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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Camera fault 

My camera is a Canon EOS 350D and has an autofocus system that is based on a diamond pattern of seven sensor points that are visible in the viewfinder as seven red dots.

canon_focus_points

For the last few months I have been having a problem with the camera. I have only been able to use autofocus on the left-most focusing point when I have been using the manual exposure settings. Autofocus worked fine in any other mode but not manual. I looked through the manual that came with the camera and searched all the way through the menu settings to see if there was something that needed adjusting but found nothing. So I reluctantly concluded that the camera had developed a fault and needed to be repaired.

To be absolutely honest, it hasn’t been that much of a problem; I have been experimenting with focusing on that point and then moving the camera with varying degrees of success. I’ve also resorted to using the automatic modes but all summer long I have known that I needed to take the camera to be fixed, probably at great cost, once my main photography season was over.

I decided that today was the day and brought the camera to work with me so that I could drop it in at one of the many shops nearby. By chance, I happened to mention the problem to one of my colleagues (who also has a 350D) and he mentioned a button that I never used which he accidentally nudges from time to time causing him a similar problem.

Of course, that was it and I managed to sort my camera out without having a costly repair. My camera now focuses as it should.

Now that the embarrassing confession is out of the way, I’d better describe the technical solution so that anyone like me who was searching the net for this has something to see …camera

There is a button at the back top right of the camera. With the camera turned on and ready to take pictures (i.e. NOT  displaying them), the button will make the information LCD display the current focus pattern. Pressing the left or right arrow buttons cycles through the focus modes, i.e. far left, middle left, middle, right, far right and then everything. Selecting everything means the camera will choose the best focus pattern at the time whilst the others mean that the camera will only ever focus on that point.

I wish I’d known that a few months ago.

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