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By default of course when you press the shutter button on your D800 it auto focuses and meters at the same time. I can change this behavior. Let me show you how to change it first, and then we'll talk about why you might want to. I am here in my Custom settings menu, in the Autofocus category. a4 AF activation is currently set to on, and what that means is that when I press the shutter button Autofocus turns on. If I want I can change this to AF-ON only. I am going to hit OK.
And now the way this works is when I press the shutter button it meters, but no Autofocus happens. I am going to rack my lens out of focus here and if I press the AF-ON button, I now get metering and Autofocus. So I've separated the Autofocus function from the metering function. I still getting metering back here. But the idea here is let's say that I'm shooting a portrait or a landscape, some subject where my distance to the subject is not going to change, but I want to try several different compositions.
This is especially true with portraits. I can focus once by pressing this button and once I've got focus locked, I can then just start shooting away with my shutter button and my metering will stay up to date as I move around or my subject moves or the lighting changes. So, separating focus from exposure can make for much faster shooting in certain situations. Again, that's right here in Autofocus, AF activation. It's custom function a4.
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