Serene Life

by garik

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I went to a Best Buy recently and tried a few point-and-shoot cameras, among which the Canon G15, Canon SX260, and Canon SX50. With all of them, I noticed that the live view freezes for a short time when I half-press the shutter button to focus.

(I am NOT talking about shutter lag, but about lag when focusing. I don't know if there is a proper term for this, so I will try to explain what I mean. If I pan the camera from left to right, the live view updates fast enough that I do not notice any lag. Now, if I pan the camera again, and half-press to focus while panning, the live view freezes for a noticeable split second, then resumes updating again. Panning has nothing to do with this -- it just makes the freezing more noticeable. Also, after focusing I just release the shutter button without taking the shot. So I am NOT talking about the "review" feature.)

Is this freeze-when-focusing an inherent flaw in most point-and-shoot cameras, or is there some setting I can change to get rid of it?

The freezing was noticeable in all point-and-shoots I tried at Best Buy, except some Nikon ones. What I find baffling is that my 4-year-old Panasonic FZ28 shows no noticeable freezing at all. Surely point-and-shoots must have improved, not regressed, since then!

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is nothing you can do about for a particular model. While almost all fixed-lens cameras experience delay, it can be made extremely small. This occurs because to focus a camera using contrast-detection must read the sensor in a loop all the while it moves the lens back and forth to determine the point of highest contrast (meaning focus is established).

Higher-end cameras with faster sensors, some of which can be read at 240hz, can experience a much shorter delay. This is of course something manufacturers put a higher price tag on, so I am not aware of any point-and-shoot which uses one of these sensors at this time. It actually requires a very fast CMOS sensor, so any CCD-based models are out of the question.

share|improve this answer
    
Fair enough. The Canon G15 (2012, MSRP $500) uses a CMOS sensor, and its live view freezes when focusing. The Panasonic FZ28 (2008, MSRP $400) uses a CCD sensor, and its live view does NOT freeze when focusing. I guess it's just a difference in how their software works. Maybe the G15's makers decided it's better to freeze the live view rather than show the lens "focus-hunting". –  cberzan Jan 9 '13 at 5:54

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.