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Old Nov 9, 2002, 4:06 PM   #1
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Default AF problems with G3

Just bought a Canon G3 and have had problems with the AF in average-to-low light settings. I've followed suggestions to use single AF but I am surprised that this solves the problem for others. Perhaps I was spoiled with the AF on my Oly C-3030, but both methods have problems. In single mode (using the LCD), the focus frame "freezes" while trying to set the focus correctly. However, it is much better at eventually focusing vs. continuous mode, thus I understand suggestions saying to use this method. The problem with single mode is that while the focus frame is "frozen" (i.e. that moment when the lens is fishing for the true distance), the subject may be moving because the focusing is definitely not instantaneous. Therefore, by the time the lens is focused, I usually miss the shot (generally my kids).

Am I doing something fundamentally wrong? My Olympus has its share of problems, but in side-by-side tests last night, there is no comparison. The 3030 wins hands down (and I would have assumed the technology only improved over the past three years).

A question to all G3 users that say the AF in single mode works great. Does it work well in average-to-low indoor light shots (with external flash) of children or other moving objects?

I REALLY want to keep this camera. I am very pleased with everything else about it, but probably half of the pictures I take are indoor shots of my kids in average-to-low light. Thus without a properly functioning AF, the G3 doesn't make sense for me.

I have received suggestions to shoot in Av, setting the aperture for high depth of field, focusing on high contrast areas at the same distance as the subject, etc. These are all good suggestions, the problem is that I don't feel like I should have to go through all of these steps when paying $800 for a high-level prosumer digicam (let alone the fact that kids wouldn't cooperate). Of course I don't expect the same performance that I get with my Canon film SLR, but I do think the AF should at least match the performance of a three-year old Olympus C-3030.

One last thought. Since everything else seems to work quite well, I have assumed that slow AF is inherent with the G3. Maybe I have a defect?

Thanks in advance,

Steve
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Old Nov 10, 2002, 5:07 AM   #2
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I have had the same problem with my S230. I ended up returning it and was set on buying the Kodak LS443. I then read a thousand reviews on the Canon S230 and found every one of them agreed that this was a far better camera. I ended up re-purchasing it, thinking my other had been defective, however with my new one I get the same result. Especially in situations where there is a lot of movement, by the time the focus fully focuses the subject may have moved and is no longer in the area that the focus designated. I'm still very unsure about this camera although everyone else seems pleased with it. Both the G3 and the S230 are Canon's brand new line with the new DIGIC technology so I would assume it would be better than my Kodak DC3400... but I'm just not seeing it. I agree that you shouldn't have to go through all that work to get a good shot, the auto mode is what I want to do everything. Thanks in advance for any replies to this.

I am even considering returning my second one again... but there's so many features I love about it. I just wish it would focus better in these situations.
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Old Nov 10, 2002, 2:05 PM   #3
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I checked AF times with another G3 user under similar lighting settings. My G3 seems to be working "correctly", that is to say it is not defective. I've tried to get used to the very slow lag in what I consider to be normal indoor lighting settings, but so far no luck. I'll keep trying, but I have a feeling I'll be returning it and trying the C-5050 when it comes out.

It's too bad, everything else about the G3 is fantastic (image quality, features, useability, feel), but if half of my shots are of moving children in indoor settings, the AF overrides the other factors.

We'll see.

Steve
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Old Nov 10, 2002, 4:17 PM   #4
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Have any other users had these same problems with the G3 or s230?
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Old Nov 12, 2002, 1:56 PM   #5
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I have both the S230 (for a month now) and the G3 (since Friday) and so far I have not noticed any problem with focusing, even in low light conditions. I am comparing the results with several models of Nikon Coolpix, Kodak and other Canons I have had over the years.

Now I have not specifically tested MOVING subjects in low light, but in everything I've done so far, the results have been better than with my past cameras.

I do use single-focus on the G3 by the way.
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Old Nov 13, 2002, 3:40 PM   #6
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:P
I just recently received a G3 as a replacement for the G2. I initially took a few practice pictures indoors with poor to average lighting.
I was disappointed to see that 50% of the photo's were out of focus. I don't recall this happening with my G2, but to be honest the majority of my shots were out doors.
I decided to read the manual thoroughly with respect to the AF and tried further experimenting. In situations where it was having problems focusing (yellow light blinking) I repeated the half shutter release on the same shot until the light indicated a green symbol.

I had much better results this way. I suspect that further reviews are going to show more complaints and that they will release in the near future a firm upgrade to resolve this and any other issues that crop up on a new release.

Keeping my G3
Confident in Canon
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 1:41 PM   #7
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:P
Here is an update on my previous observations were I now realzized I had the AF on "continuous" (default setting) as opposed to "single" my apologies I misunderstood which setting setting this forum was suggesting works better.
Once the AF was changed to "single" I had much better results under poor or low lighting auto focusing. It makes sense in my situation that the only time the camer should be trying to set the focus is when I utilize the half shutter release function, not to mention as the manual states it will also save on battery power.

Still Learning.....
Enjoying my G3
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