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FX30 help


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I bought a FX-30 a bit more than a year ago for a specific project.
The camera has been the most frustrating camera experience I've ever had.
Using it as a normal camera to film normal things it's been really good.
That is not why I bought the camera.

I bought the camera to film a once in a lifetime event the very first spacex starship launch...
The AF/MF switch on the lens was intermittent so it would randomly flip back and forth so the once in a lifetime shot was blurry...
By exercising the AF/MF switch it stopped being flakey.
This ruined  a project that involved my mounting a gimbal to my experimental airplane and flying it to 
Texas to get the one shot....
Alas I probably spent more than a month preparing for and more than $15,000 for the shot and got a poor result.
Camera on front of the plane:

So for my next project I went to Illinois to film the eclipse.
(Used a different lens because I will never trust the original G lens for anything that matters).
I built a tracking mount, got an 18 stop filter and set up interval mode.
Used a sony APS-C 55-210 Zoom.
In the camera menu I set MF 
I set up a 2 second interval 
I focused manually... started the interval and walked away...
Some settings in the camera made it try to autofocus before every interval shot, even though camera was set on MF in menu.
So I got 2.5 hours of pictures of blury 
How the camera could not focus on a hard black line against a bright background is beyond me.
(Only spent $4K for this set of useless images)

If I'm just taking dog pictures at the beach or birthday party normal regular stuff the camera works fine.

So I'd like some help figuring out this camera 

The specific things I'd like to figure out:
1)If I've selected manual exposure photo mode...
I want to easily change/set iris,shutter speed and iso...
When I press the iris button I get a message This operation or setting not available as follows...
When I use the selection wheel to set the shutter speed I get the same message.
When I press the iso button I get the same message?
If these are not useable in manual photo mode when are they usable?
How do you change them?

1a)In video mode these buttons seem to do nothing at all...
What are they there for labeled as they are?

2)In pure manual photo mode where I can easily set iso/shutter/iris and focus, and
not have the camera change ANYTHING. IE I want  someway to LOCK everything so it does not try to help me.
(staying in this mode for interval shooting)

A person that I talked to that does a lot of astrophotography says that he found a setting(s) for his sony (A7 I believe) where
he can assign both manual focus and autofocus to buttons... so unless he is pressing one of the two buttons focus does not move.
How can I set this up for the FX-30 IE Don't Autofocus or change manual focus unless I explicitly press a button to enable it.
(Sort of the opposite of focus hold)

3)How can I set up the exact same situation for video. IE manual ISO/Iris/Focus and the same focus lock unless button is pressed listed above.

4)The ability to easily switch from these modes to normal camera mode where auto exposure autofocus etc...

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Paul, it sounds like you've gotten in way over your head with the FX30.  Even if you are able to get a few answers to your questions on this forum, I don't think that will give you the depth of knowledge that is necessary to consistently get good results with a complicated professional camera like the FX30.  My recommendation is that you find an experienced FX30 owner in your area and hire him/her to give you some one-on-one training and help you get your camera setup properly.  If you find the right person, the expense will be well worth it in the long run and save you a lot of frustration and wasted time and money.

Edited by DougJensen
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