Question for anyone with a T7. RE: the magnify mode. Is this mode similar to the macro function in that it only allows focus from 1cm to 20cm (13/32 inch to 7 7/8 inches)? I thought it was intended to blow the image up on the screen when using manual focus. Am I missing something here?
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Re: DSC-T7 Magnify Mode
Don't mix magnifier mode and expanded focus mode.
Magnifier mode is simply a short AF range operating mode, like a kinda super-macro. Whether you selected mag/macro/normal, the camera operates always same except that the focussing range limits are changed accordingly by the S/W. The lens itself is capable of focussing from 1cm to infinity anyway.
Expanded focus is used on some still and video cameras to assit manual focus because the LCD's resolution is lower than the CCD's. It can be seen as a workaround for the lack of optical reflex viewfinder (Sony cams ar not dSLRs, including HDR-FX1!). So the center area of the pic is "digitally zoomed" to make sure you can adjust a sharp focus of the point of interest in your frame. However it has nothing to do with macro shooting, and works at any distance within the lenses focussing range.
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The default setting of Fine Zoom is OFF. You can set it to ON. See the Olympus SP-800uz user manual page 16 and 32. It can magnify the zoom upto max. 201x, however the image pixelsize will reduce to 8 Mpixel or lower. Digital zoom must be set to OFF and this mode is not available in Super Macro.
You'll have to shoot in Manual mode (turn the mode dial to M). You'll get no assistance in setting the exposure from the camera's exposure meter, so you might want to use another lens to get a rough idea of the proper exposure before mounting the 500mm. You can then use the playback and the histogram to fine-tune the exposure. You'll probably want to use a sturdy tripod or similar, since the long lens will magnify every bit of camera shake. You also won't get any autofocus with the lens, so you'll have to focus manually.
With digital cameras, blurred photos are almost always a result of camera shake. You need to hold the camera still even after pressing the button, as there is often a short delay before the shutter fires.
Many digital cameras have a two-stage shutter press- first pressure causes the camera to focus, then the follow through pressure takes the picture. If you are rushing this, you may get unfocussed shots.
Finally, make sure that you have not left the camera in Macro mode. This is a special extreme close-up mode offered by some cameras, and it does not allow autofocus on objects at normal distances. The icon for Macro mode is a little flower.
I have a Sony W120 and had the same macro problem, tried all the "solutions" mentioned here without result. So I pressed the "Home" button, went to "Settings" (last menu item at right), then "Main Settings", and used the "Initialize" functio. Problem solved !
do you really need to use tohe zoom function when in macro mode? remember the lens has it limit on distance of the taken subject. Try to experiment without using the zoom and doing some distance adjustments
I was first going to also suggest a reset.
Does your manual focus function correctly from near to far(turning the focus ring in manual) and does the wide to tele motion function fully and smoothly? (lens adjustability without restriction)
Was your camera exposed to extreme heat or elements?(beach sand or water of any kind)
It may mean electronics only or a mechanical restriction causing an electronic malfunction.
A last resort may mean your closer documenting when or how frequent it happens and maybe ultimately a trip (for your camera) to Sony.
Get a price quote for repair since you might strike a happy medium of using the camera differently (manually focussing) without exceeding the value of the camera for repair costs.
A common problem is that you have some 3.2 Megapixel (MP) and that image is all of 640x480 or 0.3072 M. That means you could move back from the camera, shoot at 3.2 MP then crop out a 640x480 image that may be in focus.