While my camera is in the AUTO mode the LCD display remains unfocused and the pictures reflect the same. The only way I can get it to take a clear picture is to zoom in all the way and at that point the camera "auto focuses". Basically even when the camera is in standby the display is still unfocused all I want my wife to be able to do is point and shoot however it will not focus on anything. I have held the button down half way and put everything on automatic... Any ideas?
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Re: the focus on the NIKON COOLPIX P80
Some cameras have a choice in menu as to monitor or continous autofocus-monitor or continous means camera always seeks a focus which hurts bat life but makes focus quicker-single means camera won't focus untill button pressed halfway-make sure you are not in macro mode-flower icon on screen-this will screw up focus except for close up work-good luck-check menu settings for your type of focus
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You did not say which camera body you are using, but you probably have three different auto-focus modes on you camera. You might be using the wrong one.
The modes are as follows:
AF-A Mode: Camera automatically selects single-servo autofocus when AF-A subject is stationary, continuous-servo autofocus when subject is moving. Shutter can only be released if camera is able to focus.
AF-S Mode: For stationary subjects. Focus locks when shutter-release button AF-S is pressed halfway. Shutter can only be released when in-focus indicator is displayed.
AF-C Mode: For moving subjects. Camera focuses continuously while AF-C shutter-release button is pressed halfway. Photographs can be taken even when in-focus indicator is not displayed.
Your Nikon Coolpix 3200 Digital Camera is equipped with a AF assist illuminator which makes focus easier when shooting in darker situations.
In spite of that, on occasion, it is quite possible that the camera will fail to achieve sharp auto-focus.
Point and Shoot cameras use a contrast-based focusing system: this works only when the contrast in the composition is high.
When you press the shutter halfway down the camera attempts to focus, but if it shows red brackets it implies that the focus has not been achieved. Please take care to note this indication, and if you do not see the Green "Focus Lock" indicator, please attempt to recompose the shot.
Release the shutter, press halfway through again and wait for a focus lock.
The sensor on a P&S camera is very small (about 8-9x smaller in surface area compared to DSLRs)
In low light conditions achieving focus can be a challenge for P&S cameras. These are technical limitations which are not specific to your camera but common to all cameras in the same segment across various camera manufacturers.
The D80 has a lot more settings to deal with and depending on the lens the depth of field may explain the blurry background (that is desired effect on a portrait) The view finder on the D80 is for composing the shot and has read outs for the settings. The LCD on the back is for playback and the menus, it doesn't work like a live view of what's being taken (on some newer and more expensive DSLRs it does preview on the big LCD) on smaller point & Shoot cameras that don't have a viewfinder they use the LCD as the viewfinder, does that make sense? If she has the manual you may want to faniliarize yourself with some of the features, start out on one at a time for the different modes so they make more sense, you can really appriciate the camera after that and respect what pro photographers do. The D80 is not a cheap camera and I personally know a couple of professionals that use it among their cameras. (lots of different lenses that cost many time more than the camera body) Have fun with it, and if you get into it you will find you can take some fantastic photos with it. Can you tell that I like that camera?
Try checking your settings for the type of shot you are taking and for the type of focus...... type of shot is the dial on the top, and then: 1) menu, metering and also check your autofocus mode 2)menu, autofocus; try the single autofocus, it might be set to continual
Also, you could try updating the firmware in your camera. You do this through the Nikon website.
When the LCD display is "off" the focus mode is automatically switched to "Single AF" mode (since there is no way for the user to confirm that the proper subject is focused) and unless focus is locked the camera cannot fire.
When the camera is in "Continuous AF" Focus mode the camera will take a picture whenever the shutter release button is pressed, wether or not the subject is in focus.
You can take a photo with the monitor off, but the camera will have to lock focus before it can fire and will not respond as quickly as with the monitor on.