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Old Apr 22, 2010, 5:48 PM   #1
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Default SX20 IS Auto Focus issues

Hi everyone, I recently bought a Canon SX20 IS and have been playing around with it and love it. I'm just having one little problem, when using the auto focus I find that in many cases it will focus perfectly on something and then before I can take the picture it adjusts slightly and the picture is now out of focus and it will just stay like that and not focus in.

Has anyone else had such a problem?
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 6:11 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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It sounds like the camera did not have a good focus lock, and so it hunted again to try find more accurate focus.

When you take a photo, you should half press the shutter button and let the camera achieve a focus lock. Then, after you get a good lock, press the shutter button the rest of the way down.

The lower the light, the longer it may take to lock focus after a half press. With your camera, you'll see a green box around the selected focus area if the camera is able to achieve a focus lock. If the camera is unable to achieve a lock, you'll see a red box instead.

In that case (unable to achieve a focus lock), try focusing on something that's about the same distance as you subject, selecting something with more brightness and contrast if possible. Then, after you half press the shutter button and get a good focus lock, reframe as needed before pressing the shutter button the rest of the way down to take the photo.

Virtually all autofocus cameras (both film and digital) will work the same way.... you half press the shutter button to allow the camera to lock focus, then press the shutter button the rest of the way down after a focus lock is achieved.

If the camera can lock focus, you'll usually have an indication in the viewfinder (steady green light or something similar, and in your camera's case, you'll see a box around the focus area turn green).

If a camera is unable to lock focus (and there is usually a "time out" period when it stops trying to lock), you'll also see an indication. Depending on the camera model, sometimes you'll have a blinking focus confirmation light, or sometimes the indication will change colors to indicate that it was unable to lock focus. In your camera's case, the rectangle around the focus area will turn to red if it is unable to lock focus when you half press of the shutter button and allow it to try.
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