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purpleehobbit May 1, 2010 5:18 PM

This question will show my newbie-ness...
I feel kind of silly asking this, but here goes:

I'm taking pictures of my daughter (I have a sony H-5 but am hoping to upgrade to a Panasonic FZ-35 soon) and I run into that problem where she's out of focus but the background is perfect. Sometimes I don't want her in the middle of the shot so I hold the shutter half-way down on her and move the camera to get the shot I want. That works, most of the time, sometimes I miss a bit. The problem I have is that it takes so long for it to take the picture and then let me take another shot. Is there a way to be able to take shots in quicker succession? Should I being using burst mode? Or is it just not something that my camera can't do? I get confused a bit on whether or not it's asking too much of my equipment or just plain old user knowledge, lol.

Thanks for any comments. It's a bit frustrating for me when I have this beautiful shot, but she's totally out of focus...and she's 2 1/2, so she doesn't really sit still... lol.


mtclimber May 1, 2010 8:32 PM


With a Sony H-5, your only option is the Burst Mode for quicker shot to shot times. To prevent focusing on the incorrect object in your photo, I think that the H-5 has a spot focus option, that will force the focus on to one particular spot, your daughter in this case. But please check the Manual to be sure, I have not used a H-5 in a long time.

Sarah Joyce

purpleehobbit May 1, 2010 9:35 PM

It does have a spot focusing option, I was using it. I will read up more on burst mode. I've used it before but maybe I was doing it wrong since I didn't see much of a difference.

Perhaps it will be something to add to the list to convince my husband we really do need a new camera, lol. I'm assuming the FZ-35 is a bit faster...

Thanks for your help!


VTphotog May 2, 2010 12:20 AM

I am not at all familiar with the camera, but can maybe help with some general advice. Most of what you are doing sounds like pretty good ways to get the pics you are after. I would advise two things, though: first, don't try to zoom in too much, as the longer the camera focal lenght, the smaller your depth of field, and the greater chance of missing focus. Using a wider angle allows more depth of field and more of the shot will be acceptably in focus.
Second, if you are shooting indoors, without flash, your shutter speeds are going to be too long, and her movement will show up as blur. Sometimes this seems to be a focus problem when it is actually motion blur. Posting a problem pic or two would help in figuring that out.


purpleehobbit May 2, 2010 4:29 AM


You might be right about zooming in too close. I had spot focus on in all of these (at least I think so) and I think I just missed. It was hard to see on the screen outside and I have trouble seeing in the viewfinder (my glasses get in the way).



frank-in-toronto May 2, 2010 8:47 AM

You just missed. Nothing catastrophic. At the very least. take more pics. You get enough good ones to satisfy yourself. And here's a thought...try taking a few with her dead-centre. That might aid with the focus issue. Then crop them so the composition is pleasing to you.

mtclimber May 2, 2010 11:09 AM


In your first sample photo, the H-5 quite clearly focused on the fence, and your daughter's face is heavily shadowed. I am guessing that perhaps you might have had the spot focus on, but were in a bit of a hurry to get the photo, that as you re-framed the photo, the spot focus worked at hit on the fence. Frank's advice is excellent keep the spot focus mark on your daughter and then crop as required to balance the photo.

A bit of fill flash would have helped those heavy shadows as well.

Sarah Joyce

purpleehobbit May 3, 2010 12:15 PM

Thanks for the advice, I will give it all a try!


mtclimber May 4, 2010 7:44 PM


And thanks to other posters, I have also learned that you can also use the Burst feature while in the Spots Scene Mode on the HX5 as well. That could be a very helpful feature.

Sarah Joyce

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