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emptech

Canon 7D MkII focus motor sounds

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Now that I've added a 7D MkII to my u/w water camera collection, I've noticed something strange. Since my 7D was unable to constantly focus while in the video mode, there were no apparent problems with the sound. Since the 7D MkII can continuously focus while shooting, I think the focus motor is generating a sound that is being picked up in the audio. While editing some video taken a few months ago, I've noticed that periodically there are loud clicking sounds. The waveform is very consistent. At first I thought it was one of the video light arms moving, but I get the same sound out of water, while shooting video with the camera in the housing.

 

I just learned that not all focus motors are created equally. The Canon lens, 17-40 L series has a USM motor, which is supposed to be quieter than other motors.

 

I've considered moving to a Sigma 17-70mm lens which can do macro. Sigma makes three of the lenses, but of the three lenses, only one will fit into my Ikelite housing because of the diameter, the one that does not have the ultrasonic lens motor. So this lens noise must be a common problem, but I've never heard of it.

 

If this is the cause, I see two solutions, one is to add background music or ocean sounds to the video to cover up the noises, or go in with the waveform editor, locate every occurrence of the sound and drop the volume to a point where it isn't noticeable. So far that's what I'm doing, but it is a tedious job. I'm using Magix Edit Pro 17 Plus, which has some noise filters, but the duration of these bursts are too long and high in amplitude for the filter to correct.

 

My question is, are other people experiencing the same thing? Are there other solutions?

 

Jim

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Edited by emptech

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Yes, the focus noise is a pain. I have the same problem using a Tokina 10-17. What I do is find a long section of clean sound, loop it to the length I want, and use that sound, just dropping out the original sound track and adding a bit of music too. I mean it's just the sound of exhaled bubbles every now and again unless you are picking up something else.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Why would you want to be using continuous auto-focus underwater anyway? Unless you are using a long lens and shooting a person or creature swimming close towards you, it's better to fix AF at the right distance. Normally, with the kind of WA lenses used underwater, the depth of field will cover the subject. With macro, you don't want the lens changing focus point on the subject as that'll make your audience dizzy.

 

So, unless you have some special reason to be using continuous AF, just lock the focus at the right distance as you start to shoot and you'll have no lens noise.

 

Because, if the lens is making focus noises that probably means it's hunting and that'll look bad in the image.

 

 

Regards

Peter

http://www.peterwalker.com

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Does your housing have an external microphone? Or does it rely on the builtin camera microphone(s)?

 

My ancient Amphibico video housings all had an external mic. A few times I either forgot or did not successfully plug in the mic cable and the audio consisted mostly of sounds from the cameras tape drive mechanism and control switch activation's.

 

If you want external sound you will likely need an external microphone.

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Why would you want to be using continuous auto-focus underwater anyway? Unless you are using a long lens and shooting a person or creature swimming close towards you, it's better to fix AF at the right distance. Normally, with the kind of WA lenses used underwater, the depth of field will cover the subject. With macro, you don't want the lens changing focus point on the subject as that'll make your audience dizzy.

 

So, unless you have some special reason to be using continuous AF, just lock the focus at the right distance as you start to shoot and you'll have no lens noise.

 

Because, if the lens is making focus noises that probably means it's hunting and that'll look bad in the image.

 

 

Regards

Peter

http://www.peterwalker.com

I was recently in Vancouver Island shooting Steller sea lions and the AF came in pretty handy. Much of the time I have it disabled but this was a case where the AF worked really well.

 

 

 

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Hey everyone,

 

I'm new to Wet Pixel. I'm trying to sell me Canon 7D Del Mar Housing Project Underwater housing. I'm not able to post a topic for some reason, but was hoping someone could point me in a good direction on where I could list this.. Thanks for the help.

 

-Phil

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Hey everyone,

 

I'm new to Wet Pixel. I'm trying to sell me Canon 7D Del Mar Housing Project Underwater housing. I'm not able to post a topic for some reason, but was hoping someone could point me in a good direction on where I could list this.. Thanks for the help.

 

-Phil

 

 

Hey Phil

 

Welcome aboard. If you go into the "Classifieds" forum you can Start a New Topic and post your ad there. If you get stuck send me a PM (Personal Message) and I can advise you further.

 

Good luck with the sale!

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To answer the question, why autofocus? I'm used to using a real video camera, a Canon GL2, until I retired it. The only issue I've ever had with autofocus, I was on a pelagic dive off Kona, when the camera couldn't see anything in the background, it would hunt. When I switched to the 7D, as the distance to my subject would change (beyond my control), I would have to pause the camera, re-focus, and continue, it then broke up my clips. My Ikelite housing will not permit manual focus with the 17-40mm lens I'm using. I then switched to the 7D MkII, which can autofocus during the shoot. I've not had a problem with the cam hunting, it seems to make the noise periodically without changing the subject distance. I am using the built-in microphone on the camera. Sound isn't that important but it is neat to capture the whales talking to eachother. I can't reach the AF/MF switch on the lens barrel, no control there. I can't remember if through a push button setting I can turn AF off and on. Perhaps through the "drive/af" button. I think it's a small price to pay to get good video. BTW, my GL2 also made a noise, you could always hear the tape drive motor running, can't have it all.

 

Jim

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