Thanks to all for taking the time to respond. My key question, and I should perhaps have stated it more clearly, was why the focus system pushes the lens out to macro territory and then leaves it there. In practice, I usually do what was suggested and point down to distant ground or trees where the camera can capture some high contrast subject material. Are the higher priced cameras any more capable of "intelligent" search? Tom Forker PS I will post photos of some more successful adventures when I can sort out the gallery process.