DSLR focusing features explained: your camera’s options and how to use them

DSLR focusing features explained: your camera's options and how to use them

There are a number of typical DSLR focusing features that can make all the difference between a pin-sharp image and a blurry mess.

In this cheat sheet we illustrate where to find these focusing features on your DSLR – and what they do.

To view the larger version of our cheat sheet simply click on the graphic below or drag and drop it to your desktop.

DSLR focusing features explained: your camera's options and how to use them

How to configure your autofocus

How to configure your autofocus: step 1

Set the focusing mode
Use the sliding switch on the lens to set autofocus (AF) or manual focus (MF). Some lenses include a focus limiter, which enables you to restrict the distance the lens focuses over, increasing the speed at which the AF system finds the target.

 

How to configure your autofocus: step 2

Choose the AF mode
Next you need to choose the AF mode. Use One-Shot AF for stationary subjects and AI Servo AF for moving ones. Intelligent mode is where the camera automatically shifts from One Shot to AI Servo, if it senses movement in the frame.

 

How to configure your autofocus: step 3

Pick the AF point(s)
At one end of the scale, you can activate all the AF points and leave it up to the camera to decide where to focus. At the other end of the scale, you can activate a single AF point and choose precisely where the camera focuses.

READ MORE

10 reasons why your photos aren’t sharp (and what you can do about it)
Metering mode cheat sheet: how they work and when to use them
Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp images
Getting sharp images: every photo technique you need to know starting out