Master your camera’s autofocus: which AF points to use and when to use them

Take control of your camera's autofocus: which AF points to use... and when to use them

When to use your different AF points

How to use AF points creatively: Auto select

Auto Select
When you generally want to focus on the closest object in a scene and you need to react quickly to what’s going on around you, Auto Select is a good option. It saves potentially missing a shot because you’re too busy adjusting AF point selection, and is also good for tracking action.

 

How to use AF points creatively: Central AF point

Central AF point
The central AF point is the most sensitive and accurate of all, so it’s great for use in very dull or extremely bright lighting conditions, when other AF points can struggle to achieve autofocus. It’s also perfect for when the main object of interest is at the centre of the frame.

 

How to use AF points creatively: Upper AF point

Upper AF point
When you’re taking a landscape shot and your emphasis is on distant scenery rather than the foreground, select the upper AF point. This stops the camera focusing on spurious foreground objects or areas that happen to coincide with a lower AF point.

 

How to use AF points creatively: Diagonal AF point

Diagonal AF point
Portraits usually work best when the subject is slightly off-centre in the frame. Shooting in landscape or portrait orientation, choose the appropriate diagonal AF point and focus on one of the subject’s eyes. If the face is at an angle to you, focus on the eye that’s closest.

 

How to use AF points creatively: Edge AF point

Edge AF point
The AF points positioned at the far left- and right-hand sides of the image frame are very handy when you want to throw foreground areas into soft focus, concentrating on a more distant subject that’s positioned on one side of the frame.

PAGE 1: What your camera’s autofocus points can do for you
PAGE 2: Making the most of your range of AF points
PAGE 3: When to use your different AF points
PAGE 4: How to choose the best AF point
PAGE 5: How to fool your autofocus – and why you should do it

READ MORE

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How to focus on off-centre subjects
Creative focus: camera tips for static to spontaneous subjects