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Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

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Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Matthew Max » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:45 am

I am always wondering about when I should be using the Auto setting on my sony camcorder HDR-CX550V. When you flip open the screen, you see a greenish Auto button on the camera body. I've never been able to nail down the differences with it on and with it off. Other auto setting are determined under the menu, if I am correct, and I have worked with them. But I cannot figure out the best way to do these. It seems to me that Auto can be the best thing for most situations, but on the other hand, I CANNOT figure it out.

Maybe there's a video about this on Muvipix.
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:57 am

Most likely the big Auto button is for auto-focus.

Although, as you know if you've tinkered with the cam, there are also auto settings for lighting, aperture setting and white balance (color temperature).

But usually, when there's a real obvious Auto button, it's to turn off or on the auto-focus.
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Matthew Max » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:22 am

Part of my question, then, would be: When is an Auto setting helpful?
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:15 am

My Canon HV40 does a pretty nice job when on Auto, so I shoot 80% of my video that way.
The other 20% is mostly due to a need for manual adjustment to mostly focus and white balance.
If you are happy with the way the footage looks using the Auto setting then that's great.
But you really won't know the difference until you play around with the manual settings a bit ;)
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Matthew Max » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:18 am

So then, when I want the background to be out of focus and the subject to be in focus, what do I do with the Auto button (focus)?

That's one of my enduring questions, and I know that BUTTON has something to do with it.
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:43 am

Not sure how good the depth of field is on your camera but to do what you have asked you will need to turn auto focus off and use the manual focus if your camera has that capability.
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Bob » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:39 pm

So then, when I want the background to be out of focus and the subject to be in focus, what do I do with the Auto button (focus)?


Probably the biggest factor is the the aperature (iris size). For a given lens, the bigger the opening the shallower the depth of field. This is why portrait photographers spend big bucks to get lenses that can have a larger aperature. Assign "iris" to your manual dial and you are using aperature priority and can open the lens for a more out of focus background.
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Re: Using the Auto setting on my Sony camcorder HDR-CX550V

Postby Matthew Max » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:00 pm

I never even considered that. That'll be fun to experiment with.
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