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Old Oct 19, 2006, 10:00 AM   #1
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My daughter's S410 recently stopped auto-focusing. Everything else (including the power zoom) seems to be normal. Any guidance on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 11:10 AM   #2
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What do you mean by stopped autofocusing?

Is it trying to focus (you see the image changing and hear the focus mechanism) and it just can't lock?

If so, have you tried it outside in better light? If the camera can't see enough contrast, it's not going to lock focus.

Are you sure you don't have it in the wrong focus mode (i.e. macro or landscape)? The left controller key changes between available focus modes when your mode dial is in one of the record modes.

Or, do you mean the AF Assist lamp isn't coming on? There is a menu option for that. You'll see the AF Assist Illuminator Option shown in the menus on this page:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_.../s410_pg3.html



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Old Oct 19, 2006, 7:52 PM   #3
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I ran through the various menus and the settings appear to be correct. When I move (or point) the camera from close to far objects I do not hear the AF mechanism activating.
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 8:06 PM   #4
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The camera will not attempt to focus until until you half press the shutter button (press the shutter button half way down).

After a half press of the shutter button, the camera should attempt to focus.

If it can lock focus on a subject, the bottom LED by the viewfinder will light steady.

You should then be able to take a photo by pressing the shutter button the rest of the way down.

It it can't lock when you half press the shutter button, the lower LED by the viewfinder should blink. That usually indicates that light is not good enough for the camera to see enough contrast to focus.

In that case, try to find something about the same distance from the lens as your subject with more contrast, half press to lock focus (steady led), then reframe so that your subject is where you want it in the viewfinder and press the shutter button the rest of the way down to take a photo.

When you half press the shutter button, does it attempt to focus? What does the lower LED by the viewfinder do then?

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Old Oct 19, 2006, 8:26 PM   #5
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First of all, thanks for your help on this. When I half-press the shutter button, the focus LED blinks continually regardless of where I point the camera or the light conditions. It will not lock. I do hear the focus mechanism attempting to engage, but nothing happens on the LED screen.
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 8:33 PM   #6
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That means it's trying to focus then. Are you sure you don't have it in macro (flower icon) or landscape (mountain icon) focus mode?

Each time you press the left controller key, it will toggle between available focus modes.

Have you tried it in good light (outdoors in daylight)?

What you think is good light is often very dim to a camera (typical indoor lighting, especially at night).

Do you have the AF assist lamp turned on in the menus to help out indoors? When it's enabled, it should light when you half press the shutter button.


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Old Oct 19, 2006, 10:58 PM   #7
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Make sure the lens is clean. That "London fog" effect that camera manuals of long ago showed for a dirty lens will inhibit autofocusing of digital cameras.

Be sure to choose "spot focus", that is, a focus mode that puts a priority on (typically) the center of the frame, when you are shooting foreground subjects. Otherwise the camera may emphasize the background and the foreground subject could be out of focus.


If autofocus has gone on the blink, power zoom can well still be working.




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Old Oct 20, 2006, 11:43 AM   #8
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I tried the camera this morning outside in natural light after cleaning the lense. No "flower or mountain" icons were on. The focus LED continued to blink and not lock. Again, I do hear the mechanism attempting to activate but it appears to be not engaging properly. Now I have to decide whether or not the camera is worth sending out for repair.:sad:
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 7:54 PM   #9
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Press and hold down your menu button for 5 seconds and see if it prompts you about resetting the camera.

If so, reset it and see if that solves it.

If not, try leaving the battery out for a couple of days to try and get a better reset (sometimes an internal capacitor is used to keep settings and it will sometimes drain after a day or so) and retry it with a known good, fully charged battery. If you've got a spare battery, use it (sometimes a bad battery can cause problems due to incorrect voltage).

If that still doesn't solve it, you'll probably have to send it in for service.

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Old Oct 21, 2006, 12:37 PM   #10
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I reset the camera back to it's default settings as suggested. Still NG. I pulled the battery and will let the camera sit for a couple of days. Thanks.
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