Hi, first of all, I've the manual on my computer and also I printed it myself and yes, I've read it all several times.
My question is about the names of the settings in the setup menu, and what they do and when to choose one setting over another:
AF Frame gives Flexi zone, face detect and tracking AF. What is Flexi Zone?
AF Point Zoom. What is it, and how do I use it?
Servo AF compared to Continuous AF. What do they do?
Can anybody help me?
Flexi Frame allows you to move the focus point on the screen to off center the focus point if you want.
AF Point zoom allows you to ensure focus by having a window pop up in the center of the frame when you half press the shutter so you see a "magnified" window of the center area of what you are shooting. Useful with macros shots.
Servo AF focuses when you half press the shutter button, while continuous AF constantly focuses (useful in video mode)
Hi Sebastian, I have the SX50 HS also and it is an excellent high end bridge camera and yes complex.
First let me tell you about a brilliant photograper who has a series of "how to's' on You Tube dealing with DSLR's and what's really nice is he demonstrates the lessons with the SX50 HS so it all applies to us. His name is Marius van der Westhuizen, www.mwest.co.za. He explains it all in terms anyone can understand. I myself am an amatuer. Search him out on You Tube or his website. He has a complete lesson on focusing again he uses the SX50 HS in his demos. I think there are 13 or so lessons on the whole camera.
Also I am quoting from a book rather that put this into my own words which tend to ramble. The book is for a SX40 HS but it all applies in most part to our camera, Amazon had it, A Short Course in Canon Powershot SX40 HS Photography written by Dennis P. Curtin. The SX 50 is a complex camera and I made the investment but it isnt worth it to me if I dont know as much as I can or need about the camera...so I read and learn. For me that is part of the enjoyment.
FlexiZone/Center lets you change the size of the AF Frame or move it around the screen to focus on almost any part of the scene . If you don’t move the AF Frame, the center of the scene is used to set focus.
With the AF Frame mode set to FlexiZone, you can change the size of the AF Frame to better match the size of the subject. When the subject is small, or when you want to focus on a specific part of it, you can get more precise focus by making the AF Frame smaller. You can also move the frame around the screen to focus on any area of the scene. In both cases you begin by pressing the AF Frame Selector button to turn the AF Frame orange. After pressing DISP to change its size or using the Control Dial to change its position, press the AF Frame Selector button to complete the setting and change the frame color back to white.
SIZING AND MOVING THE AF FRAME
1. With the AF Frame set to FlexiZone, press the AF Frame selector button so the normally white AF Frame turns orange.
2. Do one of the following:
• Press DISP to toggle the AF Frame between small and large.
• Turn the Control Dial or press its points to move the frame. (Hold the AF Frame selector button down to center the frame.)
3. Press the AF Frame selector button to return the AF Frame to white. When you then press the shutter button halfway down, the frame changes to green when focus is set or yellow (blue if Servo AF is on) if focus can’t be achieved.
The camera’s default setting has the camera autofocus continuously. Battery consumption is higher in this mode, so you may want to turn this off so the camera only focuses when you press the shutter button halfway down. However, continuously focusing does allow you to get shots off more quickly, especially important when photographing action.
Continuous is fixed to On in AUTO, Sports, Movie Digest, High-speed Burst HQ. Smart Shutter and Movie modes; and is not available in Low Light or Fireworks
Servo AF is designed to keep a subject in focus and well exposed when it moves toward or away from the camera, changing the camera-subject distance. Servo AF is great for sports (it’s fixed to on in Sports mode) and nature photography, or any other situations where you are photographing moving subjects, but isn’t available in the following situations:
• When using Movie Digest, Smart Shutter, Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy Camera, Fireworks, Stitch Assist or Movie modes.
• When using manual focus.
When Servo AF is on, you can’t use AF lock and turning on Servo AF, turns off AF-Point Zoom.
In AUTO mode you can’t select Servo AF but it turns on automatically if motion is detected
SHOOTING WITH SERVO AF
1. With the camera set to any Shooting mode that supports Servo AF, press MENU and display the Shooting menu.
2. Turn the Control Dial or press its down or up point to highlight
Servo AF and then the left or right point to highlight On or Off.
3. Press the shutter button halfway down to focus the camera and a blue frame indicates where the camera has focused. If distance between the camera and subject changes, the subject remains in focus and the exposure adjusts as long as you keep holding the shutter button halfway down and keep the subject in the blue frame.
4. Press the shutter button all the way to take the photo.
You can have the camera detect faces and use them to set focus and exposure. Face Detect mode is always on in AUTO mode, and can be turned on in other Shooting modes other than Sports, Fish-eye, Miniature, Fireworks, Stitch Assist and Miniature Movie mode.
• The frame surrounding what the camera believes is the main subject is white and is the face the camera will track and keep in focus unless you select another face. Frames around up to 2 other faces are gray. When you press the shutter button halfway down, green frames are displayed on detected faces on which the camera focuses.
• When you press the shutter button halfway down up to nine green frames indicate faces on which the camera focused.
• If the camera identifies non-human subjects as faces, set the AF Frame to FlexiZone. The camera may not detect faces that are extremely small or large, too dark or bright, turned to the side, tilted or partially hidden.
SELECTING AND TRACKING FACES
1. With the AF Frame set to Face Detect , compose the image. If faces are detected the face frame of the main subject is displayed in white and up to 2 others in gray. The camera tracks framed faces and keeps them in focus within a limited range of movements. If a face isn’t detected, the face frame isn’t displayed.
2. To turn on face select and select another face when more than one is detected, press and release the AF Frame Selector button to turn on face select mode. The white face frame changes to double corner brackets and a prompt reads
Face select on. Repeatedly press the button to cycle through detected faces. When you press it with the last face highlighted, the prompt reads Face select off.
3. Press the shutter button halfway down and the faces used to set focus and exposure are framed with a green frame or a blue frame when Servo AF is on. (If the camera can’t focus, the AF Frame isn’t displayed and the indicator next to the viewfinder blinks orange.
I hope that helped and do yourself a favor find those You Tube lessons!
Thank you John!
I got the AF Flexi now, and by reading again the manual I see that it was there, but I didn't understand...
Now for the rest of it, Can I have servo AF and contunuous AF on at the same time? It looks as they do very similar tasks.
Oh, and What is AF Point Zoom and what do I use it for?
I'm afraid I'll have many more questions in the future....BTW I found the Marius clips and I find them very helpful, but so far I haven't found a chapter explaining what every setting in the Menu does. I'm also folloving the tutorials for the SX40 by The Fat Dragon lady just to be on the safe side.
Thank you again for your help