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Old Feb 21, 2010, 6:41 PM   #1
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Default Focusing?

Hi everyone

I posted here a little while ago about what camera to buy. Everyone was so helpful, I thought i would come back with a few question about my new camera.

My husband bought me a Canon XS yesterday , which is awesome, buuuttt I am having issues figuring out how to use it. I have owned a canon A710 for a few years. I'm familiar with using canon controls and using my P+S in full manual. So I thought this would be a snap to pick up. I went out today in full manual and came home with some AWFUL pictures. Now granted it is Feb. in New England, and it was midday and sunny. Not ideal conditions, but still these pics are bad.
I think part of what is giving me trouble is the lack of live view(which I know it does have somewhere). I'm used to framing my shot on the LCD and seeing what is in focus, the light, etc. When I look through the view finder everything looks fine, but when the shot shows up on the screen it will be black, totally out of focus, etc. How do you tell if you you are shooting is in focus? Do I have something set wrong? Is it possible to see how the shot is going to look through the view finder? I was shooting in full manual, for the most part. Here are a few examples,


Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125) Aperture: f/8.0 Focal Length: 18 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: 0 EV Flash: Off, Did not fire
I have a pic I took a couple mths ago in the exact same spot with my P+S camera and it came out very nice in my opinion. This one is all washed out, the colors are off, and it is very soft.


Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30) Aperture: f/4.5 Focal Length: 27 mm ISO Speed: 100 Exposure Bias: 0 EV Flash: Off, Did not fire
This one too, came out really soft. It's like I almost have it focused but not quite. I tried sharpening, in paint shop but it didn't really help.

These to are pretty representative of the lot, but I can show more if it will help. I was mainly just trying to get sharp, focused images. Trying to figure out how to work the camera. It didn't work so well.

Last edited by my1hd; Feb 21, 2010 at 7:58 PM.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 6:47 PM   #2
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first off, why shoot in full manual? your camera has a meter in it, make use of it.

try shooting in Av or aperture priority. this allows you to control your depth of field by choosing an appropriate aperture. then in order to get the shutter speeds you need, you can simply vary the ISO.

also, these pictures lack EXIF data, so i can't really comment on what is going on here, my guess is either some motion blur, limited depth of field, or some combination of both. but without the EXIF, its impossible to tell.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 7:24 PM   #3
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Speaking of 'manual', it sounds as if you will need to sit down with the one that came with the camera .

One thing that could be giving you a problem, is the diopter adjustment on the VF. You should adjust it so the VF display (not the scene) is in sharp focus. This is often overlooked.
You may also need to select your autofocus point. Yup, it will help because you should get a focus indicator, even when using manual focus (if I have read the specs right).

If you are getting black or underexposed pictures, you might want to adjust your metering mode as well. The ttl VF operates with the lens wide open for metering, and the aperture only closes when you take the shot.

Lots to get used to.

brian
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 8:09 PM   #4
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Opps, I just added the EXIF data.

I was Shooting in manual because I wanted to learn how to use the camera better and it was really bright and sunny. I thought I would have better luck in manual.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 8:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
Speaking of 'manual', it sounds as if you will need to sit down with the one that came with the camera .

One thing that could be giving you a problem, is the diopter adjustment on the VF. You should adjust it so the VF display (not the scene) is in sharp focus. This is often overlooked.
You may also need to select your autofocus point. Yup, it will help because you should get a focus indicator, even when using manual focus (if I have read the specs right).

If you are getting black or underexposed pictures, you might want to adjust your metering mode as well. The ttl VF operates with the lens wide open for metering, and the aperture only closes when you take the shot.

Lots to get used to.

brian

I did sort of speed read the manual LOL. Looks like I need to be studying it a lot harder. I'm a more hands on learner though. lol

I do not at all understand the first part of what you are saying. Never heard of any of that.
The focusing was weird. At one point i was trying to get a picture of some berries. It kept showing up blurry in the view finder, I finally got what I thought was focused (by what I saw in the view finder) and it was a garbled mess, when I looked at it at home.... Am I doing something wrong or is what you see in the view finder not what you get?

I didn't have any huge expectations for today, but I did take like 400 pics I thought I would get at least 4 I liked.

Last edited by my1hd; Feb 21, 2010 at 8:30 PM.
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Old Feb 24, 2010, 3:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my1hd View Post
I did sort of speed read the manual LOL. Looks like I need to be studying it a lot harder. I'm a more hands on learner though. lol

I do not at all understand the first part of what you are saying. Never heard of any of that.
What he means is that the viewfinder has to be "matched to YOUR eye" in order for you to see the results of focusing. This is called the "diopter."

Instructions for adjusting the viewfinder (and its a very simple process) should be in your manual. Once you correct the viewfinder, you should not have much problem focusing on the scene.

Dave
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Old Feb 24, 2010, 4:48 PM   #7
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OK, now I'm really embarrassed! Thank you!
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