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D5100: When i point to a wall, and use shutter release button, it just tries to focus and that is it?why so?

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marked as duplicate by mattdm, Matt Grum, Michael Clark, Itai, dpollitt Apr 23 '13 at 16:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Although it might not seem like the same thing from the title, I think Why can't my SLR autofocus on certain parts of a scene? should actually clear up what's going on here. That is, I think it's likely that the issue here is really the way autofocus works, not a problem with the shutter release button itself. If that's not it, can you explain further? – mattdm Apr 23 '13 at 15:35
Alternately, Why doesn't auto-focus work with an all-white subject (like a wall)? (Same answer.) – mattdm Apr 23 '13 at 16:10

Most likely the camera is failing to achieve focus (since it doesn't have anything with contrast to determine if it is in focus or not). Some cameras will either not take a photo when they can't achieve a focus lock or have a setting that will tell them not to take a photo when focus lock can not be achieved.

It sounds like your camera either behaves this way or has a setting to behave this way turned on. I unfortunately don't know enough about your specific camera to know if it is a behavior you can change or not on your particular model, but it is typically called something like Focus Priority.

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+1, most likely. I have a D5100, and this is the default behavior if it can't achieve focus lock. Workarounds: a) Find something high-contrasty to focus on, b) turn off AF and focus manually, or c) switch to AF-C (continuous AF) and set the menu item "Custom settings > a Autofocus > a1 AF-C priority selection" to "release" rather than "focus". (That last option will let you take the picture, but it won't be in focus, so it may not be what you want.) – j-g-faustus Apr 23 '13 at 16:42
AJ and J-g-fautus.... thanks a lot!!..exactly what i was looking for... – amit Apr 23 '13 at 17:31
@j-g-faustus - thanks for confirming for the specific camera body. – AJ Henderson Apr 23 '13 at 17:35

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