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Lacking focus - A little less than a happy high
Lacking focus
There have been a few times over the past week when I've gotten frustrated with my camera, mostly over focusing issues. Canon uses a nine-sector grid for determining focus, and for the most part, it does pretty well on selecting its subject to match my eye in shots. In certain circumstances, most notably around the macro shots I'm rather fond of, the camera's brain utterly rebels against me, insisting that I'm far more interested in the lovely greenery about six feet away than in the butterfly that's perched inches away from the lens. This morning I saw a snail that had crawled impossibly high on a reed, but simply could not get the shot.

I know in large part I'm dealing with one of the hazards of point & shoot digitals, but if you've got any ideas of how to minimize the problem, I'd love to hear from you.

In other news, in a week and a half, I'll be headed back up to Maine to see Alison Krauss and Union Station and to pick up my new ride. There are various (and mostly bureaucratic) things that need taking care of in the meantime, but everything is now in motion.
16 comments or Leave a comment
starflow From: starflow Date: May 11th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're going to see Alison Krauss?! Color me jealous.
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
She's playing at the Augusta Civic Center, and me mum wants to go too.
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: May 11th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a thing of beauty. The one trouble is that I'm registering in MA.
cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: May 11th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure about your Canon, but I know my Nikon has similar problems when I use auto-focus, so I have to manually focus sometimes. Do you have the capability to do that with yours? It tends to make macro shots much easier. Plus, there might be several different focusing methods on your camera in the automatic function. Again, though I'm just basing this off of mine which is no Canon.
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the next generation of the G series has manual focus, but I'm not sure that the function is available on the G3. I'm headed back to the documentation tonight.

When I got it, I figured that I'd eventually hit a wall. I'm not sure I've hit it hard enough to think about upgrading, but it is interesting finding my way to limitations. Time to play.
cosmicserpent From: cosmicserpent Date: May 11th, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
According to this:


Your camera has manual focus as well as centre point AF and Flex Zone AF which offer slightly different focus results than you are probably used to with your TTL focus.
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh. I'm definitely going back to the documentation, then. I'm familar with the manual controls, but I've not found a way to manipulate focal point.

why_style From: why_style Date: May 11th, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
this probably won't be of much help since i'm not familiar with canon cameras per se, or your particular model and its capabilities, but i've been having a similar problem with my konica minolta dimage z1 lately. i haven't found a real good solution (other than switching it to manual focus or *gasp* full on manual mode which still intimidates me a lot), but i'm sometimes able to get my focus right if i move further back and zoom in very small increments, each time letting the camera refocus on my subject before zooming again. this is by no means foolproof- sometimes it will appear to be focused even when i've pressed the button halfway, but then when i actually take the shot the whole thing is out of focus- like, i wouldn't even get the "lovely greenery about six feet away" in focus, let alone the main subject. i would say it probably only works about 1/4-1/3 of the time, but it's all i've come up with so far.
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
With my lepidoptera shots, I've usually been able to deal with the problem just by shifting the camera slightly. I'm guessing that this might be moving the subject into more of the focus areas, thereby getting past the camera's obstinance over seeing far away things. Occasionally, the light and other conditions make even this impossible.

Someday, I'll have an SLR.
why_style From: why_style Date: May 11th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
don't know if you're familiar with this site, but i'd definitely take a look if you do feel the need to upgrade- i found it to be a valuable resource when i was shopping around. i do like the SLR features, and the minolta is extremely easy to use, even though i don't think i take photography as seriously as you do (though that has changed somewhat since i went digital).

and for more immediate help, here's his review of your camera that might be helpful in addition to your documentation. or at least i think it's your camera- Canon 4MP PowerShot G3?
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
No upgrade for a while yet. Just bought a car. I'm actually thinking that I should downgrade to a oatmeal-box pinhole for a while.

Yep, that's the one. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me tonight.
inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: May 11th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
so did you get the GTI?
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. They offered to deliver it (!) today (!!), but that would have caused all sorts of logistical hassles, least of which being getting my folks car back to them.

why_style From: why_style Date: May 11th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
congrats on the new car!
komos From: komos Date: May 11th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
16 comments or Leave a comment