3 Primary Types Of Autofocus

Photography - 101 Sharp Images And Focusing Techniques
3 minutes
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In this video, we're going to talk about the three different types of autofocus that you have available. Now depending of course, on the brand of camera, they might refer to these different autofocus modes in different ways. But really, they are one of the same. And to be honest, in my opinion, there are really only two modes because the third mode is generally just a hybrid of the other two autofocus modes. So we're going to talk about those now, the first mode that I want to mention is single shot or single servo. Now on Nikon, they refer to this as single servo on can they refer to a single shot on other brands and make they refer to as other things.

But all this is is that when you depress the shutter halfway, it focuses once and only once, when the shutter is fully depressed from that halfway point, then the shots actually taken, but the focus doesn't change. Now generally, this little two step action is really kind of seamless, and when you're taking shots, you don't notice if you fully press down the shutter all the way it just takes the shot as soon as it's ready. And you don't notice that it's actually focusing and shooting in two different steps but it is and the great part about that is that we can actually use the two steps That process to sort of get our focus and then we can recompose the scene however we like. And that was like a no liquor right there. Alright, so you can focus, recompose the scene depending on how you need and then whatever you want to do, we can shoot it right afterwards.

Now, of course, we do have some tips for you on this, but that's the benefit of single shot is that you can focus with that halfway down, you can lock the focus and then take the shot whenever you need. single shot works incredibly well in static type situations, situations like this, where I have Yvette sitting here and we're going to do a couple portraits where basically she's not moving situations where movement is occurring perpendicular to the camera, we're going to show you that in just a moment. Now the second of these modes is known as AI servo or continuous servo. Again, cannon calls the AI servo. Nikon calls it continuous servo, but they're both operating the same way. Essentially what happens in these autofocus modes, is that when the subject is moving, the camera is continually focusing over that subject over the AF point that you're using.

So if I place my f point right in the center of the frame. Let me do that now. And I have it over a vet's face, then as long as I have the shutter halfway down, it's going to continually focus all the way to the point where actually capture the image. You might be asking, Well, why do I need that when events holding completely still, and I don't? Okay, so we don't use auto servo modes? Well, when we're shooting portraits like this, what you would do is you'd use it in situations where your subjects are moving, basically towards or back from the lens, okay, so if they're coming closer to you, or they're moving away from you, these are situations where AI server would come in really handy because you want the camera to continually focus on the subject and right until that point of capture.

Alright, so we're going to show you guys in real world basically, we're going to demonstrate all these things. Oh, I almost forgot what about the third mode. Now our third mode, auto servo or AI focus whenever your camera brand calls it. This is really more of a hybrid. Essentially, in this third mode, what you're allowing the camera to do is to choose between single shot or between a servo mode. So essentially decides for you based on whether the subject is moving Or not.

Now, obviously, you're going to probably know why I would recommend not using this because really, you don't know what the cameras doing in that situation, you don't know if it's using servo. You don't know if it's using single shot, you're letting the camera decide for yourself. And anytime we give the camera that control, we're going to get kind of wonky settings and we're going to get kind of wonky focus where we don't really know what's happening. So I always like to take that control back. I don't use that third mode, I'd highly recommend the first two that we talked about. And what we're going to do is just move into shooting right now so we can actually demonstrate

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