it wouldn't lock and let me take the shot.
but it wouldn't allow the shot
When I can barely see the subject myself, then I look in the scene or around it to find something the same distance away as my intended subject that has as strong contrasting vertical edge. If there's only a contrasting horizontal edge, then I momentarily tip the camera into portrait orientation so the camera can now lock onto that horizontal edge. Half-press to focus-lock, return to landscape orientation and shoot. If only a diagonal edge, then tilt the camera so it appears vertical to the camera.Then there are some conditions under which no camera will autofocus. Then you need those focus-asist lamps. Or even a white-light LED penlight held in one hand to shed a little extra focusing light on something distant. Or a halogen pen-light or hands-free headlamp that can be focused on something more distant, beyond the bounds of a diffused LED light source.
This sounds like some setting or function of the S5 that you are unfamiliar with. Could it be that (silly) face-detection thing interfering? Is it hunting for faces to lock on when there are none? I wouldn't know. Just guessing. I personally would never buy a camera with face detection on it, I have zero use for that. So I wouldn't know what new quirks and work-arounds that you'll have to know to get it to work right with standard photography.
Tapout,You could have a faulty camera, say an intermittent disconnect of some sort with the shutter button - or whatever.Get in touch with Canon, they'll check it for you. If you're under warranty they'll fix it free, otherwise you'll pay.You probably understand all this but just throwing in my two cents.The fact that the focus 'square' doesn't show and the camera won't shoot seems to point to a fault. Whatever else, the button should always fire the shutter. The 'square', when it shows, should go from white to green (focus) or yellow (no focus). No ifs about this I believe.(Out of three Powershots here, two went quickly back to Canon for repair. Yep, you buy a new camera but two weeks later you may have a refurbished. And then feel good about fast service ... ??)Good luck,carlos
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