How much of a disadvantage is 3 focus focus points ?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Robbie, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Robbie

    Robbie TPF Noob!

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    I've recently treated myself to a DSLR - I got the D40X as I liked the feel of it. Anyway, it only has 3 auto-focus points and I remember one member saying this will make sports photography difficult. Thankfully i'm not interested in sports photography or sports anyway :p But...will the same aply to wildlife photography ? Can I still capture a bird in flight ? Before splashing out on a telephoto lens it would be good to know if i've bought myself the right body, as the camera shop has a 30 day exchange policy, and I could swap it for a rebel XTi. But I don't want to, unless this auto-focus thing really is a problem...

    Pressumably I can just manually focus on the areas not covered by auto focus ?

    Thanks :meh:
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I always use the center AF point on my body and recompose. It's the most sensitive and most accurate sensor. I never usually use the other points unless i can't move the camera, which isn't often.
     
  3. Lars Leber

    Lars Leber TPF Noob!

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    I always use the center AF point as well.
     
  4. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I do the same thing for most of my shooting. I haven't yet used this method for anything moving so I'm not sure how lets say a bird might be. It could be difficult to focus and recompose before it flies away.
     
  5. Robbie

    Robbie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Deepspring - I guess as long as I am following the subject ( the bird ) there shouldn't be a problem focusing. I would have thought the difficulty would be when the subject is moving quickly within the frame ?
     
  6. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    On the more expensive Canon cameras, I think I read that in certain modes for moving subjects the sensor points will hand off focus from one to another ... so not only are you following the subject but the camera does what it can to maintain focus.

    I shoot a ton of sports and I use center focus only for sports. On other shots, especially wide angles, I still only use one point but I will select a focus point closest to my subject to minimize repositioning. I get sharper results that way when I shoot with larger apertures.

    Gary
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Depends on what you shoot. If shooting portraits in a studio - I'd only use one focus pooint. If shooting a moving subject (wedding, sport etc, then it's a huge disadvantage.

    I struggle with the 20Ds 9point AF. I want the 45 point AF of the 1 series :)
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The disadvantage of 3 focus points vs a single one is that it clutters up the viewfinder unnecessarily. One focus point would certainly be better.
     
  9. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    for wildlife I always use all 45 of the focus points if I'm following the movement of say a bird in flight as you never know just where its going, I also use the SERVO mode for focus so the camera can keep track of the subject


    For portraits of animal then I use the one of the off centre focus points, whichever one covers the subjects eyes and I set the focus mode to ONE STOP
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    i agree with what others say in here, unless your focus has to follow fast moving objects, the central AF is sufficient. In wide angle photography with shallow DOF having some off centre AF points may help. but then again I would maybe focus manually then
    .
     
  11. Robbie

    Robbie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much for the replies.

    It's interesting to read how much of a personal thing this is - one member saying 3 is too many and it clutters up the viewfinder, another saying it's not nearly enough.
     
  12. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Most of the time I use 1. But when tracking a moviong subject the 45 point AF of the 1 series cannot be beaten
     

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