When I get a new camera, the first setting I tweak is Focus Point Selection. Good focus is nearly impossible for me without these settings.
The default focus settings for any camera are always completely automatic. This means you have no control over what the camera focuses on, and it usually focuses on what is closest to your lens.Your photos won't be sharp unless you change this setting! #FocusPointsClick To Tweet
The terminology related to focusing can be difficult to understand, especially if you are reading your manual trying to figure out what to change. Although we often consider the word “auto” to be bad when it relates to our cameras, AutoFocus is a good type of Auto. The opposite of AutoFocus is manual focus, meaning that you spin the dial on your lens to find focus – that’s the old fashioned way, right?
Rather than manual focus, what you want to look for in your camera books is manual Auto Focus Point Selection. This means that the camera is still auto focusing, but you tell it what to focus on by choosing the AF point.
Configure Your Camera for Focus Point Selection
On the Canon 6D, you change the settings to manual AF Section like this:
- Press the Quick Control button to go to the Quick Menu.
- Use the Multi-controller to scroll down to the AF Selection chooser and press Set.
- Press Set again to toggle from Automatic Selection to Manual Selection.
- Press Menu to leave this setting.
Telling your camera that you’d like to select your AF point is that easy.
When you are ready to shoot, select your AF point by pressing the AF Point Selection button, then use the Multi-controller to navigate to it.
Wait, I have to press a button and then set my focus point? Isn’t that too much to do before taking a photo of a wiggly toddler? Wouldn’t it be easier to skip the button and just select the point?
YES! These questions lead us to the second customization I make before shooting. I have assigned my multi-controller to directly navigate to the focus point, without having to press the button first. Since this controller doesn’t have a shooting function by default, I can’t imagine why this isn’t a default setting.
Regardless, this is an easy enough change to make also:
After these two quick changes, I was ready to shoot with my new camera using Manual Focus Point Selection. By the way, I think that the sign of a true camera junkie is someone who makes these changes and completely ignores setting the date and time before taking those first shots. At least I can admit it, right?