Auto-Focus Points: How Important?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bp4life71, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to the hobby...so this might be dumb question to ask. The auto-focus points...how important are they? THere are two different cameras im looking to buy, one has only 3 and the other i believe has 5. Some of the pictures I see on this sight have areas that are blurred and then area that is really focused...and I like that look. Is the number of points that you can focus, whats doing this effect?

    Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have one camera with 11 focus points and two with 51 focus points. IMO, more choices for a selective focus point is better.
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Every camera I have used has AF lock of some kind. Where you can put an AF point on what you want in sharp focus. Hit the lock button and then move the camera with the focus locked and take your pic. For me having umpteen AF points is not such a big deal. I use AF and AE lock all the time. Even though I have a bunch of AF points in my cameras. I keep it on single, and useually use AF lock. Sometimes I will use the directional pad and move the AF point, but its just quicker to use AF lock and recompose.
     
  4. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    Again, I'm new here...so bear with me!

    Your saying...you can INDIVIDUALLY focus each one of your focus points? Let me know if I'm getting this right. This allows alot more room to let your creative side be seen.

    Im looking at the Nikon60d or the Canon XSI.....Nikon has 3 points...i think Canon has many more.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    you have to remember though that AF lock and recompose can give you soft results if your not carefull, since a big enough angle change can lead to your plane of focus moving over the subject and thus the original point of focus end up outside of the new plane of focus. Its something that is good when you have HSM/USM focusing lenses since you can use AF and then adjust the focus a little without having to turn the AF mode off.

    As for more points it depends - most people use only the middle point and in lower end cameras its the most accurate - the others being ok, but not as good (nor as quick).
     
  6. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you never shoot action, not that important.

    If you ever shoot action, very important. Fewer focus points will force your composition into very specific areas unless you're a whiz at manual focus.

    Assuming he's referring to the Nikon D300 (or D700 or D3), then, yes.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    No, each can not be focused individually.
     
  8. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Thats exactly what i do
     

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