Focus w/delayed shutter release

Discussion in 'Sony' started by TopoTail, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. TopoTail

    TopoTail New Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    I recently attempted a self portrait using the delayed shutter release. I put the RX100 on a tripod, set the timer for a 3-second delay, released the shutter and sat down so I was in place in time for the shutter release.

    At first I set the camera to the Portrait setting, but I could see on the camera screen that the photos were not in focus. I switched to manual and set the f stop at f11 to maximize depth of field. On the camera screen these loooked good, but when I transferred them to my iMac it was clear that the f11 shots were also out of focus.

    So what was going on? were the shots out of focus because I wasn't able to partially depress the shutter button to set the focus? Was the camera focusing on the wall behind my head because I wasn't there when I pushed the shutter release.

    What should I do to get my face in focus the next time I try this?
  2. rogerc

    rogerc Regular

    May 16, 2013
    The Hexagonal.
    I believe you need to eliminate the things that could have gone wrong to find out:

    1) If you use the camera, as usual, are your shots out of focus too?

    2) When you are using the timer, by the time you have fully pressed the shutter (thus activating the timer) the camera would be pre-focused. Are you focusing the camera at the right distance? or is the camera focused behind you, or in front of you? Although you are using f11, at close distances f11 may still leave enough out of focus areas.

    3) Using f11...may the shot be soft, rather than out of focus, because of movement (it just take a bit to look out of focus) if the shutter speed was too slow? (I am assuming here you are using no flash)

    Any of the above can result in a soft photograph. I forget, but I thought that the RX1 had the cybershot "smile to trigger the shutter" function.
  3. TopoTail

    TopoTail New Member

    Sep 14, 2013
    1) Normally I have no problems with focus.

    2) I suspect that when I pushed the shutter release, the camera focused on the wall behind me, and that when I inserted myself into the scene I was too close to be in focus, even at f11.

    The question, I guess is whether there is a way around this, short of having someone else push the shutter release after I'm already in place?

    I'm guessing the answer is no, but thought it was an interesting challenge.
  4. rogerc

    rogerc Regular

    May 16, 2013
    The Hexagonal.
    As it solution I can think of unless you were to place an object where you would be, then press the release, push the object away and take its place. may want to buy a long cable release

    They are inexpensive and thankfully the RX1 can make use of this rather old but very useful item.
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    You can focus on something the same distance, and then switch to manual focus. the camera will stay focused at that you can set the timer and shoot.
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  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Don't Sony cameras have the self-timers with triggers based on an additional face coming into the frame? Or smile triggers? Such a feature may delay the auto-focus lock until you get into the frame.
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  7. jloden

    jloden All-Pro

    Jun 30, 2012
    The RX1 has this, so I wouldn't be surprised if the RX100 does. The RX1 version has a smile trigger which I've only played with briefly but should work for this use.

    That's probably the best bet, manual pre-focus and/or use a stand-in for the self portrait. If you're using a large DoF like f/11 then you can most likely pre-focus on something (chair you're sitting on, wall near you, etc.) and it would be close
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