Do you ever change the focus mode on your camera? If you want to get the best possible sharpness in the area where you want it, then there are times when you need to know which focus mode is ideal for the situation you’re in.
Most cameras offer Manual focus plus at least three autofocus options. Confusingly, these are labelled differently by different manufacturers, with Canon being notable for having completely different names for each one. As we go through each type of autofocus, we’ll give you the names for each mode as used by the two main camera manufacturers: Canon and Nikon. If your own camera is made by another manufacturer, you’ll probably find that its focusing modes are labelled in the same or a very similar way to Nikon cameras.

Focus Points

Before we look at the different focusing modes, it makes sense to talk briefly about focus points. These are the small dots/lines/rectangles you see through your viewfinder or on the LCD screen when you’re shooting. When you half-press the shutter button to lock the focus, the operative focus points will light up or change colour and this shows you exactly where the camera is focusing. Rather than leave it to your camera to choose which points to use, it….

View or download our full article as a pdf document: Focus Modes