Canon PowerShot G12, Manual Focus for Anticipated Action

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While I utilize the automatic focus modes for the majority of my shooting, there are times when I like to fall back on manual focus. If I know when and where the action will occur, I want to capture the subject as it crosses a certain plane of focus. This is useful in sports like motocross or track and field events, where the subjects are on a defined track, or when you’re setting up a fast-moving shot. By pre-focusing the camera, all I have to do is wait for the subject to approach my point of focus and then start firing the camera.

Zoom in to be sure

When reviewing your shots on the LCD, don’t be fooled by the display. The smaller your image is, the sharper it will look. To ensure that you are getting sharp, blur-free images, make sure that you zoom in on your LCD display.

To zoom in on your images, press the Image Review button located above the LCD display and then turn the Zoom lever clockwise to zoom (Figure 5.4). Continue turning the lever to increase the zoom ratio.

To zoom back out, simply turn the Zoom lever counterclockwise.

Another option is to enable the Focus Check review feature, which displays a smaller preview of your full image but also includes a zoomed-in portion; move the Zoom lever to quickly increase the size of the portion to check the image’s focus.

Zooming in on your image helps you confirm that the image is really sharp.
Figure 5.4 Zooming in on your image helps you confirm that the image is really sharp.

Safety Shift

The G12 includes a feature that injects a little automation into the Tv and Av modes if you choose to enable it. (Press the Menu button, scroll down to Safety Shift, and use the Right button to turn it On.) Regardless of what mode you choose, Safety Shift adjusts the shutter speed or aperture to achieve a balanced exposure. So, for example, if you’re shooting at 1/400 but the environment is too dark even at the largest aperture, the camera knocks the shutter speed down to 1/60 (or whatever value works). To be honest, the only reason I can surmise for why you’d want to use Safety Shift instead of switching over to Program (P) mode is to be able to get shots that unexpectedly veer into darker situations (such as patches of dark shadows in an otherwise sunny day) without constantly adjusting your shutter speed or aperture. I’d rather maintain control over shutter speed or aperture and take my chances with a higher ISO to avoid a blurry shot.