016



How to focus your DSLR when shooting video. http://pa-z.us/dslr-video-guide In the video I show you three ways to focus your DSLR for video.

In the video I show you three ways to focus your DSLR. The first is for YouTube style videos like this, the second is shooting on the move using manual focus and the third is using the advanced autofocus features of a new camera like a Canon 80d, Canon 70d or Canon 700d with face detection.

Like any photography, the most important thing to get in focus is your subjects’ eyes if you are filming people.


In a static situation like this, or an interview, where your subject is not moving manual focus is the best way. Before shooting a video set up something like a light stand or a microphone stand. Position it as close to where your eyes will be as possible. This will be the point where You focus the camera.

Once that is set move over to the camera, switch on live view, position the focus area on the stand at the point where the eyes were positioned, zoom into 10x and then use the auto focus to accurately focus in. Lock the focus into manual before returning to the original position. This is a good way to ensure your focus is accurate to a very fine margin. Remember do not then adjust your position, or the camera position, or you will have to go through the process again.

Manual Focus

This sounds complicated but is actual very simple. Put your camera into manual focus mode and start filming. Use the focus ring to adjust focus as necessary for your shot. Extra accessories like a follow focus, magnifying screen or external monitor can make this easier. You can also shoot with a smaller aperture so your depth of field is large. This means your focus does not have to be quite as accurate.

Auto Focus

The last way is using autofocus on newer cameras like the Canon 700d or the Canon 70d or Canon 80d. With face detection switched on the cameras do a pretty good job of keeping you in focus but you can also tap the screen to focus into that area. Combined with the new STM lenses this makes auto-focusing a real pleasure although sometimes it will hunt around going in and out of focus for no apparent reason.

The method of focus you use is entirely up to you but having the ability to use all three will ensure you are armed to focus your DSLR whilst shooting video in almost any situation.


Comments (40)

  • This may sound like a stupid question but how do you watch the video on your camera after filming?

    Hannah Peterson - 0 days ago

  • Hi Adam

    Loved the video, extremely helpful. However, can you give me some focusing pointers when videoing dancers? I was going to use auto focus as she will be moving about quite quickly using something around f10 (dependent on light ). I have a sturdy tripod, dolly and 12ft of track to assist in stabilising the camera as I tend to shake (old age :) )

    My camera is Canon 6D and I will be using a Canon 24-104 lens

    Best Regards

    Mike Hardley - 1 week ago

  • May I ask at point 2:05 what did you press to get it to focus because i've been having the same problem

    fiso moyo - 2 weeks ago

  • Why won't my camera focus on something I point it to?? Like when I am recording, I put on auto focus, but that still requires me to press the shutter button to focus it (So its really not auto focus). Whenever I watch youtubers like you or vloggers like Casey Neistat, it seems like everything you guys point your camera at, the camera just focuses perfectly to it. Whenever I shoot, everything that I don't specifically choose to be focused is completely blurred. I just want to be able to point my camera at something and have it automatically change its focus to that. Sort of like a cell phone camera does. I thought that was what auto focus did, but it is not working for me. I would really appreciate the help!!

    Christopher Perillo - 4 weeks ago

  • Hi,

    I want to shoot 2-3 kids play with a distance of 2 meter (around 7 foot) and want to ensure that those kids should be in focus, how to set the focus and ensure all the kids are in focus. I own Canon EOS M5.

    Ravi NAIR - 1 month ago

Write a Comment

Recent Posts

Vaporwave Photography Tutorial...

- December 7, 2016

Levitation Photography Tutoria...

- December 7, 2016

David Loftus Photography Maste...

- December 7, 2016

Landscape Photography Mastercl...

- December 7, 2016

David Loftus Photography Maste...

- December 7, 2016