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I have Nikon B500 point and shoot camera. I have tripod too. It's pretty nice camera if you have to take photos of others. But I want to take self portraits. There's no other person available to take photos. Even if I find one, they'll get irritated soon.

Now, the camera has many focus settings which you can use while taking photo of a person. All you have to do is just focus on subject/person (by half-press the shutter button) and click it. That's it.

But in case of self portrait, you can't focus on yourself, because you'll be the same person.

I use sef-timer, which is great, but problem is, it takes a blurry photo, because it doesn't know where to focus. There are many focus settings like (you don't necessarily have to go through them, just providing in case you need details):

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For me, default settings works fine most of the time. My current settings are PRE-AF autofocus and Face Priority.

But the reason I'm getting blurred/not so good photo is because Face priority determines focus only before timer starts. But at that moment, I'm not in the frame. So it just doesn't work.

I have SnapBridge app too, for remote photography, but it doesn't give flexibility to change focus when I'm in frame or once the timer has started. I mean it's just for clicking the photo. So it's quite useless for me.

I hope you understood me problem. There isn't any problem with camera, it's just I don't know what can I do make the camera somehow focus on distance where I'm standing.

So, is there any other way to somehow fix the focus at some point and then use self timer so my image is sharp because focus is proper? Somewhat like they can do in DSLR with a fixed length focus? Or any other workaround that fixes this problem?

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  • For your application, a camera with the option for manual -- or at least fixed -- focus would probably work better.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 16 at 18:53
  • @ZeissIkon you mean a new camera?
    – Vikas
    Jul 16 at 18:54
  • Well, more like a used camera. I can get in-focus self portraits with a tripod mount for my smart phone (and more resolution than a B500). You should be able to get a Nikon D70 (similar resolution) for not too much, with a zoom lens, set to manual focus, and use the self timer to get images that are correctly focused -- and have more versatility with interchanging lenses, manual exposure/focus options, etc.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 16 at 19:00
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    @ZeissIkon thanks but that is not the option.
    – Vikas
    Jul 16 at 19:27
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Since the camera focuses at the beginning of the selfie timer cycle,

  1. place a target at the position where you will be.
  2. When the camera is focused on the target start the timer.
  3. Move in to position and move the target out of the way.

The camera will be focused on you.

If you are using face detection, an 8x10 ‘headshot’ style print on a light stand or second tripod might be a good start for a target.

It you are using normal focus, the target can be any moderate contrast object. With manual focus, the top of a light stand or tripod can work and fine focus is possible.

It may take a bit of practice to get right. But you can probably get reasonable results once you make a few pictures.

It may also be a case where you are up against the limits of your gear. A camera that can be focused from a smartphone might make things simpler. Or maybe your current camera has that feature.

Edit: it appears that the B500 can be controlled using Nikon’s SnapBridge software on a smartphone.

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  • yeah I have mentioned that I can use SnapBridge remote control but it only have option for clicking the image. You can't adjust focus points and auto focus settings from mobile. Do you still mean I missed something?
    – Vikas
    Jul 17 at 3:24
  • The other option of using second tripod or object seems nice trick. But I'll have to be at exact same position right? Few centimeters near or far can make a difference?
    – Vikas
    Jul 17 at 3:28
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    @Vikas You will get sharp focus where the target is. So it helps to set the target exactly where you want or set your pose to match the target. But I have used the method with a very shallow depth of field. It’s just a matter of experimentation. Jul 17 at 4:03
  • @Vikas you may be up against the limits of the gear in terms of remote control. For me the goal is only buying gear that allows me to make new kinds of pictures. Jul 17 at 4:06
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    The method outlined in this answer should work fine. I had a point and shoot in the past and i did just that. Put in any object at the place where you will be, and focus on that before the timer starts. While the timer is running, run to the spot , throw away the object and stand in its place Jul 17 at 5:20
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Use the AF-S autofocus mode to pre-focus using the half shutter press. Then use snap-bridge to trip the shutter remotely w/o refocusing.

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  • Focus on what? 🤔 I won't be at the location at the time I'm doing focus. so it will focus on something else
    – Vikas
    Jul 17 at 14:41
  • @ vikas... temporarily place something else where you are going to stand. You can also focus on something else that is at the same distance as you will be, but which is in a different spot. Jul 17 at 15:40
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    so your answer is just duplicate of the existing answer :P But yes good solution worth try.
    – Vikas
    Jul 17 at 16:50
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    No, the previous answer relies on the self timer and the autofocus focusing on you with your settings (pre-AF & face detection); because pre-AF refocuses when movement is detected or the scene/composition changes (i.e you remove what was there before and move into the scene). You said that wasn't consistent enough for you. Setting the focus mode to AF-S will prevent the refocusing (autofocus-single= one time). Jul 17 at 20:32
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    are you sure that focus can change even after focus is locked (half button pressed) in PRE-AF? I think I didn't observe this behavior.
    – Vikas
    Jul 18 at 3:26

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