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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-05-2016
Accepted Solution

Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

I have been using the SX60 HS  for birds and other wildlife recently and for the most part am satisfied.  However, I have noticed that there are times that I just can't focus on the subject.  Sometimes I can change the zoom or focus on something else and then come back to the original subject and get it to focus but sometimes I need to turn the camera off and then on again to get the focus.  Of course, with a small bird, by the time I run through this routine, the bird is gone.  I'm wondering if anyone has had the same issue and what you can do about it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

Every focusing scenario is different, and you have not posted an image of it, so no one can explain what happened.  Just be aware that the camera needs sufficient light and contrast in order to focus.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

If light and contrast were the factors, turning the camera off and back on and going back to the same subject should still result in a non-focused subject.  That's not the case.  So I don't believe light and contrast are the issues for the camera not focusing.  I'm wondering if others have the same camera and experience the same thing.  My wife has the same camera and she too experiences what I've described.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

I do think it's possible that the lack of focus might have to do with branches or other extraneous things in the foreground which would prevent focus of the subject further back.  When I turn the camera off and then on and go back to the subject, I may be taking a slightly different angle and focusing directly on the subject.  However, if I initially can't focus, I won't be able to focus on the subject no matter if I move or do anything.  It's like the autofocus is locked and can't be changed unless I focus on a different object which is closer or further away or if I turn the camera off and on.  Wierd.  Just wondering if others have experienced this and understand why.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 889
Registered: ‎03-01-2014

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

I have the SX50 and I use the focus setting set to Flexizone that allows me to move the focus frame without moving the camera like you are trying to do to find a good area to focus on. It also allows me to resize the focus frame. I've gotten good results using that and on the same uncooperative subjects like yours...birds! lol I also use a lightweight monopod whenever possible or practical which frees up the hands to press buttons

Look on page 82 of your manual for more info on that focus mode

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

Thanks a lot, John.  I will try what you suggested.  It makes sense.  I see it described in my manual.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,251
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue


mjschocken wrote:

If light and contrast were the factors, turning the camera off and back on and going back to the same subject should still result in a non-focused subject.  That's not the case.  So I don't believe light and contrast are the issues for the camera not focusing.  I'm wondering if others have the same camera and experience the same thing.  My wife has the same camera and she too experiences what I've described.


I suggest that you do believe it.  While cycling power to the camera will serve to reset the AF system, the camera will still experience the same problems.  The AF points are not as small as some people may think.  

 

In another post, you describe your focusing problem shows up when focusing on birds between tree branches.  No wonder you're having problems focusing the camera.  You're asking the camera to focus on one specific noodle in a bowl of spaghetti.

 

The camera cannot read your mind.  It sees multiple branches on which to focus.  Sometimes it will pick the wrong target.  Sometimes it won't pick any target.  The camera has no idea you want to focus on a small bird on a branch.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

Yes, I understand your point.  A small bird in foliage or branches is difficult to focus with any camera.  I also have an 80D and a  Canon 100 - 400 mm zoom II lens and I have to make sure the center focus is directly on the bird and not an interfering object.  However, the 80 D is much better at autofocusing than the PowerShot although there is admittedly a significant difference in price between the two.  In any case, I believe the issue I'm experiencing is different than the issue you and I are now discussing.  I'm going to try John's suggestion and I'll repost to report if that improves the issue.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-05-2016

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue

One point for correction.  The autofocus on the PowerShot is a lot slower than the Canon 80D.  I don't know if the 80D's autofocus is necessarily better. I do know, however, that I don't have this issue with the 80D and the zoom lens I'm using.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,920
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Canon SX60 HS Focussing Issue


mjschocken wrote:

One point for correction.  The autofocus on the PowerShot is a lot slower than the Canon 80D.  I don't know if the 80D's autofocus is necessarily better. I do know, however, that I don't have this issue with the 80D and the zoom lens I'm using.


I will go out on a limb here and say that the 80D's Autofocus is indeed better than a PowerShot. At the very least it will give you *many* more options, and give you instant feedback in the viewfinder as opposed to an LCD.

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