Joe Simon
Joe Simon

Joe Simon and his company, Joe Simon Wedding Films, have become recognized as one of the top wedding studios in the world. Aside from weddings, he has also filmed extreme sports, short films, independent films and more.

Using the EOS C100's AF feature upgrade for wedding films

March 04, 2014

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I’ve been filming weddings for about 14 years and it’s been quite the journey. Watching cheesy wedding videos turn into these artful story-driven films has been amazing, and I feel so lucky to be a part of this awesome industry. The evolution of camera technology has made our films not only more beautiful, but our jobs easier because of the small camera size and the power of the lowlight sensors. We are able to create films that, only a few short years ago, were not even a possibility.

I’ve been shooting on Canon cameras for quite some time. My first HD camera was the Canon XH A1; it was an awesome camera but lacked the lowlight capabilities I needed for shooting events. When the EOS 5D Mark II was released, it was a huge game changer and my lowlight wishes had been granted! Being able to have shallow depth of field and interchangeable lenses for greater control over your image was a giant leap in production quality.

Needless to say, when the Canon EOS C100 was released in 2012, I was super excited to get my hands on it. It was so wonderful to finally have an interchangeable lens digital video camera that was ergonomic and had the professional tools like peaking, waveform monitor, zebras, etc. Also, the image quality and dynamic range was a huge jump from the EOS 5D Mark II and I knew this camera would, again, change the way I created my wedding films.

The Canon EOS C100 allowed me to focus on what matters: lighting, composition and camera movement. I was able to do this because I wasn’t guessing with my exposure or my focus; I was able to use zebras and the waveform monitor to nail my exposure, and peaking and magnification to get tack sharp focus. But the one thing that was still missing was continuous autofocus.

With the release of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade, I was excited, once again, to have a new feature that would be able to pull off really amazing shots only possible with a wireless focus puller. I shoot frequently with stabilizing tools like the FreeFly MOVI M10, Glidecam HD 4000 and Kessler Stealth Dolly. With these tools, it’s hard – if not impossible – to pull focus yourself while keeping a steady shoot. But with continuous autofocus, I’m able to smoothly and naturally make focus change. Also, with the upgraded One Shot Autofocus, it’s now almost twice as fast, so it reduces the hunting and searching and, instead, locks into focus with lightning speed!

Shooting on the MOVI M10 while tracking the married couples allows me a whole new freedom for capturing shots that I only dreamed of before. By using the AF Lock button, I can set my focus adjust and composition and then begin shooting. When I’m ready for a new focus point, I unlock the focus to go to continuous autofocus and track my subject until I want to lock it again. This new upgrade opens up so many different opportunities and I’m excited to see how it will change my shooting style, once again.

Check out my tutorial video on techniques for shooting a stylistic wedding film with the Dual Pixel AF feature upgrade.

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