Marketing Fail: A Demo of AF Speed with a Lens Set to MF

In the beginning of last month, Nokia was caught faking sample photos and footage in a promo video for the camera on its new Lumia 920 phone. A couple of weeks later, bogus information about camera sensors was found on the official website for Hasselblad’s new Lunar mirrorless camera. This week, we have a new episode of “camera marketing fail” for you, this time brought to you by Phase One.

The video above, titled “Shooting with auto focus”, was uploaded to the company’s official YouTube account back in 2009 to promote the new Phase One 645DF medium format camera. Here’s the description:

Showing the auto focus function working on location with the Phase One 645DF camera system.

Upon first glance, it may appear to be a straightforward 1-minute educational video and demonstration of the camera’s autofocus speed. Look a little closer, and you’ll find that things aren’t as they appear.

A sharp-eyed reader named Fred noticed that even as the photographer talks about “showing off the speed of focus”, the lens is clearly set to manual focus:

Midway through the video, after the camera cuts between the photographer and the model, the lens is seen set to AF (this suggests that the video is a combination of multiple takes).

We all (hopefully) know that advertisements aren’t always the best at representing facts in a truthful and straightforward way, but the fact that this video purports to be an educational demonstration makes it even more iffy in our eyes…

If any video needs a truthful and unedited depiction of how a particular camera functions, it would be this type of video, right? If not, apologies for the storm in the teacup.

  • Bo

    Fail or not fail… Its both! Yes at one closeup you can see MF i chosen. BUT this is a video edit fail. Look at the second edit when he’s done shooting the “fisherman”. Look carefully at the camera settings. Now AF is at the right position! It´s a classic edit mistake.

  • patrick dinneen

    Very well spotted. We all know ads lies to us but it’s nice when we spot them making a mistake.

  • joost

    Why is it still shocking that advertisers use lies. It’s part of the job. That said. The autofocus is really that quick with a phase one. It’s faster than some of my Canon lenses and much faster than my Hasselblad. So who cares it’s a fake video for something that’s real.

  • The_photographer_Tom

    As previously mentioned, it’s a continuity fail. IMDB is full of them :o)

  • Rick Allen

    Not quite guys check the screen grab from when Walter is actually shooting. Its clearly on AF

  • Rick Allen

    Hardly in the realm of the Nokia fakes…

  • Bo

    Faster than canon? I totally disagree, Im shooting only phaseone and all middelformat cameras AF suck bigtime compared even to cheap canon system

  • Richard Ford

    A lot of great journalism around here of late. Really riveting stuff.

  • bob cooley

    Editing error, plain and simple. As long as the AF demonstration itself is actual, there’s not ‘lie’, just an edit error. It would be a lie if they showed him actually shooting, claiming it was AF when it was MF.

    This is like the spot-toning dilemma (for those of us who remember spot-toning) – look hard enough, and you can ALWAYS find more spots to correct…

  • Jimm

    I fail to see the fail. Those were clearly two different shots.

  • John

    I think Fred has way too much time on his hands. He started a thread over on Luminous Landscape about this topic and it’s a yawner.

  • Abacus

    At 0:52 you can see clearly that the Camera is Set to AF.

  • Brian Hirschfeld

    Yes, this is exactly what I was going to cite. You can clearly see that the camera is in fact set to Autofocus when he is shooting right before the video ends. Considering it is not one continuos take, its pretty reasonable to assume the camera was incorrectly set and they noticed it…and that is why they made a second take when the camera was set properly…

  • CameronPhotographer

    Forget the technical crap, a crappy boat, on a crappy dock, and some random sailor on a cloudy was the best location and concept this industry leading company could come up with?

  • Flotsammy

    IMHO, all this shows is that during the cut between speaking to the viewer and shooting, he checked his camera settings and switched from MF to AF. I don’t see any evidence of lying.

  • Rob

    Back in 2009? really the best article you could come up with? an editing mistake in a 3 year old video

  • Fred Greissing

    Another question to ask is how come you can clearly hear the voice, mirror slap and motor drive, but not the noisy focusing motor?
    The model goes from more than head to toe… to head and shoulders and then to a wider shot from head to ankles with plenty of head room. However the focusing motor cannot be heard.

    The DF camera needs to have two switches set for autofocus with the LS lenses.

    One on the lens and one on the camera body.
    Here is what the focusing motor sounds like:

    Here is what it sounds like:

  • alex

    Agreed with Rick Allen, he was in AF. Guys check the editing of the video too…there was no two video camera on the scene, when he starts to shoot the cameraman is not at the same place, the video has been edited…

    That’s a fail from Petapixel…sorry

  • Rasmus Helenius

    Any non-biased reviews out there commenting on the AF speed?

  • Doug Peterson

    OMG, it was set wrong during a take during which he was *talking*.

    It was set correctly during the take in which he was *shooting*.

    This is no worse than a continuity error in any movie or commercial.

    This is link-baiting and sensationalism at it’s best.

  • Fred Greissing

    How come you can’t hear the AF motor at any point in the video?

  • Fred Greissing

    How come you can’t hear the noisy AF motor. You know that AF needs to be on in two places, one of them is not viable….