Help! What is wrong with my camera.


TPF Noob!
Sep 1, 2010
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Quebec, Canada
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Ok so as most of you know already, I'm using just a Canon point and shoot. With 3 kids and 1 income, I can't afford a SLR just yet. So.. this morning I wake up and try to take some cute pics of my son. And yet to my surprise everything is a total blur. Looking at the LCD screen everything is in focus and looking good, but when I actually take the photo all of a sudden everything is so insanely blurry. No one has touched my camera since the last time I used it where everything was working fine.

Anyways, so I set the camera back to factory defaults. When the camera is running on fully automatic then everything is in focus and looks great. The minute I change the ISO or switch to Macro or make any adjustment that turns off an auto setting - immediately everything becomes blurry again. What is going on!! I have had this camera for 2 years and I've never had this problem before.
What is the model of the camera? And can you post a sample picture?
The macro mode wont help, it should close the lens, making the shutter speed longer thus producing camera shake/subject movement = blur, try a sports mode or if you have control of aperture use the smallest number/which is the largest aperture you have, this will enable higher shutter speed, cancelling the shake/subject movement and should get the pic you want. H

PS. p & s cams are pretty useless once you get past the happysnaps stage
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It's the Canon Powershot SD1100 ELPH. I tried taking a pic of my son and this is how it came out... Every single pic I've taken this morning is the exact same. Really blurred and out of focus. The other day I was taking pics at a soccer game and all the players were all running around and every picture came out really sharp with no blur. Now I can't even take a pic of something that is not even moving and I get insane blur. I also tried getting a pic of my son while he was walking away and it was horrible, you couldn't make out the image at all! I don't understand why it's doing this all of a sudden!

Set the camera on a table, set the camera to take a timed shutter release, and take a picture of something still. This will eliminate the possiblity of movement and shutter speed being the problem.

If the image is still blurry, then... I guess I should have asked this first, have you tried cleaning your lens? Maybe some childrens dirty fingers put a smudge of peanut butter on it? If cleaning your lens dosen't cut it... then your camera is hosed... time to buy a new one as point and shoots aren't typically servicable, especially out of warranty.
what shutter speed was it? Are you using flash?

I don't know what the shutter speed was. It's not something I can control on this camera, it adjusts itself to the "optimum setting" for each pic I believe. As for the flash no, I did not have the flash turned on.

I'm adding more pics to show you the difference.

Pic #1 was taken yesterday. A quick snapshot of my husband and one of my sons in the park. My son was swinging and my husband pushing him, lots of movement going on, and look at the pic, no blur at all.


Pic #2 was taken this morning. Same exact settings as the previous pic (and as always) and also, there was movement (my son getting off the couch) and yet look at how blurry it is!!! He has 2 heads for crying out loud! I have NEVER seen this before with this camera.


Pic #3 is when the camera is on fully automatic. Everything is in focus again but it's such a "snapshot" and all around horrible picture.


I want to cry... I don't get it! Nothing has changed since yesterday so why is my camera suddenly failing me? And no, it's not my flash, it's not that the pics are indoors (as I have indoor pics with the same settings and they too are clean and sharp)... I don't know!!
The problem is your shutter speed, which is aparent in pic #2. You son is moving and the blur of him moving is a couple of feet... yet the blur in your stationary object, the lamp and desk, is only an inch or so. If it was anything other than shutter speed, everything would be blurred equally.... but they are blurred depending on how fast they subject is moving.

For some reason, your camera's shutter is staying open pretty long...... Could be a setting on your camera, could be the shutter is simply not working correctly. It sounds like you are pretty adament that it cannot be a camera setting, so I'm heavily leaning towards your camera's shutter simply being broken.
Ok so go outside and take a shot and see if that is sharp. To me Id say its the lack of light indoors that is giving you a longer shutter speed. Now if you go outside and that shot is blurry then something else is wrong.
well.. I assume you have the ISO set to low setting and not in Auto. Also I assume you set the flash to off. So the camera has to have slow shutter speed. Thats why it is blurry. If you change the ISO to auto, your photo will be noisy. You need tu set the flash to auto.
Your camera has a really small lens, meaning it needs a ton of light to operate properly. Most indoor settings won't have enough light (even if you're standing next to a window in broad daylight), so you're going to have long shutter speeds (anything under 1/150 would produce noticeable blur, ideally you'd want 1/250 or above).

Increase the ISO to at least 800 inside, or use a flash.
For some reason, your camera's shutter is staying open pretty long......

Now that you mention it... I have noticed a difference in something. When I actually push the button to take a picture my LCD screen goes black (which is normal) but stays black for a longer period than it used to. Is this related to the shutter? It used to turn black for a split second and now it stays black for at least a good full second. I didn't change anything - and I would have no idea how to change that (don't even know if this camera even had a setting where the shutter speed can be changed).

Oh this is so frustrating!
Change the ISO setting to Auto. Your problem will be solved.
Change the ISO setting to Auto. Your problem will be solved.

Or you can turn on the flash. You have to to get more light the sensor somehow. You can do this by using a flash or increasing ISO. You may not have full control of ISO settings so put it in auto iso.
Increasing the ISO does help. But now I'm confused! I was able to take indoor pics before with no flash and an ISO of 100 and not have any blur. I just took a pic with no flash and an ISO of 400 and there is minimal blur. I don't get the sudden change, I have a lot of natural light in this room and on top of that I have all the lights (3 of them) on.

Hmmm.... you know I just quit smoking yesterday and everything was going smoothly until this happened. LOL - my stress level is a little high right now lol.

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