I want to take some smart photos of myself with my Canon 250D. I have it set to 18mm so I can stand a bit away from the tripod. I then put the camera on a 10 second self timer. Eye AF is on.

When I am close to the camera I have tried tapping the screen to track where my head is, and a green square appears. However, as I get further away this stays in the same place and doesn't track me. The issue seems to be that when the shutter button is pressed the focus locks on to whatever is in focus at that time, hence when I enter the frame it didn't track me like it normally would.

I am using Auto shooting mode.

Focusing works completely fine without the Self Timer but I need it. I have found I can get slightly better results by switching from Auto Focus to Manual Focus and fiddling around with it a bit but its not an ideal solution.

  • Have you tired zooming the lens to a longer focal length? I have a feeling the issuse isn't diatance, per se, but rather how large your head and eyes are as a percentage of the total framing. – Michael C Jun 5 '20 at 17:45
  • @MichaelC I think the issue is that when using the Self Timer and pressing the shutter button the focus locks on whatever it was focusing on when the shutter is pressed, and doesn't continue to track during the 10 seconds before the photo is taken. So when I enter the frame it doesn't know to lock onto me. – Charlie Jun 5 '20 at 19:00
  • You originally said in the question that it does seem to track you if you are close to the camera. Is that not the case? I don't have a 250D nor have I ever used one. – Michael C Jun 6 '20 at 3:41

Your easiest way to deal with this is to use a method that allows you to trigger the camera remotely after you are already in the position you wish to be in for the picture. Many remote shutter release methods allow for using them with a 2-second delay so you'll have time to hide the remote release device.

Your EOS Rebel SL3/250D is compatible with the BR-E1 bluetooth remote mentioned in the link below.

You can also use prefocusing to a specific distance with manual focusing, or by autofocusing on a target where you'll be and then turning autofocus "off."

For more, please see: When setting my Canon camera on a timer, how do I force it to focus at the time the shot is taken instead of when the timer is set?


This may be different with different camera manufacturers, but it may be worth a try: try pressing the shutter in one go without leaving the camera time to pre-focus. On my Panasonic FZ200, this causes the camera to wait with the focusing until immediately before the shot.

Another option is to select a continuous or tracking focusing mode.

If everything else fails, wireless shutter triggers are available for a number of cameras and comparatively affordable. More often than not, they'll fit well in a hand withoutbeing obvious. If not, you can still combine them with self-timer and can then pocket the trigger (or trigger it while it is in pocket) before the shot is being made but after focusing has been done.

I know that on Sony cameras, basically nothing except a remote trigger will work here. Canon? No idea.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. Continuous AF is already set to on, but doesn't work after the shutter is pressed on my Canon. I have been playing around with it this evening and have found I can at least get half decent results if I switch over from Auto to Manual Focus and experiment with it a bit – Charlie Jun 5 '20 at 22:05

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