Question about Vivitar Vivicam 5388 Digital Camera

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Digital camera won't focus

I'm using the same camera settings and light source every time I use my camera, but sometimes it just won't auto focus. I have tried moving the light source and the object around, moved the camera further away, and changed the ISO, but it still won't auto focus.

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I see your camera has a focus area. If you have a subject with enough contrasting parts in this area, the focusing should work fine.
You must know that not every subject can be focused on as quick or as good as you would like. If there are little contrasting lines in the subject, or when it is getting dark or there are dark and light parts in the focus area, that don't belong together, every camera can have problems to focus correct. Changing the ISO settings won't change anything for the auto focus.
But special when you try to shoot in almost dark places, you camera will have lots of work to focus and in most cases it won't work at all.

You could try to place an object with light and dark lines, on the same distance as the object you want to picture. Then by pressing the shutter half, when focusing on the object with much contrast, you can look if the camera can focus. If it is in focus, keep the shutter pressed half way down, while moving to the object you want to shoot a picture of. Once you have every thing in the frame as you want it, press the shutter complete.

Posted on Dec 27, 2013

Testimonial: "Thanks for your response, I really appreciate it. There wasn't a lot of contrast in the shot, but it was very well lit, I have a light set up above the area I'm using to take the pictures. I added another object to the frame, with more of a contrasting colour and it worked fine then. The advice about focusing on something else first, then swapping the objects with the shutter half down should be very helpful the next time it happens, I would never have thought of that! Thanks so much for your help, I'm very greatful :)"

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Hello! I have problems with my flash. Untill yesterday, when I take photos they make multiple light on exposure objects, but not anymore. Now, wheni I turn on automatically flash sometimes it not working,...


Perhaps you only changed the settings. As long as you are on automatic, and don't force the flash off, the flash should work when needed.
The multiple flash you mention, is the flash used to avoid red eyes.
With the first flash(es) the eye closes the pupil, so ref;action of the retina is minimal.
Sometimes the camera also uses the returning flash light to fine tune the focus, if on auto focus.
Just check if the camera is in the setting you always used. Just check if you have the best results with this setting.

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Depending on your lens, you may have an AF/MF switch. Make sure it's set to AF for Auto Focus. Try increasing your light levels. Does focus work in a good light setting?

You should have a button that looks like a matrix. Press this button to set your focus point. Use the joy-stick like wheel to select the focus point. Press it to select Auto Focus points.

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I have a Nikon D80. When I went to use it recently (having charged the batteries) - the shutter would not release every time. I can find no reason for it - it is an intermittant fault. Can you help?


The shutter will not release if the camera is unable to obtain focus. If the switches on both the camera body and the lens (if equipped) are set to auto focus, the camera will prevent the shutter from releasing. The most common cause of a focus problem is the lack of light. The "focus assist" light on the front of the camera will come on automatically for a moment in dark places to help the camera gather enough light to focus. If you haven't disabled the light in the menu, make sure it isn't obstructed.

You can override the whole auto focus issue by setting the switches on the camera / lens to "manual focus" instead. Of course, this means that you are shifting the responsibility of focusing from the camera to you. The camera will release the shutter every time in this situation.

If you still have problems, provide the mode you're running and the lens you're using & I'll try to help out some more. I hope this helps & good luck!

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My shutter won't fire using 18-55 lens, either on Manual, P or Auto mode. It is set to AF. But when lens is set to MF, shutter fires. I tried switching to another lens and shutter is perfectly fine.


I could be that your lens isn't focusing. If the Auto focus can't find something to focus on the shutter won't fire. If you are shooting in low light sometimes it has trouble try shooting something that is well lit. also your auto focus point may be somewhere other than the center. there is a button on the top of your camera that looks like this [ ][ ] [ ] [ ]
More or less that will switch where your focus point is. If you look in the view finder and see a red dot when you push on the shutter button that is your focus point. push the above button until the red dot is in the centre. that may fix your problem.

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Sometimes when taking photos the photos are fine and sometimes they are really blurry. Why is this haening?


this may not be the camera but the lighting situation of the photo. or how the camera is held this also happens on film cameras.
if the subject is not well lit or the flash fails to go off or is blocked by a finger then the shutter stays open longer to get enough light to see the image. if the auto focus apature is blocked it will not focus on the subject and will come out out of focus
if the camera moves in the time that the shot is taken it will blur.

if the blufing is from left to right or up and down it means the camer moved during the shot.
if the whole picture is blured all over this looks like being out of focus and not due to movement.

check your IOS speed setting for your camera if it is set low then the camera will needs a lot of light or show shutter speed to capture an image. set it to auto or higher than 100 is best for most situation

if the camera is set to manual an not automatic the camera will only shoot at the set shutter speed and this can cause bluring.


try some test shots on a table or a tripod and take several shots in automatic mode with auto focus on take them one after the other they should all be the same but if one is blurred then there is a problem with the metering of your camera if they are all fine they it is due to camera shake when the picture was taken.


a few tips.

hold the camera to the eye with the elbows against the side of the body.
in dark lit places try to use a tripod or some other support or external light source or flash.
ensure the fingers are away from the auto focus apature the lens and the flash light.

i hope this was helpful

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It depends on how long you have owned the camera, but I find it doubtful that it would be waring out. Sometimes after messing with the auto focus buttons my camera no longer focuses on its own, I then reset the settings and re-select auto focus. This always fixes my problem. I hope you find a solution. God bless...

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Auto Focus Problem


Way to check settings is to take the batteries out for a while, it should revert to factory default settings. I tell a lot of People to try this, it works an amazing number of times. Auto focus looks for vertical lines, what are You shooting at? Try rotating the camera 90 degrees, if it locks better,Bingo. Subjects without much contrast are hard to lock focus on

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1 Answer

Focus Problem


Low light focus lock can be a problem with this camera. But in normal or bright light there should be no problem with auto focus lock. If this is a new problem, you should check to see if a setting has been changed. With so many options, it is easy to accidently set something that causes unusual results (been there, done that). First ... Go to the Setup Menu and see that the "All Reset" option is selected. This will cause everything to be reset to factory default each time you power-on the camera. Turn the camera off and then turn the camera on. Then take some test photos to see if your auto-focus-lock is improved. If that works, there is no need to check the items below. If that does not work, here are some control changes to try. Remember if you turn off the camera everything gets reset. That camera uses contrast detection for auto focus and it is normally set to "Multi-Area Auto Focus". Try changing it to "Spot Auto Focus" and do some tests, including with the camera set to one of the programs or manual mode. There is another setting called "Autofocus Area", you should investigate. Check your manual to determine what you can do with this control. There is another control called something like "continuous auto focus". Check the manual for further information. If none of the above help, it is time to see about some camera repairs.

Sep 06, 2005 | Olympus Camedia C-740 Ultra Zoom Digital...

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