What Is Autofocus & How To Use It?

If you have been reading photography related posts on this site or anywhere on the web for a while or just have been searching for photography related info then I bet you might have come across the fact that focus is one of the most important things in images. And while learning about focusing in photography, you definitely would’ve seen the terms autofocus and manual focus.

Manual focus is quite clear by its name itself but the term autofocus needs some clarity to understand it completely.

By definition, when the camera sets the focus of your image automatically then it is known as autofocus. This technology is getting quite popular because of its ease of use and benefits. Most of theĀ major DSLR, SLR & Point and Shoot cameras have this feature by default.


Essentials Of Autofocus & Some Helpful Tips


Autofocus is determined by the autofocus points. These points usually display on your camera when you are clicking a picture. Such points are usually highlighted by a rectangular or square box in white or green color when you are about to click a picture.

These points let you know where the focus has been set by your camera in the autofocus mode. This is done to provide you further clarity of the picture instead of making it completely automatic.

Another beauty of these points is that in some cameras their location in the frame can be altered manually even in the automatic mode. This ensures that you have complete control of the picture.

Tips On Using Autofocus

By itself, autofocus is very beneficial and most of the processes are automatic to ease things up.

Still, many areas in this aspect can be influenced as well and if the influence is correct then your picture quality will enhance even further.

Here are few helpful tips for you to get started:

  • Before using autofocus you should make sure that you know how to use it properly and the situation actually calls for it. If the situation is in the need of manual focus then, relying on autofocus only will not suffice. In such a case you should first let the autofocus determine the focusing point and then you should manually set them as per the needs.


  • Autofocus mainly determines what’s the potential subject(s) in your photograph. This function works on a set of rules that are programmed into it. Now, there’s a good chance for mistakes to occur and they do occur in reality. Therefore, reviewing your photograph once it has been clicked will always stand in your best interest.


  • If autofocus is not able to set the focus then it will not allow you to click a picture. In such a case you should either work on resolving the cause of the issue or you should set the focus to the manual mode.


  • For capturing motion you should majorly rely on autofocus because most of the cameras that have autofocus in them are preloaded with sensors that can detect motion. In motion photography, the chance of mistakes is far higher in manual focusing than autofocusing.


  • In order to obtain the best photograph try focusing from various angles and placements with autofocus. However, when you are trying this thing make sure that your main subject is detected as the main subject by the autofocus.


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