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PowerShot SX70 HS Autofocus Doesn't seem to be working


I have a new SX70HS PowerShot and I am having trouble with the autofocus and it's driving me crazy. I can't determine if the problem is with me or the camera. I bought the camera to take pictures mainly outdoors. I'm a birder and I'm mostly trying to capture a stationary bird. In the autofocus mode, I have the image I'm looking to capture in the center of the viewfinder. When I press the shutter button halfway the green rectangle is always off to the right side of the viewfinder, it is never on the specific subject that I'm trying photograph. I really want to know if I'm doing something wrong or the camera is defective. Thank you.


Product Expert
Product Expert

Hi lauriejb_11,

To assist you with this issue we will need a little bit more information. What mode is the camera set to, and what type of auto focus method are you using on the camera?

One thing to try is to use the tracking focus method. With that method you can select where the camera should track focus by touching the LCD. If you want to reference the manual for the tracking and subject selection that is on pages 117-119.

If you need a copy of the manual it is available HERE. Once you are on the web page click on the Manuals button and the one to reference is named PowerShot SX70 HS Advanced User Guide.

I have the Powershot SX70 HS. It does not have a touchscreen. Pages 117-119 in the Advanced User Guide discuss focusing options but there is no mention of a touchscreen there or anywhere else in the guide.

There was a recent post about changing the focus option from Continuous AF to Single Point focus to deal with focusing issues. I made that change myself but have not been able to field test it yet.

I am going to field test that option as well.

Hi Hazel - Thank you for replying. My camera was on AUTO shooting mode. The auto focus method appeared be the first option of the 4 options on page 117. I've been trying to photograph stationary subjects and based on the options I think I should be in the 1-point AF option. The weather here has not been conducive to getting out and taking pictures - very strong wind gusts and/or rain. I'll give changing the auto focus method a try.


My SX70 sometimes does the same thing when on Auto mode. Are you seeing a square with just white corners marked as you move the camera? If so, you have auto tracking enabled which should keep the bird in focus as it moves. Then when you press the shutter half way, the white cornered square turns green when you have it centered. With difficult focusing subjects like birds surrounded by branches, try using RAW mode. Then you will see a blue rectangle in the middle when you half press and it will be in focus. This is particularly needed when a bird is perched in the open very close and the camera insists of focusing on the background. Also look for other focusing options in the manual.

Hi -

Thanks for responding. I am going to try the 1-point AF method as soon as I can go out and test it. I was trying to photograph birds or objects that weren't moving. Based on the other advice it looks like the focusing method I was using was incorrect. Once I get the focusing on a stationary object right, I'm looking forward to giving tracking a try.

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