digital camera question

If anyone out there has a digital camera I have a question. Is there anyway to take pictures of moving objects. For example, last time I took my camera on a road trip, I had a hard time taking pictures out of a car window. When I take a picture, the camera first has to focus on the object, which it can’t if your moving. Here’s how I ended up taking pictures while moving: Let’s say up ahead I saw a tree that Iwanted to take a picture of. Well, what I would do is: Look outside the car for something that’s the same distance from the current position of the car as the car will be from the tree when I get closer. ie, I would get the camera to focus on the sidewalk, and I would keep it aimed at the sidewalk, then when I got to the tree I could snap the picture and it would hopefully work (BTW I’m not driving while I do this, someone else is). Does anybody know an easier way. I have a Poloroid 2300Z

I think your method is as good as it gets. Other options are:

  • Most cameras have a “scenery” mode which locks the focus at infinity, and usually use a fairly small aperture for greater depth of focus. If your target is far, this should work.

  • Use manual focus. Unfortunately I have yet to own a digital camera whose manual focus mode is user-friendly enough to be useful.

Personally I’d just stop the car and get out. Even if you could get the target in focus, you won’t have time to compose the photo properly and there’s also the problem with camera shake.

This isn’t so much a problem with digital cameras as a problem with autofocus cameras. Most AF cameras will lock focus if you keep the shutter half-depressed. As scr4 pointed out, most also have presets that allow you to adjust the focus to a given range.

Just to point out another problem you will have, there is a slight pause between the time you press the shutter and the time a digital camera actually captures the image. So, you may have your subject nicely framed when you trip the shutter but by the time the camera actually takes the picture it may be completely out of the frame.

True. But most of that lag is the time it takes for the camera to focus. If you have the shutter pressed halfway the camera is already focused, so the lag when you press it all the way is usually much less. This is one reason why Joey P’s technique is good.

This lag is not unique to digital cameras - film cameras have it too. Some cameras have much longer lag than others.

My camera and I believe most cameras have a two step process:

  • Press the button half way and it does the focusing and light calculating.
  • press it further and it takes the shot (instantly)

Now, if you want to take a shot of Adam on one side with a boeautiful landscape in the background taking most of the frame, you have the problem that the focus and light adjustment will be for the background and Adam will be our of focus and underexposed. So you do this: Put Adam in the center of the frame and press the button half way. Now the focus and exposure have been set. Holding the button in that position you can now frame the picture as you wish and the focus and exposure will remain unchanged.