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Old Oct 22, 2011, 1:18 PM   #1
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Default Focusing confusion

Hi. I've got a FZ38 and am gradually trying to learn the features to improve my pictures. At present, I struggle a lot on getting sharp, well focused pictures, partly I think because I have fairly shaky hands and struggle to keep the camera still and partly because I'm probably not focusing properly. I'm mostly using P mode at the moment, limited to max 400 iso, in spot focus with auto white balance, and centre weighted metering.

I've done some reading around the web on Q-AF and C-AF and AF-tracking, and am now more confused than when I started as to when to use each... Would someone be able to tell me if the following is correct and help with a few queries?

1) Q-AF only focuses when the camera stops moving, and/or when you depress the shutter button fully?
2) C-AF focuses continuously - but I'm not sure if this is continously from when you depress the shutter button halfway (and keep it pressed?), or whether it automatically tries to focus on anything the camera is pointed at.

Would C-AF focus then be better for shaky handed people such as myself?

Next, the pany book and forum posts refer to 'locking' focus in P mode by half depressing the shutter button to focus and then moving the camera to reframe. Am I right in assuming that when you do this, that provided you continue to hold the button whilst moving the camera, it will keep the thing you focused on at first in focus even if you've reframed the image for it to be off to say, the side? Would this be negated by being in C-AF mode (i.e. would it then just try to focus on what was in front of it)? Am I also right in thinking there is no other way to 'lock' focus - the pany book seemed to be suggesting that the focus lock button is only used in IA mode?

Finally... I'm lucky enough to live near some fantastic wildlife spots, and I'd like to get better at taking shots of waterfowl. Flying birds are still way out of my league, but I'm even finding swimming ducks hard as I never manage to focus and click fast enough! Would AF-tracking work here, and should it be combined with C-AF or with Q-AF or does it not matter?

Sorry for the long list of questions - its taking me a while to get my head around all the settings. Any thoughts on the above would be much appreciated
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Old Oct 22, 2011, 3:03 PM   #2
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99% of the time I would suggest evaluative/multi-metering and centre area focus,with single auto focus(half press-shutter button)- only switching to spot metering for subjects in high contrast situations.
I'm not sure if the "continuous focus" mode works in tandem with your selected focus area(say,centre area)- as I don't own a FZ38.
Just a thought- do you have your image stabiliser activated- and in what mode..
If that's switched off,your auto-focus will have a hard time locking on..!!
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