A recently published Nikon patent application shows that Nikon is working on implementing programmed focus pulls in video-capable cameras.
Essentially, the patent application describes the process of setting a starting focus point on the camera’s LCD and then an ending focus point. The camera will then automatically (and smoothly) rack focus between the two points as you record video.
Nikon has thought of several variations that make this feature a pretty sexy one should it surface on a future Nikon HDSLR camera. The automatic focus pull can be set to predetermined time to start. Additionally, it can change focus at a continuous speed or ramp up and down in speed to give a more “natural” feel to the change.
The focus pull can also be triggered by the movement of a subject. As in the above scene, if you have set your starting focus point on the girl in the background, it won’t rack the focus to the flower in the foreground until she moves from the predetermined area on the LCD.
This could be a huge feature if Nikon will hurry up and get it to market on the D400 or whatever it has in the pipeline.
If you want some light weekend reading, I’ve attached the 25-page patent application PDF file below.
What do you video shooters out there think about such a feature on your next Nikon?