Hi all. I take a lot of photos and videos of distant flying objects-- birds, and aircraft. Until recently I've been using an SX30, and before that an SX10.
While taking a video, you can imaging how challenging it can be to make the the camera focus on a small object high in the sky, and then keep that object in focus as it passes behind treetops and other nearby obstructions, etc.
With my SX10 and SX30, it was fairly simply to accomplish this. On the SX10, in the menu, I set the "AutoFocus Mode" to "Single". The SX30 was a little different and I didn't need to select this option. With either camera, when my target was in the center of the screen, I would push the shutter trigger button halfway halfway to freeze the focus (in the case of the SX30) or to make the camera focus and then freeze the focus (in the case of the SX10). If this yielded a green border on the center screen, telling me that the camera thought it had a sharp focus, I would then hit the "MF" button to lock the focus. If my target moved to a different distance, or if I zoomed the lens in or out (which always seems to mess up the focus), I could then hit the "MF" button again to unlock the focus, and then repeat the procedure to resharpen the image.
This always yielded a great video-- my target wouldn't go out of focus even while passing behind nearer objects-- treetops etc. And I didn't need to keep the shutter trigger halfway depressed-- I was free to do other manipulations like adjust the +/- contrast while knowing that the focus would stay locked.
How can I accomplish this with my SX60?
With the SX60, the camera's autofocus seems to be always running. If my target goes behind a treetop, all of a sudden the focus shifts so that the treetop is sharp focus. That's not what I want! Half the time the camera will fail to reacquire the small object I'm trying to film. Pushing the shutter trigger halfway while videoing seems to do nothing. If the image of my target seems sharp while videoing, I can push the "MF" button to lock the focus, but I don't have the green square showing to tell me that the camera got a good focus-- I have to rely on my near vision to judge whether or not the image on the screen is sharp, while looking at the little screen-- that isn't working so well for me. I really miss having that green square come on. Also, I have no idea whether the camera is really using the center of the screen to judge focus while videoing, or might just as easily lock onto something in some other part of the frame. Then if my target changes distance and I want to release the MF lock, it's not a simple one-button operation-- when I push "MF" I get a menu choice at the top of the screen and have to make a "left" entry and a "func set" entry to release the MF lock. This is not practical to do while keeping the camera trained on a small object in flight.
In short, the video resolution of the SX60 is great but I can't figure out how to control the focus like I could with my SX30 and SX10. Can someone tell me how to set up the camera so that I use the shutter trigger (halfway pressed) to temporarily freeze the focus on a target in the center of the frame, and so that I get a green square to tell me that the camera thinks it really is focussed? In other words can someone tell me how to make the "focus freeze" function work in video mode the same way that it does when shooting stills?
Likewise, can someone tell me how to be able to release the "MF lock" with a single button press, instead of having to go through three button presses as described above?
If these things aren't possible the camera may be going back to the store as I am still within the 2-week return window...
09/26/2023: New firmware updates are available.
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07/31/2023: New firmware updates are available.
05/31/2023: New firmware updates are available.
05/18/2023: New firmware updates are available.
03/30/2023: New firmware updates are available.