The focus of a camera is something that many people do not know. Without them, the camera would not be able to autofocus , and we would have to do this manually.
But what is that? The focus points are the points or squares that we see when we look through the viewfinder. The cameras have an automatic mode that selects one or more focus points according to their criteria.
We should change it so that we all select the focal point we want. Normally, the center point is selected and in some cameras it lights up every time you press the shutter button. When a focus point is illuminated, it means that we use that point to focus, and we have managed to focus on that point.
The cameras have more and more focal points. At the beginning, the digital cameras had 3 or 4, then went to 7 and then 51 or 61, etc. This is an advantage in taking pictures, as we will see below.
As I mentioned earlier, the camera automatically selects the focus point, which means it’s the camera that chooses between all focus points that it focuses on.
Although it is obvious that this is not the best way to focus, many people still have this configuration. The fact that you are not the one who decides which point to choose implies that we can take the same photo twice and the focus point varies from photo to photo. For example, if we have one person three meters away from us and another one farther away, it is possible that the camera will randomly approach one of the two.
So we have to change the configuration and choose the selection of a single focal point. This would be the default configuration for most situations, as other options will be displayed later depending on the situation.
From this moment we can choose the point of focus , of all that we have, moving the arrows that are in the form of a cross or with a kind of joystick, depending on the camera. There are cameras that to change the focus point you have to enter the menu, wasting too much time.
Focus an element and place it on one side
Once we’ve determined the focal point, we need to set it to the element we want to focus on so the camera focuses on it.
When we do that and shoot, the element appears in the middle of the photograph. Whenever we do this, whatever we want to focus on is always displayed in the middle, which makes no sense. There are two ways to solve this. The first is to block the focus.
Blocking the focus is to focus on an item and have the ability to reshape the photo without losing focus on that item. So focus a person with the central focus point and put it on a page.
We need to focus on the person, press the trigger lightly and see the camera focus. If you do not release the key, the focus on the person will be blocked (in fact, everything will be focused when the camera focuses on a distance, everything in that distance will be focused), and we can calmly change the frame and place the subject on a page Then we have to press the button. To lock the focus, the focus mode must be set to AF-S or ONE SHOT (single or static focus).
The other option is to use the focus point closest to the position where the person should appear. So if we want to make a portrait and display it in the right part of the frame, we’ll pick the focus point we have on the right side. Press the record button to focus, and once the focus is confirmed we shoot
The problem with this second type of focus is not having a focal point that is exactly where we want to focus. The more focus points we have, the better.
The question is, if I can do the same thing in both ways, which is better? It is not that there is a better one than another, but for certain situations we need to pick the appropriate focus point. For example, when we do motion or action photography. In this kind of situation, we can not focus and reshape, so the motive will appear where we want it. However, we must first select the focus point and know where the subject should appear in our photo.
Something that is obvious but many people skip is the fact that we have focused on what we want. Many cameras will not let you shoot if you can not focus, which may be fine at first glance. But as soon as we have overcome the confirmation of the approach, we have to change something.
When we press the shutter a bit, the camera tries to focus. An attempt is made to focus on the selected focus point. If this succeeds, the camera flashes twice. This option is also recommended when it is started and can be gradually removed as this can be annoying.
If we disable the beep, we have several other ways to know if we are focused. The most obvious is a circle that is normally displayed on one side in the bottom bar of the viewfinder. If we can focus, the circle lights up and stays fixed. If not, the circle starts flashing.
For some cameras, there is an option that the focus point flashes red when the focus is reached. That way, we know which focal point we’re using.
Technology developments Very fast and mirrorless cameras have other focusing systems that can help us. As you know, the non-mirrored cameras do not have an optical viewfinder, but a digital screen that lets you add features such as Focus Peaking. This system uses white dots to highlight what is focused. If we use a shallow depth of field, we will see a few points on which we focus. If we have a lot, we will see many points.