Advanced Video Editing

Canon XF300

Adjusting the Focus

You can use four methods to adjust the focus:

  • Full Manual Focus (FULL MF) - this is the focus ring on the lens
  • Manual Focus (M) - you also use the focus ring to adjust the focus
  • Peaking - this is a focus assist that allows you to focus more accurately by emphasising outlines of the subject 
  • Magnification - this is also a focus assist that enlarges the image on the screen to help you focus more clearly
In addition, there is also the Autofocus (AF) function that lets the camera adjust the focus automatically. The Canon XF300 uses the TTL autofocus system that continuously focuses on the subject in the centre of the screen. You can still attempt to focus by turning the focus ring on the lens, but the moment you release, the AF will be engaged. The speed at which the AF sets the focus can be adjusted in the camera menu. This mode is useful when you need AF to respond at the highest possible speed. You will find the AF speed settings under Camera Setup in the menu and then select AF mode. However, the problem with using AF is that the camera might shift the focus away from the subject. AF is better suited in environments where the images change more abruptly. But never use AF during interviews as the shift in focus could ruin your shot.  

Finally, there is the PUSH AF, which is a form of instant AF. With the camera in Manual Focus (M) push down on the PUSH AF button to temporarily use AF. This function is helpful when you point the camera at the subject, but still need help gauging the focus. 

Calibrating the Telephoto Lens

Remember, to focus a telephoto lens, you first need to zoom in all the way to full telephoto on your subject, focus, then zoom out and compose the image.

The focus ring is the first ring just behind the front of the lens. Behind that is the focus mode ring, which also comes with a distance display panel. Behind that ring is the zoom ring and the last one is the iris ring used to adjust the iris.

Full Manual Focus (FULL MF)

You adjust the focus using only the focus ring on the lens. It makes no difference whether the FOCUS switch is set to M or A. FULL MF will override the FOCUS switch.

  • Press the PUSH button located on the focus mode ring and turn the ring towards FULL MF
  • The subject-distance display switches out of autofocus mode. The distance display is not considered precise for a particular zoom.  

Manual Focus (M) 

You adjust the focus using only the focus ring on the lens. Make sure the PUSH button to unlock the focus mode is moved toward AF/MF

  • Slide the FOCUS switch to M
  • MF will appear in the bottom left of the viewfinder screen.



During manual focus mode you can use Peaking to assist you in achieving more accurate focus. Peaking emphasises the outlines of the subject. The camera offers two peaking levels (PEAK 1 and PEAK 2) that need to be set before using. You can find the Peaking settings in the LCD/VF Setup menu.

  • On the camera, press the PEAKING button (you will see PEAK 1 displayed in the viewfinder, or PEAK 2 depending on what was set in the menu)
  • Adjust the focus to emphasise outlines in the image. The sharper the outlines, the more accurate the focus (the outlines will be displayed as red)
The outlines appear only in the viewfinder and are not recorded into the picture. 




Use Magnification when the camera focus is set to M. The MAGN button is located behind the zoom rocker on the side grip. There is another MAGN button located the top handle of the camera, but that button has been assigned for another use. 

  • Point the camera towards an object and press the MAGN button (MAGN appears at the bottom of the viewfinder screen)
  • The image is magnified approximately 2 times
  • Turn the focus ring to adjust the focus.
  • Press MAGN again to exit the function
Magnification appears only in the viewfinder screen and will not affect your recordings. 

Push AF

Make sure the camera FOCUS is set to M. The PUSH AF allows automatic focus only as long as you hold the button down. Release the button to return to manual focus mode. This function may be used when the scene is changing rapidly enough that you can't adjust focus manually fast enough. 

  • Press the PUSH AF button and hold it down until the image is in focus.
  • Release the button to return to manual focus mode. 
Autofocus takes longer to focus when the camera's frame rate is set to 30P or 24P than when it is set to 60i