Sony a65 DSLR Focusing Problem

Sony a65 DSLR Camera Focusing Problem

I do not take portrait photos. Most my photos either macro, product, or landscape. So rarely I take portraits.
I have been using Sony a65 more than a year now. Until recently I have never realized there is a fundamental flaw in portrait mode setting.
If you are taking photos of somebody you are fine. You can adjust your settings the way you want it. However if you are using delay setting (self-timer 2 or 10 sec ) to do a self-portrait, you will take a lot of blurry images of yourself until you figure out right setting.

There are 2 methods for adjusting the focus: autofocus and manual focus.
Depending on the lens, the method for switching between the auto focus and manual focus is different.


After you choose one of these settings: Auto Focus or Manual Focus. You need to pay attention these details:

However Subjects that may require special focusing:
Using the autofocus, it is hard to focus on the following subjects. In such cases, use the focus lock shooting feature (page 110) or manual focus
(page 114).
• A subject that is low in contrast, such as blue sky or a white wall.
• Two subjects at different distances overlapping in the AF area.
• A subject that is composed of repeating patterns, such as the facade of a building.
• A subject that is very bright or glittering, such as the sun, the body of an automobile, or the surface of water.
• Ambient light is not sufficient.
manuel focus
How to Focus?
Press the shutter button fully down to shoot the image. Once you pressed the shutter button fully down (in single-shot AF mode) the camera focuses and the focus is locked now.

The problem occurs when using shutter delay to take self-portrait or a group photo. The manual will tell you “When it is difficult to get the proper focus in autofocus mode, you can adjust the focus manually.” Right but making estimate guess where your face will be in the photo is not easy. Therefore once you hit the button to focus, the camera will focus whatever the subject ahead of it. Remember the camera requires contrast in order to focus properly. If this is a plain color wall, you are good, your picture will be sharply focus on you, however if you will sit on an armchair which has pattern, it may focus on the pattern rather than you. Or in my case I was posing in front of the Christmas tree, the camera kept focus on the tree, not me. Same problem occurred when I wanted to take photo of me and Rob sitting on a sofa. I was lightly in front of him. In all the photos I was blurry, he was wel focused. So again the camera did not know how to focus two people in this case. After spending whole day of frustration, finally I found two solution. One was using my wireless remote control. The other one was using smile shutter mode.

focusing problem
focusing problem


Either using Smile Shutter Mode or a Remote Control. (Remote Commander for Alpha Cameras)

Using Smile Shutter Mode
Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter™ mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. To do so select Fn button press to Smile Shutter ON, the camera will constantly analyze the scene and when it finds a smiling face and will take the picture. Be aware that do not keep smile shutter on mode, all the time unless you do self-portrait always, because it will drain your battery quickly.

Remote Commander
You can select 10 sec delay and push the remote control button when the camera focus on your face in portrait mode.
In addition to activating the shutter from a distance, you can control your HD slideshows. Be aware you can’t use this remote unless you are facing forward to the camera, since the IR sensor is located on the grip.

When the subject to be tracked is a face
If the face disappears from the screen while the camera is tracking, and then returns to the screen, the camera focuses on that face again. If you trigger Smile Shutter while tracking a face, the face becomes the target of the smile detection feature.

If you are taking photos of somebody else or group of people you have several shooting mode to choose from.

What are other scene options?
Scene Selection
1 – Set the mode dial to SCN (Scene Selection).
2 – Press the center of the control button.
3 – Select the desired mode with v/V, then press the center of the control button. To change the scene, press the Fn button, then select another scene.
4 –  Adjust the focus and shoot the subject.
Portrait Mode
(Portrait) Blurs away backgrounds and sharpens the subject. Expresses skin tones softly.
Night Portrait Mode
(Night Portrait) Shoots portraits in night scenes.
Sports Action Mode
(Sports Action) Shoots a moving subject at a fast shutter speed so that the subject looks as if it is standing still. The camera shoots images continuously while the shutter button is pressed.

Selecting the drive mode
You can use an appropriate drive mode to suit your purposes, such as single-shot advanced, continuous advanced, or bracket.
(Single Shooting) This mode is for normal shooting.
(Self-timer) The 10-second self-timer is convenient when the photographer appears in a photo and the 2-second self-timer is convenient to reduce the camera shake.
(C Bracket Cont.) You can shoot 3 images, each with different degrees of exposure.
(S Bracket ) You can shoot 3 images, shot by shot, each with different degrees of exposure.

You can select these modes for the portrait photos:
(Backlight Portrait)
(Night Portrait)

Sony a65 DSLR Camera Features: 24.3MP, Translucent Mirror Technology™, 10fps, OLED electronic viewfinder, Full HD Movie with AVCHD™, Live View with Phase Detection, 15-point auto focus.

Manual SONY A65 English 95 pages .pdf

Manual SONY A65 English 214 pages
Download: SLT-A65VM Pdf Manual
Pages: 214; Size: 2.82Mb; File: .pdf
right click on the link and choose “save target as” to download this manual.