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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Point and Shoot with Selectable AF Points
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Showing posts 1 - 13 of 13, (reverse)
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03/13/2009 03:46:20 PM · #1
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking for a point and shoot camera that gives you the ability to select the autofocus point. In particular, I only need the option between evaluative and center AF point.

I know this is easy to do with DSLRs, but when I look at the specs of point and shoots I don't even see any focus specifications listed. Does anyone have any tips for looking up this info?

This camera will be shared at my office where we take a lot of photos through microscope eye peices. And I've found with our old camera (Canon Powershot A80) it randomly selects the AF point and it's nearly impossible to use the autofocus with any accuracy. Using the manual focus is an option, but most people here can't be bothered to try. So a center point AF point would be really helpful.

I would welcome your suggestions of a point and shoot that gives the option to select the autofocus point.
Other criteria in my search are: short focus distance, custom white balance, Av mode, exposure compensation, and manual focus... but these are often common functions of point and shoots and also much easier to find on the spec sheets.

Thanks!!!
03/13/2009 03:51:53 PM · #2
I can only talk from experience but my old Fuji S602z used to have a load of selectable AF points and I believe you could also spot meter off any of those points as well.. great little camera - sorely missed.

Oh, and it did all the other stuff you specified as well.

Message edited by author 2009-03-13 15:53:46.
03/13/2009 06:00:12 PM · #3
My first thought is ... P&S cameras have such a long DOF that selectable focus points just really don't matter all that much. Use a single focus point, get it somewhere near the subject you want to shoot, and you'll get a whole bunch both in front and in back of the subject in focus.

This is, of course, less true if you're on the "long end" of your zoom range. But even on the long end shooting at f/2.8 you still have pretty good DOF.

That's why P&S users have a bit of a learning curve when switching to a DSLR. The DOF is so much shallower on DSLR's that there is more skill involved in getting sharply focused images.

03/13/2009 06:37:29 PM · #4
I believe the Canon G10 allows you to choose, Evaluative, Center Weighted and Spot. I have not dived very deep into this camera and I have not read much of the manual. But I am pretty sure it can do alot of the things an entry level DSLR can do.
03/13/2009 06:42:23 PM · #5
Originally posted by dwterry:

My first thought is ... P&S cameras have such a long DOF that selectable focus points just really don't matter all that much. Use a single focus point, get it somewhere near the subject you want to shoot, and you'll get a whole bunch both in front and in back of the subject in focus.

This is, of course, less true if you're on the "long end" of your zoom range. But even on the long end shooting at f/2.8 you still have pretty good DOF.

That's why P&S users have a bit of a learning curve when switching to a DSLR. The DOF is so much shallower on DSLR's that there is more skill involved in getting sharply focused images.


Actually, when do you use manual focus versus autofocus and do you ever use selective focus in autofocus mode?
03/13/2009 08:44:41 PM · #6
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

I believe the Canon G10 allows you to choose, Evaluative, Center Weighted and Spot. I have not dived very deep into this camera and I have not read much of the manual. But I am pretty sure it can do alot of the things an entry level DSLR can do.


was gonna post the same sorta thing--' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Bugzeye (if that is his real name :) is correct...
03/13/2009 10:24:18 PM · #7
Although it isn't really available anymore, my Fuji S9100 is capable of that, so I would suspect some of the other Fuji's (as ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Simms suggested) would as well.
03/14/2009 01:13:31 AM · #8
Thanks for all your replies!

I downloaded the user manual for the G10 and found a section on how to set the AF points... so it seems that is one option. Although I was hoping to find something less expensive, since most of the features of the G10 will go unappreciated in my lab.

I guess I can download all the user manuals for a selection of P&S's I'm interested in and read up to see if you can select specific AF points. I wish this information was more readily available on the standard specs provided by the manufacturers.

Also, it's interesting that there were so many full featured P&S cameras several years ago (as some of you have pointed out with the Fuji's)...before DSLRs were common. Then it seems to me that the average P&S lost a lot of custom settings and features as these were now available in the DSLR. There are still P&S with impressive manual controls, but the majority don't offer that... I just think it's an interesting shift.

Thanks again for your help!
03/14/2009 08:33:54 AM · #9
Take a look at the Panasonic LX3---11 AF points. ALso, this camera shoots raw, and it can be totally manual. There is lots of info on this camera on the web.

//panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/lx3/manual.html
03/15/2009 06:05:27 AM · #10
After perusing the updated Fuji's, most if not all the S series has that feature.. It is called AF Mode, and the specific option you want is called "Area."
I think the key is looking for a P&S that isn't a compact. The Fuji's have a lot of the features you want, except for manual focus, which is surprisingly hard to find (it was one of the reasons I went for the S9100, actually).
03/19/2009 02:58:09 AM · #11
Thanks again for all your help.

Just wanted to let you know that I ended up choosing a Canon G10. Our budget ended up being a little more generous than I first thought :)

Just for information, the G10 and the SD990 IS both offer manual focus and the ability to set aperture and shutter speed. It seems that all of the canon point and shoots allow you to select different AF modes (evaluative, face detect, and centre).
03/19/2009 03:35:24 AM · #12
Ha, all along I thought you meant moveable AF points... I'm sure plenty more options would have presented themselves if I had read your question correctly.
Congrats on the G10, I hear it's quite the P&S (if you can really even call it that...).
03/20/2009 11:12:13 PM · #13
My Sony DSC-T200 has a full 3.5" touch screen, you can point anywhere on the screen to set the focus at this point, it's quite cool and actually works.
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