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Canon SX50 consistently out of focus pictures


I bought the Canon SX50 Power Shot about 4 months ago and have taken at least 8000 photos in that time.  Mostly birds and wild life.  I understand apppeture, Shuter speed and ISO for the most part and typically use the manual option.  The auto mode usually doesn't give me a high enough shutter speed for my subjects.


I am so frustrated with this camera at this point.  I can't believe how poor most of the photos are.  I have the IS set at continous and most photos are taken at the full 1200 mm.


If I try the continous shooting it is slow and clunky.  And doesn't capture what I want.


I realize I am new at this but I am missing something.  I have thought of selling the camera and getting something different but I love not having to change lenses and the nice zoom.


I have attached a couple of untouched images.  None of which are the nice crisp photos I am after and I am definitely unable to print anything (espically if the ISO is too high)IMG_0195.JPGIMG_9404.JPG. Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you!


I had another image I wanted to upload but its too big.  I have no idea how to change its size.



I suggest you look at this guys lessons and he uses the SX50HS too. I think there are 15 lessons and he goes into every aspect of the SX50HS. I have the SX50 also and I get great pictures there a some limitations but I have fund them yet.

So really this guy is a pprofeesional photographer and I bet his lesson on the focusing aspect will solve your problems

There are lots of thing that can effect focus I use P mode with focus set to flexizone and move the focus square to an area in the subject with enough detail to focus on

Anyway heres the link for those lessons I doubt you ownt find them helpfull

Thanks John. I am going to check that out. I know this camera is capable of great images because I've seen them. I've spent a lot of time with it and know I must be making the same errors over and over.

Yes its a fairly complex camera and easy to make mistakes! Ive done it many times lol !


Check ot that link you wont be dissappointed!


Also at 1200mm it takes good camera holding technique even with image stabilization to avoid blur from camera shake.


If nothing in your photo is sharp, it is not a focus issue. If something other than your subject is sharp that is caused by missed focus. Missed focus is usually a user issue. Auto focus is far from automatic,

Hi TTMartin,


In some cases I know it is the user!   However, in others I have the shutter speed set high enough that I don't think it should be a problem.


One of the photos I wanted to upload here was too large to do so.  The bird and pine needles surrounding him are out of focus. He was high in a pine tree within the branches.  The pine needles were not in the way of focus.  Bright sunny day. Settings:  F/8.0; 1/1600; ISO:3200; 215mm  Any thoughts?


In regards to 'missed focus' - how do I resolve that?  What am I doing wrong.


Thank you.

I have to agree with TTMartin on his observation.    I have had the Canon SX50, and now have the Canon SX60 and my results at the furthest zoom range was simular to yours, some even worst....when using handheld.  I also got burrel distortion and other bad stuff like flare, using both these cameras.   I would suggest if you insist on taking pics at the 1200mm range  you'll need a tripod.   Even when I used a tripod at that furthest range I was never quite satisfied with any pics I took.   That's one of the main issues with these super zoom bridge cameras and their small sensors.   Trade off in IQ vs. zoom.    I still use my SX60 from time to time and just have learned to accept the cameras limitations in zoom range.  I rarely now take pics above 600-800mm range.  That's the only way I have gotton pics that I deem acceptable, and best pics are still with tripod.  I get best shots handheld, from wide to about 400-600mm.   I'm 68 yrs old now, and my hands are nowhere near steady as they were when any range.    I also got a hood for it and that helps too, flare really affects some of my shots without it.   Maybe someone will see your post and give you a better solution that will work for you, other than what's already stated.  I will be keeping an eye out on this post because I would gladly use such a solution myself.


BTW...I think what he meant by missed focus is when your lens focus on something other than our intended target.  It happens, I've done it.  Times I was focusing on a boat on the water, shooting between 2 trees closer to me, and the lens focused on a hanging branch or leaf, I did'nt notice at the time.  another time i was shooting accross some water and my lens focused on a fishing line, where guys were fishing near me.

Thanks Jazzman1.

I am going out to experiment today with keeping my zoom to 600-800mm. Someone else told me the same thing. 600-800 would be an acceptable zoom provided I can keep the camera still. And yes I do struggle with the camera wanting to focus on other than my subject. I take a lot of photos of birds in the trees so branches and leaves, tiny stems cause focusing issues.
So we will see. I do have a few pictures at the 1200mm range that I was pleased with - the gods must have been smiling down on me! Lol!

Also I really don't want to have a tripod unless I'm sitting somewhere. I've considered a monopod. But I am out hiking around and don't want to have to be carting extra stuff.

I will report back after.


@KSL23232323 wrote:
Thanks Jazzman1.

I am going out to experiment today with keeping my zoom to 600-800mm. Someone else told me the same thing. 600-800 would be an acceptable zoom provided I can keep the camera still. And yes I do struggle with the camera wanting to focus on other than my subject. I take a lot of photos of birds in the trees so branches and leaves, tiny stems cause focusing issues.

I will report back after.


Good you decide to back off some zoom range, you will get much better results.  Because of the lower IQ of the Canon SX HS super zoom cameras I got a DSLR for IQ, and use my SX60 for longer zoom range.  To get a good DSLR lens in the longest range of the SX50 would cost a fortune.  I have a Canon 60D  DSLR, and Canon EF 70-300mm L  lens....the lens cost 3 times as much as the SX50, but the furthest range is only 300mm.  That's only one of the difference in DSLR's and Powershot SX HS Bridge Cameras .....IQ vs zoom.   With the SX50 we sacrifice IQ for more zoom, and the DSLR's sacrifice (for lack of a better word) Zoom range for better IQ and superior build, within a given price range.   To get the best of both worlds in one body would cost a small fortune.  Most guys I know, including myself  get excellent results with DSLR lens in the range of 200-600mm.   Saying that to say that the Powershot SX HS camera's can get very good pics in that range also.  In fact I've had the Canon SX40, SX50, and now the SX60, and I could swear I got way better results with my SX40, that only had 35X zoom.  I really miss my SX40 now, and think I went for the hipe at the time, for longer zoom range, and really lost out big time on IQ of my pics at more/farther zoom.  Looking back on pics I took with the SX40, I think they are better than those I took with my newer models.  I was much happier with the shorter zoom range, I had more keepers. 

The out of focus is caused by handheld zooming. The camera shakes/vibrates if further zooming in. Added with the setting of high ISO and high speed with  F8 give noise/blurry photo. Do the same at manual to experiment.


To resize a photo at playback- press menu and select resize.

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