I am trying to take video for a time lapse of stuff I write on white paper. Issue is that when the paper is blank, it looses its focus automatically. Unitl something or some writing/drawing/object is put on the paper the focus will wander off.

All this happens even when my camera is in manual mode.

Here is a sample:

First I want to understand why it happens, and, how to avoid it. I own a canon powershot sx 520 hs

2 Answers 2


It looks like by default, that camera fine-tunes the focus (even in manual focus).

From the Canon support page: To deactivate automatic focus fine-tuning when the shutter button is pressed halfway, choose -> [ Camera icon ] tab -> [Safety MF] ->[Off].

  • I had previously set it that way...yet the auto-focusing happens...
    – deostroll
    Jan 13, 2017 at 3:12
  • I see. It's really tough to say, and while a few reviews on the internet also indicate the problem you're having, the specs do claim control over manual focus. This shouldn't matter, but have you tried the non-automatic shooting modes (aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and manual)? Perhaps the camera is taking too many liberties on its own if you're in auto or P mode.
    – Geoff Ball
    Jan 13, 2017 at 3:25

The workaround I used with a camera that had similar "functionality" was to use a sheet of paper with a grid on it (that I could easily remove in post) and this gave the camera enough to focus on.

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