A couple of years ago, I bought a Panasonic Lumix G7 mirrorless camera. Folks like EposVox were touting it as one of the best budget cameras you could buy. It was capable of recording 4K video, had high-quality interchangeable lenses, and was very affordable compared to its competition. I wanted to use it to record the occasional one-off video and to use during live streams. It could produce a better-looking and higher framerate video than the trusty Logitech C920 I had at the time.
I also got an Elgato CamLink, a micro HDMI cable (ugh), and a dummy battery to keep it running from a power outlet. After setting it all up, I quickly ran into a problem. When recording, the continuous autofocus on the camera seemed to track me pretty well, but you’re not actually recording anything when hooked up to the CamLink. Instead, you’re just sending a signal out via HDMI, so the camera was not autofocusing. The G7 isn’t known for having the best continuous autofocus system, which is fine, but in this case, it wasn’t working at all. So I dove into the menus.
I finally found a bit of a misleading entry called Quick AF. In the menu, it says that it will autofocus when the jitter of the camera stops. I’m not sure if this camera has a built-in accelerometer, but I thought this meant if you shook the camera body around, it would autofocus when you stopped. But what I think it means is instead a jitter in the frame. So if there is movement in the frame, when the action stops, it will autofocus. So kind of like continuous autofocus, but you don’t have to be recording. After turning this setting on, I seem to have a much more consistent autofocus-like behavior. It still isn’t the best, and it can still be slow at times, hunt for focus, and have a bit of a focus breathing problem. Either way, it’s better than no autofocus.
If you’re running into a similar issue, try checking out the Quick AF setting. I messed with some of the other focus settings in the menu, and nothing else seemed to have much of an impact unless you’re recording. Have you had any good or bad experiences using a G7 for live streaming or have a better solution to this problem?