I recently bought a new camera, a Panasonic FZ1000, and noticed on more than one occasion when I was photographing my wife in a posed situation, and I choose to zoom in a little for the shot, the camera struggles to focus on her face (AF).

Is this because the elements around her in the shot, (darker, more defined lines) have significantly more contrast to them than her face, which is of course normal skin toned? Trying several times to refocus (AF) did not work brilliantly, although it eventually achieved a reasonable result.

I have become confused reading my manual and various discussions on this. It all seems to get very complicated. Can anyone give me straightforward advice, i.e., techniques to improve focus in this specific type of situation, please?


1 Answer 1


It could be several issues, but my first guess, since the FZ1000 is a superzoom bridge camera, is simply that when you zoomed in on your wife's face, you may have inadvertently moved the minimum focus distance of the lens past her. If you're not in macro mode, at the wide end of the lens (zoomed all the way in) you can focus as close as 11.8"/30cm, but zoomed all the way in to the telephoto end of the lens, you can only focus as close as 39.4" (100cm), and if your wife was closer than that, the lens can't focus. That is, the more you zoom in, the farther away from the subject you have to be to achieve focus.

The second thing is that you may not have control over your autofocusing system. You can set the autofocus mode in your camera to use face detection if you want to autofocus on faces. Or you can also choose to use a single area or pinpoint area (see page 40 of the manual) if the AF system is selecting the wrong things to focus on. This lets you select a specific area of the frame for the camera to try and focus on.


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