Why did I ignore back button focus on my camera for so long?

Nikon D800 AF-ON
This one little AF-ON button could change the way you take pictures. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

So-called ‘back button’ focusing is usually associated with sports photography. Countless pro photographers swear by it as a way of separating the autofocus and shutter release so that both can do their job properly. Some of the best cameras for sports photography have these AF-ON buttons.

But I don’t shoot a whole lot of sports, mainly landscape, travel and architecture, so what possible relevance could it have to me?

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com