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    Digital cameras: what the manual doesn’t teach you

    | Photography for Beginners | 16/05/2012 15:08pm
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    How to use Focus Modes

     

    The three available focus modes are used to help you focus automatically or manually on both stationary and moving subjects…

    Single-servo AF
    In this mode, your camera focuses and stays locked onto the subject for as long as the shutter button is pressed halfway down. Beware: if either you or the subject moves, you’ll have to refocus.

    Continuous-servo AF
    This is perfect for photographing birds in flight or shooting sports. As long as you keep the shutter button pressed halfway down, the servo will continue to re-focus as the subject moves.

    Manual
    Bad light conditions, subjects with fine detail and shooting through glass are all situations where even the most expensive lenses will struggle to focus. This is where your camera’s manual focus option comes to the rescue. If your autofocus fails to lock onto a surface, simply switch to manual (MF) and turn the focus ring to get sharp shots (learn more about how to use manual focus in our complete guide).

    How to use Focus Points

     

    Don’t just rely on autofocus (AF), specify exactly where you want to focus. There are two main choices here: let the camera take control by searching the scene, or you can select an area manually.

    Digital camera tips: how to select focus points

    Single point AF
    This mode is best used when shooting a portrait or any subject that stays relatively still. It enables you to select a focus point manually, which doesn’t have to be in the centre of the frame.

    Dynamic area AF
    This mode is perfect for shooting fast-moving or erratically moving subjects. Some D-SLRs now have up to 50 AF points, so you choose one, but if the subject briefly leaves that point, the camera will re-focus on a point near to the one you’ve chosen.

    How to use Drive Modes

     

    Whether you need a single shot or a burst of frames to capture your subject, the Drive mode controls the shutter.

    Digital camera tips: how to use Drive modes

    Single-frame shooting
    The camera will only fire once every time you press the shutter. This is best used for still subjects such as landscapes and portrait shots, where you don’t need a burst of frames to catch the moment.

    Continuous shooting
    In this mode, the camera will fire off shots at the maximum frame advance, for as long as the shutter button is held down. It’s ideal for action or sports.

    PAGE 1: What’s on your top dial, Best camera settings
    PAGE 3: Exposure, Aperture and Shutter speed

    READ MORE

    99 Common Photography Problems (and how to solve them)
    Your digital camera’s enemies (and how to defeat them)
    10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)


    Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 at 3:08 pm under Photography for Beginners.

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