Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Autofocus basics, part of Up and Running with the Canon 6D.
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One of your cameras most remarkable features is its ability to automatically focus. This is often faster and more accurate than you could do by hand. Keep in mind though that auto focus isn't perfect, and you may need to adjust the settings to get the result you want. Or, even turn it off from time to time if it's acting up. Be sure to watch Ben Long's course called Foundations of Photography Exposure to learn more about shooting with auto focus. In order to get good results with auto focus, you need to know how to use it. After framing a shot, I press my shutter button halfway down.
There is a halfway point that I can feel. The camera will also auto focus. When this process is complete, the camera shows you the exposure settings and things are right, such as shutter speed and aperture for the scene. This information will show up on the viewfinder and on the monitor screen. When ready, the focus indicator will also light up and the camera makes a small beep Now, press the shutter the rest of the way to fire the shot. The shutter press takes a little bit of practice to get down if you're new to shooting with DSLR cameras. What you'll want to do is press halfway down to set focus, then wait for the beep.
Once set, press the rest of the way to take the shot. Oftentimes when shooting, I'll press halfway down as I'm framing the shot, and then fire the shutter when the desired action occurs. The autofocus controls in your camera use contrast in the scene to set focus. Now, if there's not enough light in the scene, your camera will adjust. It'll use the autofocus assist illuminator to shine some light onto the scene, to make it easier for the camera to detect focus. However, in some situations, this could be annoying. If you're shooting something like a concert, the light could be distracting to others.
You could turn the light off inside the camera menu. Press the menu button and navigate to the custom functions tab. You'll want to choose custom function two, autofocus, and press set. You could turn the quick control dial, and select item number five to see the auto focus assist beam firing. Now, you'll see the option to enable or disable, press the set button, and then use the down arrow to choose disable, and press set again. Now personally, I tend to live this off most of the time, but it's really a matter of personal preference.
To change which mode you're using, just press the auto focus button and you can turn either dial to switch modes. We'll explore these modes in greater depth in just a second.
- Taking shots in Auto mode
- Using special scene modes
- Changing image format and size
- Changing ISO
- Adjusting exposure compensation in Program Exposure mode
- Focusing manually or with autofocus
- Changing the shutter release mode
- Adjusting exposure in the 6D
- Shooting video