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Focusing is one of the most difficult parts for every digital camera. Special on the end of the moon, and if the lights are low. Every camera needs sharp contrasting backgrounds and no distracting other high contrast objects in the foreground.
Be aware when you soon in to the end of the zoom range, you can't focus on close objects. Minimum focus distance can be a few meters.
It could be you switched to silence the focus noise, what can be bad for focusing.
See what the manual is telling you about zoom and focus:
If the image you see in the camera display flashes then it's an over/under exposure warning feature that's turned on in your camera. It's there to tell you when an area of your picture is either too dark or too bright. You can usually find a setting in the camera's menu that allows you to turn it off. Look for "Exposure Warning" in your menus or something similar.
Hello First thing you need to do is,inside where you can see the screen, search for the brightness and contrast options in your cameras menu. Once you know where they are go outside and try to tweak it until it works. Usually you would want a higher brightness, then just adjust the contrast until your satisfied.
So, the problem doesn't seem to be the flash if the actual subject in
the foreground is exposed properly. My guess is that the background is
being lit by another light source. Typically, your camera uses a flash
for dark areas or what it gauges as a dark area. This doesn't adjust
the background for additional light sources. For example, if you're
standing outside and there's a tree covering someone that you're taking
a picture of your flash will adjust to "properly" light that
individual. However, because the flash was used for the main subject,
the background is actually now overexposed. The overexposed background
will show up as a brightly lit area because the camera had to adjust
for the foreground. This will actually reverse itself when it's dark
out - meaning if the background and foreground are dark, the flash will
expose the foreground, but the background will be black. Hopefully,
that helps you understand lighting and exposure. Now, to fix this
problem when shooting, you would need to consider several options - 1.
SLR camera with aperture and f-stop settings as well as compensation
controls. This will allow you to control every element of the exposure, but you still need to be aware of the lighting behind the "subject" to properly expose your shots. 2. backlighting compensation - common settings on both SLR and point and shoot cameras that makes auto lighting conversions for backlighting and other common lighting issues. Test whatever options are on your camera to see what works best for your specific problem. 3. Photoshop retouching - you may take one shot with your subject exposed properly and a second shot with the background then merge the images together. 4. using
a tripod to shoot without using the flash - this may give you the closest exposure to exactly what you see when looking at your subject.
On a digicam, autofocus works by looking for areas of contrast in the image you are framing. So if you are taking a picture of people (who usually have little contrast) and there is something in the frame (such as a building in the background) with more contrast or sharper definition, the autofocus may focus on that item and not your subject. Knowing this, your job is to work with your camera's modus operandi to get the shot you want. One way is to zoom in, lock the focus on your subject (by pressing the shutter button halfway down) and, while still half-pressing (or switching to manual focus if you have that option), zoom out to recompose. Sometimes you can change perspective or backgrounds to give your subject better contrast. Also, aim for areas of high contrast, such as edges.
You may need to use the flash. Make sure the setting is not flash off. If you're using the flash, make sure your subject is within the range of 14 feet for wide angle shots or 11 feet for telephoto shots. Use Image Expert to adjust the picture's brightness and contrast. Try adjusting the camera's exposure or sensitivity settings (use the Manual user mode). If you're taking pictures in the Manual user mode, look for the EV! warning that appears on your LCD screen when you are taking pictures out of the ideal exposure range. If you have trouble setting both the aperture and shutter speed manually, try adjusting the aperture and letting the camera choose the shutter speed with Aperture Priority mode. If you're using the macro mode to take a close-up photo, be sure to provide adequate lighting for your subject. If you're taking a picture at night and you want to light up the background as well as your subject, use the camera's slow synchronized flash mode. If you need more light, attach an optional external flash to the camera's hot shoe.