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MrGarmonbozia Mar 23, 2006 10:40 PM

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I am having a hard time getting a good focus indoors (and in some cases, on those cloudy days, outside) with my S2. I don't believe in the "fog effect" and know it has to be something I am not doing correctly. I am very new to digital photography and, I have to admit, I have been using the AUTO feature and settings like INDOORS, SNOW etc. I am unsure how to use the P, TV etc. modes.

What am I doing wrong? Is it my camera? Where's the focus?

Here are two pics taken at my brother's wedding this weekend as examples:

MrGarmonbozia Mar 23, 2006 10:46 PM

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Another

ELDDJOC Mar 23, 2006 11:16 PM

Did you half depress the button to get a lock ? What is the actual issue ?



MrGarmonbozia Mar 23, 2006 11:34 PM

I believe I did for the most part. The issue is getting good focus mainly indoors.

Tullio Mar 24, 2006 12:34 AM

Well, I'm afraid you will be disappointed with the S2 performance in certain conditions when it comes to its AF. I've posted a couple of topics complaining about the AF while using macro. If nothing else, the camera should produce good quality pictures in AUTO mode since it's taking full control of the settings. This is obviously not your case. I can see the softness on both pictures (more so on the second one). I do believe the "fog effect" exists but it can be fixed by using color effect VIVID or custom with increased sharpness. However, I don't believe you have the choice when the camera is in AUTO. So, here's something you can try. Set the camera to P (it's the next most auto setting after AUTO), change the color effect to VIVID and the WB to flash. Take some pictures and see if the results look any better. I can almost guarantee you it will.

mchnz Mar 24, 2006 1:12 AM

I've read that Auto isn't that great for all situations and it pays to use the special Scene-Modes such as Indoor or Portrait so that the camera can take account of any special conditions.

Kind of hard to tell much from such small images.

The second image seems to be a long zoom at a slow shutter speed - shake could be a problem. Because the aperture was full open, depth of field may also be a problem - especially if the camera wasn't pre-focused on the subject.

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

..
If nothing else, the camera should produce good quality pictures in AUTO mode since it's taking full control of the settings..

Tullio Mar 24, 2006 1:41 PM

I've read the same thing about the S2 in AUTO mode, which to me is not good. I don't mind accounting for bad manual settings since it takes practice and experience from the photographer's part. However, I do believe thatany goodcamera shouldreproduce good quality images when in AUTO mode leaving the manual controls to the most experienced to obtain effects that would not be achievable otherwise (change in DOP, color saturation/effects, etc.).That's my personal opinion, of course.

MrGarmonbozia Mar 24, 2006 6:27 PM

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Thanks for the tips. I too agree that AUTO should produce better images. Here is another shot taken outside this time where I get some bad focus.

How do you post larger images?

Tullio Mar 24, 2006 8:05 PM

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I am not sure if the picture softnessproduced bythe S2 (a.k.a. "the fog effect") is what you consider out of focus. I sharpened it with Picasa (see below)and it looks pretty good. Did you set the camera to P and color effect to VIVID or custom with +sharpening? If not, I highly suggest you do. I think you'll find that the pictures will be much clearer (sharper). If the bench shot was out of focus, PP would not be able to really do much to fix.

mchnz Mar 24, 2006 8:49 PM

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

I've read the same thing about the S2 in AUTO mode, which to me is not good. I don't mind accounting for bad manual settings since it takes practice and experience from the photographer's part. However, I do believe thatany goodcamera shouldreproduce good quality images when in AUTO mode leaving the manual controls to the most experienced to obtain effects that would not be achievable otherwise (change in DOP, color saturation/effects, etc.).That's my personal opinion, of course.
Well in fareness to any superzoom - it's difficult for the camera to know what to optimise for under any given situation. I guess this is why sports mode is making a come back on the S3 IS. This would be less of a problem in non-superzoom cameras (less zoom, = more light, = faster shutter speeds, shorter ranges to the subject, better DOF) - but then again people write that the A620 isn't that great on Auto and recommend Av/Tv/P or special-modes. Perhaps Canon is particulary bad with their Auto mode - I don't know.

Reflecting again on the images posted above - it's hard to tell much because they are so small. My guess would either be the camera picked the wrong focus spot, either because of low light, the subjects were moving, or the subjects were not originally in the middle of the image, or the pre-focus spot was poorly chosen. And shake may be an issue if you are not used to using the camera. It would be interesting to try experimenting with similar shots on the Indoors setting when not under so much pressure of the moment.

mchnz Mar 24, 2006 8:58 PM

I think by default the S2 settings try to mediate between the needs of those who do want to post-process and the needs of those who don't. So sharpening is neither full on or off, colours are more neutral, and contrast is neutral.

Vivid mode colours are a little over the top - OK for most purposes, but sometimes colours are more vivid than looks natural.

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

I am not sure if the picture softnessproduced bythe S2 (a.k.a. "the fog effect") is what you consider out of focus. I sharpened it with Picasa (see below)and it looks pretty good. Did you set the camera to P and color effect to VIVID or custom with +sharpening? If not, I highly suggest you do. I think you'll find that the pictures will be much clearer (sharper). If the bench shot was out of focus, PP would not be able to really do much to fix.

mchnz Mar 24, 2006 9:09 PM

Don't reduce them in size so much, increase the compression until they fit under 250000 bytes. Or set up a free account somewhere like www.flickr.com and post them there at 1024x768 and then drop the link into you posts. Note, downsizing normally looses detail, and sometimes some USM (unsharp-mask) is needed to put the detail/sharpness back.

Or crop out some detail and post it full-size.

Did you try Snow-mode?

Are shots taken from a table/tripod using the self timer better or worse than your handheld shots? Could some shake be causing issues. One symptom of shake is all over slightly soft image.

Long zooms through misty/hazy air will also turn out soft.

If light levels are low, the camera will shift to high-ISO, this may need to be disabled.

MrGarmonbozia wrote:
Quote:

Thanks for the tips. I too agree that AUTO should produce better images. Here is another shot taken outside this time where I get some bad focus.

How do you post larger images?

MrGarmonbozia Mar 24, 2006 10:30 PM

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

I am not sure if the picture softnessproduced bythe S2 (a.k.a. "the fog effect") is what you consider out of focus. I sharpened it with Picasa (see below)and it looks pretty good. Did you set the camera to P and color effect to VIVID or custom with +sharpening? If not, I highly suggest you do. I think you'll find that the pictures will be much clearer (sharper). If the bench shot was out of focus, PP would not be able to really do much to fix.
A few answers:

This picture was taken on auto mode, zoomed at full from across the park. The day was pretty grey.

I honestly think that the camera should do most of the work in sharpening the images itself and not have soft images. I mean, I used to own a crappy little dime store camera that took sharp pics. My wish is to not have to run the bulk of my photos through, say, Photoshop to sharpen them after they have been taken. Perchance I am being, though, a newbie nieve. :p

* * *

A few questions:

What is Picasa?

What is +sharpening?

What is PP?

What does putting the White Balance to Flash do?

MrGarmonbozia Mar 24, 2006 10:46 PM

mchnz wrote:
Quote:

Don't reduce them in size so much, increase the compression until they fit under 250000 bytes. Or set up a free account somewhere like MrGarmonbozia wrote: [/b]
Quote:

Thanks for the tips. I too agree that AUTO should produce better images. Here is another shot taken outside this time where I get some bad focus.

How do you post larger images?


Answers:

No, the bench shot was done on auto, if I recall correctly.

Shots were not taken from a table. They were handheld using the viewfinder (using suggestions from the forum I no longer use the LCD). I tend to try to be fairly steady although, at times, movement is a touch frenetic.

As you suggested, I set up an account at Flickr so you can see the images larger. Here is the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Thanks for all the tips. I am jotting them down in my photo notebook. I am going to Ireland this summer and want to be able to bring back some nice crisp shots so getting in all the practice now. :)

mchnz Mar 24, 2006 11:57 PM

I've looked at some of the images - some seem to me to be quite good, for example "Tree On Sky" looks OK to me - I presume you are only worried about some of them?

Looking at the larger "Kiss" image, the background seems to be (more) in focus. Could there be any reason for that? Could the camera have been pre-focused on the background? Could the the couple have been moving a lot and the blurring be due to subject motion blur or an inability to find focus on a moving subject? I'm not sure whether motion blurr can be a problem with flash images (I don't use flash much).

Looking a the park bench (small version), depending on the distances to the bench and what ever you focused on, depth of field may be an issue. At max zoom, i.e. 72mm actual focal length, at an aperture of f/7.1, if the subject focused on was at 100 metres, the bench would have to be beyond 60 metres to be in focus. Because the exposure was 1/1000 sec., it is unlikely that shake would be an issue, but I still miss the odd shot to shake, so unlikely yes, impossible no.

An online depth of field calculator is available at http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html - just select the Canon S2 IS, and then plug in the actual focal length (6mm wide to 72mm tele), plug in your subject distance and it will figure out the DOF. Try to get a rough feel for how much more limited DOF becomes when zoom or aperture is changed.

If you want foreground and background to be in focus, close down the aperture (as the camera did for the park bench image), and use less zoom.

Jackco Mar 25, 2006 7:23 PM

If I might add to this, using P mode, you can move the "focus box" and use it to focus on your subject.

To move the focus box in P mode:
1. Press "set"
2. use the dial to move the box to your subject.
3. Press "set" again to leave it where it is positioned, or
you can just shoot away!

I hope this can help too!

Good luck! :G

pagerboy Mar 26, 2006 1:04 AM

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I just did unsharp mask, it does get a bit noisy though.

Tullio Mar 26, 2006 3:27 AM

To answer your questions:

1. Picasa is a free photo editor software by Google. Very simple and easy to use. It does not have all the bells and whistles that Photoshop does but it's pretty efficient as a tool to quickly fix "not so good" pictures (note that I did not say "bad" and the reason is because it can not fix bad pictures).

2. When you access "color effect" from the "func" menu, the last option is custom and under this option you can select three settings, sharpening being one of them. By + sharpening I mean access the custom menu and increase sharpening.

3. PP means Post Processing

4. WB is also accessed from the "func" menu. One of the options is "flash". It adjusts the white balance for flash light for a more natural look of the subjects being photographed with flash.

The S2 is known for its soft images. Irregardless of what camera mode you use (P, Av, Tv), my suggestion is to change the color effect to either VIVID or custom with increased sharpness. The reason I've repeated my suggestion three times is because I do believe it makes adifference. Even though you may think thatusing VIVIDthe colorswill be over saturated,they actually won't. You will get good results. Try it.

mchnz Mar 26, 2006 4:50 AM

I'm not sure that VIVID changes the sharpening - the manual states it changes the contrast and saturation. So you can just change the contrast setting if you don't want the colour saturation boosted. Note, boosting the contrast in-camera will increase the likelyhood of blown highlights (100% white sky etc).

Perhaps images that some consider soft are just a little lifeless and need more contrast to bring out the detail. I often boost the contrast in post-processing - so you can leave it until later if you're using picassa (or similar). Boosing the constrast does seem to produce an effect similar to VIVID, and reducing the contrast does seem to partially reverse the VIVID effect. If you haven't tried picassa, I would recommend you give it a go - it's free, it's easy to use, and you will be able to fix some images you would otherwise have to discard.

If you turn up sharpening, you may wind up with more noise in your images. Noise is harder to fix than than sharpness (noise removing software costs money and tends to smooth/remove detail).

Most advice at locations such as Tullio wrote: [/b]
Quote:

To answer your questions:

1. Picasa is a free photo editor software by Google. Very simple and easy to use. It does not have all the bells and whistles that Photoshop does but it's pretty efficient as a tool to quickly fix "not so good" pictures (note that I did not say "bad" and the reason is because it can not fix bad pictures).

2. When you access "color effect" from the "func" menu, the last option is custom and under this option you can select three settings, sharpening being one of them. By + sharpening I mean access the custom menu and increase sharpening.

3. PP means Post Processing

4. WB is also accessed from the "func" menu. One of the options is "flash". It adjusts the white balance for flash light for a more natural look of the subjects being photographed with flash.

The S2 is known for its soft images. Irregardless of what camera mode you use (P, Av, Tv), my suggestion is to change the color effect to either VIVID or custom with increased sharpness. The reason I've repeated my suggestion three times is because I do believe it makes adifference. Even though you may think thatusing VIVIDthe colorswill be over saturated,they actually won't. You will get good results. Try it.

kenmck15 Mar 27, 2006 6:36 AM

ELDDJOC wrote:
Quote:

Did you half depress the button to get a lock ?

this is what i am thinking. half press and waiting for the green sqaure.

do you have the af illuminator turned on.
try changing focus mode to centre or spot.

i dont own this cam or have much experience with it but srely a cam of this price can focus indoors in this type of light. very disappointing if it isnt a user or setting error



Tullio Mar 27, 2006 11:57 AM

Having an S2 myself, I don't believe it's user or setting error that is causing the picturesoftness. IMO, it's the camera. The S2 is a great camera for outdoor photography with natural light, specially if you increase in-camera sharpening. But, for indoors/low light shots, it's certainly not a good choice. The AF struggles and even though it eventually locks, the focus is not that accurate. If you use your camera to take lots of photos with flash, I suggest youset the ISO to AUTO (let the camera select whatever it needs to obtain the highest flash range), set WB to either AUTO or flash, set the IS to "shoot only" andAF mode to "Single".

videosilva Mar 27, 2006 10:23 PM

The " vivid " setting does help.

Long Live the ..................... :)

I can't not help my self.

bkstyl Mar 30, 2006 10:34 AM

I own the S2 also and I get sharp pictures indoors in low light situations. I think some of it might be the camera and some might be the user (no disrespect intended MrGarmonboziaI think some of your shots are pretty good). I am still learning myself, the S2 is my first camera that gives me more options then just auto. I recently purchased this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/059...Fencoding=UTF8 and it has helped me better understand the functions of the camera and when to use different settings to get better results. It is very handy, easy to readand fits in a camera bag.

To me the picture in thefirst post it looked like you pre-focused anticipating the kiss to happen before the couple came together. Causing the camera to focus on the flowers behind them. Then you pressed the shutter button when they started to come together causing them to blur (because they were moving and the shutter speed was to slow) but gettingthe flowers in focus.

The second picture would have been better if youwould havemoved the focus box as mentioned above.

The image of the bench in the snow would have been better if you switched to snow mode or maybe tired landscape mode and changed the metering or exposure.

Again these are just my opinions and I didn't mean any disrespect.

Tullio Mar 30, 2006 10:50 AM

I don't think any one can really contest that the S2 produces softer images than say the Pana Z5 or Sony H1, reason why there was so much talk about the "fog effect". I think these pictures were OK in terms of focus, otherwise, sharpening them like myself and pagerboy did would not have worked. When an image is out of focus, it's almost impossible to fix it, no matter what software editor you use. However, when the image lacks contrast (which appears to be the case here), then PS/PSE, Picasa amongst many other software can most likely help a great deal. No doubt that camera setting is very important in obtaining good results. I think the S3 will resolve this issue once and for all.

bkstyl Mar 30, 2006 11:11 AM

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

No doubt that camera setting is very important in obtaining good results. I think the S3 will resolve this issue once and for all.
Let's hope so. I won't be getting the S3 I will probably wait for the S4 or 5 (or theequivalent at that time). The S2 will keep me happy for a while, plus give me time to learn.

MrGarmonbozia - Another forum I would recommend for Canon users is

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php?

I'm currently a member of about 5 photography forums. Every bit of advice is helpful.

As for Photo editing software I never tired Picasa but I have hadenjoyed using

PhotoFiltre http://www.photofiltre.com/ (I use this a lot)

and Gimp http://www.gimp.org/

but I mainly use Paint Shop Pro X.

Photo Plus also looksdecent http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/sof...us/default.asp




mchnz Mar 30, 2006 6:51 PM

I don't think we can use the soft-image excuse for every bad image.

I agree with bktysl, the first image is out of focus and his reasoning makes sense. And I do find that unsharp-mask can help with out of focus images. As I mentioned earlier, the second image is probably suffering from an inappropriate depth-of-field due to being an extreme zoom.

If the first is the fault of the camera, then the camera also has a separate focus problem (we do know that the S2 IS can miss-focus if there are no strong verticals - so the camera could be at fault). The second could be blamed on the camera if it has a poor automatic-mode (and some people say it has - but full auto on superzooms seems to be a common weak area - the camera would have to pretty smart).

Lastly, the manual says Vivid alters the contrast and saturation (doesn't mention sharpness at all). I find altering the brightness and contrast in post-processing makes a big difference - so I think boosting the contrast will produce better images as long as you don't mind overblown highlights.

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

I don't think any one can really contest that the S2 produces softer images than say the Pana Z5 or Sony H1, reason why there was so much talk about the "fog effect". I think these pictures were OK in terms of focus, otherwise, sharpening them like myself and pagerboy did would not have worked. When an image is out of focus, it's almost impossible to fix it, no matter what software editor you use. However, when the image lacks contrast (which appears to be the case here), then PS/PSE, Picasa amongst many other software can most likely help a great deal. No doubt that camera setting is very important in obtaining good results. I think the S3 will resolve this issue once and for all.

videosilva Mar 30, 2006 7:45 PM

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

No doubt that camera setting is very important in obtaining good results. I think the S3 will resolve this issue once and for all.

Huh ? There is an " ISSUE " with the S2IS ? Imagine that !

wisely_foolish Mar 30, 2006 11:25 PM

videosilva wrote:
Quote:

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

No doubt that camera setting is very important in obtaining good results. I think the S3 will resolve this issue once and for all.

Huh ? There is an " ISSUE " with the S2IS ? Imagine that !

How is the Panny going for you Videosilva?

videosilva Mar 30, 2006 11:44 PM

I'm happy with the FZ30. I'm not happy with the price. I still belive for $1000.00 I should be getting more but.......................... the manufacturer dictates the prices. Since this is still relatively new technology we will have to wait a few years for prices to lower.

At first I was not getting the pictures I belived this camera was capable of producing. After some reading and fine tunning a few settings I'm ALMOST there.

wisely_foolish Apr 1, 2006 4:02 AM

videosilva wrote:
Quote:

I'm happy with the FZ30. I'm not happy with the price. I still belive for $1000.00 I should be getting more but.......................... the manufacturer dictates the prices. Since this is still relatively new technology we will have to wait a few years for prices to lower.

At first I was not getting the pictures I belived this camera was capable of producing. After some reading and fine tunning a few settings I'm ALMOST there.

hmm thats strange, there should have been price drops by then, 1000 for a panny seems quite premium to me. anyways, Glad to see your finally enjoying the hobby of photography as much as I am with the S2 =) by the way, what did you think of the albums on http://s49.photobucket.com/albums/f254/wisely_foolish/

my first attempts at photography i guess tee hee hee

it would be nice to see a gallery of your pictures, especially the ones taken from your new panny =)

videosilva Apr 1, 2006 8:38 AM

Why does it seem strange ? The S2 I paid around $800.00= 699.99 Plus 15% tax. The Panny was $200.00 more no ?

videosilva Apr 1, 2006 8:43 AM

Those were nice pictures, thanks for sharing.

captal Apr 3, 2006 12:02 PM

kenmck15 wrote:
Quote:

ELDDJOC wrote:
Quote:

Did you half depress the button to get a lock ?

this is what i am thinking. half press and waiting for the green sqaure.
This is where I'm having problems- I'd say about 50% of the time my camera won't lock- I get a yellow square instead of a green square. Is this normal?

I also have noises coming from my camera when I zoom slowly in or out- it'sa hard to describe sound- not plastic on plastic or a smooth sound like when the camera is frist turned on- it soundskinda bleepy bloopy and changes pitch up and downand it's noticeable only because I have the camera up to my face. Do other people hear these sounds?

Tullio Apr 3, 2006 12:19 PM

The AF locking problem is "normal" (how in hell can a "problem"beconsidered normal??? Only if you have an S2!!!). The S2 has a real hard time focusing on anything that does not have high contrast edges(and it's even worsein macro mode). I think the AF issue results in the picture softness the camera produces (perhaps they are not related, but I'm not sure).

As for the lensnoise while zooming, keep in mind that a certain amount of noise is normal in any camera, specially the ones with a12x optical zoom lens. However, the S2 zoomis fairly quite compared to others (one of the reasons why Canon enabled zoomingin movie mode on the S2). If I were you, I'dgo to a local camera shop and try a display model to see how much noise it makes. If the noise you hear is not the same as with your camera, I'd get a replacement camera while it's still under the warranty (or better yet, send it back and get a Sony H1 if the focusing "feature" is bothering you).

captal Apr 3, 2006 1:48 PM

I'll stop by Best Buy and check out a display model- great idea!

As for the H1- I thought about it- but I like having the "my colors" feature too much! I realize it's possible to do the same thing in PP, but it's neat to have it in camera as well :D

Well that sucks with the auto-focus... drat. Are there any settings that will help the AF focus better? Also, is there any way to save your custom setting under C mode? I hate how I have to go and turn on vivid every single time :(

Tullio Apr 3, 2006 2:21 PM

The "my colors" feature is neat but, as you said, it can be done in PS. I personally take other features into consideration before making a decision on a particular camera. The problem with AF is a difficult one to solve because it's the way the camera operates internally to determine when focus has been achieved. There are two AF settings (continuous and single). I set mycamera to "single" and always pre-focus (press shutter half way down to obtain and lock focus).

As forsaving custom settings, once you select color effect "VIVID", it stays like that until you change it to something else. I leave my S2always set to VIVID. I also think you can set the "shortcut" button to the color effect so all you need to do to switch to VIVID ispushthis button.

mchnz Apr 3, 2006 4:53 PM

If the inside of the white/yellow/green box is featureless or lacks a sharp line (eg a flat wall), the camera won't indicate focus even if it's dark enough for the autofocus beam to be enabled. This is easily confirmed by pre-focusing on any flat wall with a strong vertical just outside the box, and then trying again with the line just inside the box. Seems to me that that the focus is in the ballpark, but the camera doesn't have any info to fine tune and confirm it.

So you must ensure there are some sharp features or textures in the box when you pre-focus.

If I don't hold the camera still enough, the focus can also have problems.

My camera also makes some very faint electronic-sounding noises when it zooms slowly - very faint, but if you put your ear to the camera and slowly zoom right in and right out, it sounds like a faint electronic babble. Someone in another forum questioned the same noise - so I presume this is normal. Probably the ultrasonic-zoom leaking into the sonic.

captal wrote
Quote:

This is where I'm having problems- I'd say about 50% of the time my camera won't lock- I get a yellow square instead of a green square. Is this normal?

I also have noises coming from my camera when I zoom slowly in or out- it'sa hard to describe sound- not plastic on plastic or a smooth sound like when the camera is frist turned on- it soundskinda bleepy bloopy and changes pitch up and downand it's noticeable only because I have the camera up to my face. Do other people hear these sounds?

mchnz Apr 3, 2006 5:16 PM

Once in macro mode, if you first select the zoom, and then don't change it, focusing becomes easier to achieve. When you zoom the minimum and maximum focus distances for the lens varies and everything just becomes too hard.

I'm not sure if it applies to normal macro, but when using an add on macro filter it is actually easier to hold down the pre-focus and then move the camera slightly backward or forward to bring the right parts of the subject into the acceptable depth of field.

I think softness is more the sensor+lens and the amount of post-processing Canon chooses to do. The S2 seems to have less noise than some of its competition - sharpening brings out noise - so maybe Canon have turned down the sharpening. Also the S2 has less dynamic range than something like the Pro1 - I think Canon have turned down the contrast to prevent over blown highlights. Changing the contrast/gamma/brightness is one of the most common post-processing steps I use - but I often also change the +/- EV to try and further prevent overblown highlights, so perhaps that's just me shooting myself in the foot.

Note that people wanting to use the S2 more like a DSLR, turn down sharpening and constrast even further - it's expected that most/every DSLR image will need post-processing (point-and-shoot cameras tend to produce unreal/enhanced/Vivid images). These people have been responsible for some of the S2 FAQ's and tip sheets, so in some cases they're going in the opposite direction to what you want.

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

..The S2 has a real hard time focusing on anything that does not have high contrast edges (and it's even worsein macro mode). I think the AF issue results in the picture softness the camera produces (perhaps they are not related, but I'm not sure)..

Tullio Apr 3, 2006 7:37 PM

Hi mchnz, I don't quite understand what you mean by "select the zoom and thendon't change it". In any case,the bottom line is that it should not be that hard to get a camera such as the S2to focus on a subject, unless we are talking severe lack of light (and even then, the AF assist lightshould do the trick). When you take a macro photo and you can't get the camera to lock the focus, it's extremelyfrustrating (at least to me). I agree with you that the picture softness is a result of the amount of internal PP. The thing is, the combination of the two (bad AF + picture softness) is deadly. Now, here is something very interesting, which I need to experiment further. Iattached thelens adapterwith a LINEAR polarizer filter (I foundmany filters while digging through my old SLR equipment and thought perhaps I could use them. Since my old SLRs had only manual focus, I did not have the need for a CP filter). Then Iwent outside in my backyardand started taking close-up photos of flowerswith the camera in macro mode (not super macro)to see what kind of results I would get by using a linear polarizer. I immediately noticed that the camera was no longer hunting for focus. Strange, isn't it???Now, we all know what polarizer filters are supposed to do. The question is, is it possible that the problem with the S2 AF iscaused by the camera'sdeficiencyin dealing with light?Therefore,once the lighthas beenfiltered before going into the camera, all of a sudden the camera candiscern edges and contrast areas much better, thus obtaining focus a lot quicker? As I said, I need to experiment a bit more beforedrawing anyconclusions but ifthat turns out to be the case, at least we knowhow to fixthe poor AF issue. Simply add a polarizer filter to the camera!

mchnz Apr 3, 2006 8:28 PM

I've only limited experience with normal macro mode, but I found if I tried to change the zoom while in normal macro mode, I would constantly be breaking the minimum and maximum ranges for the lens - this is because the min/max change when you change the amount of zoom. The Limited available zoom in normal macro is also a bit of a problem - it's a soft limit, only indicated in the EVF/LCD by a yellow line on the scale - so it's pretty easy to overshoot the indicated range and be in a impossible to focus region.

So my suggestion would be to first select the amount of zoom you want to use. Having decided on the amount of zoom, the min/max range can be kept constant. Then move the camera toward or away from the subject to find a distance within the min/max at which the Camera is prepared to focus. Finally engage the pre-focus and recompose the image.

Yeah this is very frustrating/fiddly, but fortunately super-zoom and just plain zoom are normally much more useful to me than normal-macro.

Interesting about the polarizer - are you sure you weren't just choosing to stand more in the middle of the min/max range?

Tullio wrote:
Quote:

Hi mchnz, I don't quite understand what you mean by "select the zoom and thendon't change it". In any case,the bottom line is that it should not be that hard to get a camera such as the S2to focus on a subject, unless we are talking severe lack of light (and even then, the AF assist lightshould do the trick). When you take a macro photo and you can't get the camera to lock the focus, it's extremelyfrustrating (at least to me).


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