Benfits of more AF points?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by anthony.grimes, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. anthony.grimes

    anthony.grimes TPF Noob!

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    This may be a dumb question but why are so many more AF point beneficial. Nikons d300 has 51 while most of canons line is stuck at 9, but does that matter?

    Personally when I am shooting, I place the camera (Rebel XTi) on auto focus on the center AF point. I place the subject that I want in focus in the center, half press the shutter and hold, reframe the shot, and fire.

    Is there something flawwed with this method? If not, I would feel that with all of those AF points it could be rather cumbersome. I am sure that there is a benefit to them, just curious as to what it is. Thanks!
     
  2. Tolyk

    Tolyk TPF Noob!

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    They're useful when tracking motion.. but for the most part I compose the same way as you. I only really use one auto focus point.
     
  3. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    And I thought I was odd --- I also tend to use one AF point.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Top end Canons have 45 AF points.

    As mentioned, more AF points will allow it to track a moving subject and even predict where it will be when the shutter is open. This is important for sports shooters but not so much for most other shooters.
     
  5. anthony.grimes

    anthony.grimes TPF Noob!

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    That makes sense, but I am glad to see that I am not alone when it comes to mainly using one AF point. I thought I was doing it wrong. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    One of the nice things about a large amount of focus points it the ease of composition and focusing. If you are shooting b-ball and want the best focus on the face you can use the center point and give up composition or you can select a single focus point above center and keep that on your subjects face and have better composition.

    45 focus points cover virtually the entire viewfinder. Same thing with say portrait photography. Compose the shot then select the focus point on the subjects face/eye. With that many focus points you are almost assured of having one where you want it.
     
  7. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    Yep, thats what I do also...oh wait I only have three focus points... :(
     
  8. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm perfectly happy with 3 focus points. It's really not difficult or even annoying to focus and recompose, it only takes a second.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Since I shoot almost exclusively still subjects, there are invariably 50 unused focus points in my D300 - did anyone want to borrow a few?
     
  10. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    I am a pro sports photographer and I have gotten just as good of shots with a D80 set to 1 point center auto focus (using a quantaray lens to boot) as I have with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II and L glass with 45 auto focus points. Granted, the Canon does generate more keepers, but really, it comes down to the photographer, not the equipment. Photographers were taking great sports shots before AF even existed. It's not that big of a deal.
     
  11. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank you :)
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think the advantage (as I only have 9 or so and only use one of them ;)) is that when you wish to have a photo not centrally composed and want to retain af you can use a differnet af point to get the point of sharpness in the area you want. Good for creativity - though for wildlife (when I have tried this) it tends to work only in zoos where the subject is not going anywhere - move to the wilds and motion tracking (which isoften needed) is so much easier with the centre point
     

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