Camera focus determines what is in sharp, clear detail and what appears blurry.

In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at camera focus. We’ll talk about the basics of camera focus, covering everything you need to know right up to more advanced topics involving focus.



What Is Camera Focus?

When you take a picture with your camera, it’s important to know if the camera is in focus.

If the camera isn’t focused on what you want to capture, then there will be an out-of-focus background and blurry subjects.

In photography, autofocus mode can help improve this problem by automatically focusing the lens based on information from an external sensor.

This means that all you need to do is compose your image and press one button for optimal results.



What Is Camera Focus?

The most common type of camera focusing system used today is manual – the photographer sets the lens to a particular distance that they want to be in focus.

This can be done by adjusting either the lens or the distance between the object and the subject, depending on how close you are to your subject.

Manual Focus vs. Autofocus

For many years, the standard of photography was set by manual focus. This required photographers to look through the viewfinder and manually adjust how sharply in-focus each object is.

It also meant that they needed to be careful not to let their handshake as it would blur the image or make it too blurry for viewing.

However, with modern cameras, we can now use autofocus which automatically adjusts what’s in focus based on where you are pointing your camera at.

Autofocus is more convenient for both beginners and professionals alike because it saves time from having to do all that work yourself.

Comparing manual focus vs autofocus, the manual mode can be used for situations where you want to have complete control.

It’s also useful when your camera doesn’t allow for autofocus, like with most vintage cameras and long lenses.

There are many benefits of using a lens that requires manual focus such as being able to zone in on objects in the foreground or background without having to move your feet and since it takes longer than auto-focus you get more time to line up a perfect shot.


Focus Modes

There are many different types of focus modes in cameras. Most people don’t know the difference between all of them, and some might not even need to.

For example, a person who only takes selfies will be able to get away with using an auto-focus mode because they’re usually close enough.

There is no right answer when it comes to choosing a focus mode.

it’s really up to what you like best or what works best for your situation.

Where To Focus When Taking A Photo

The focus point in a photo is of utmost importance.

It’s what draws the viewer to the subject, and what captures their attention.

If you want your subject to be sharp and clear, it’s best that you select a focal point before shooting the picture.

This will help determine where your camera should be pointed when taking photos.

Pro Tips For Better Camera Focus

The best way to get a focused image is by keeping the camera as steady as possible. You could use your hand or even a monopod. If you are using your hand, make sure you squeeze it tightly so that there’s less shaking. A second option would be to use a tripod for long exposures and time-lapse photos.

Another tip would be not to touch the lens of your camera when shooting in low-light conditions – this will just cause more blur!

Having good lighting is also key, either with natural sunlight or an artificial light source such as an LED panel or flash unit.


Finally, don’t forget about composition! Think about how different focal lengths affect perspective and what kind of background does the best suits your subject matter.

Single Shot Autofocus

Single Shot Autofocus is a camera feature that allows you to focus on your subject and then press the shutter release button for a photo.

The autofocus will stay locked until it is manually focused again.

This means that if someone moves out of the frame, or you want to reframe before taking another shot, you don’t need to shift your camera’s position – just re-focus.

Continuous Autofocus

A lot of people have wondered what Continuous Autofocus is and how it works. Well, there are different types of autofocusing methods that can be used for cameras.

One type is called continuous autofocus which continuously adjusts the focus as you shoot a video or take photos without any interruption during the process.

The other type is called manual focus which requires that you manually adjust the lens to get sharp images at all times.

The only problem with this method is when your subject moves out of range while filming or taking pictures, then you will need to refocus again on another object in order to keep shooting or taking pictures.


Continuous Autofocus allows photographers and videographers to capture anything happening around them without having to worry about losing focus.

camera focus

Face Detection Autofocus

Face detection autofocus may be one of the most underrated features of your camera. It helps you capture great shots by automatically focusing on the subject’s face.

If you’re taking a group photo, it will make sure that everyone in the picture looks their best. But what if someone moves out of frame?

In this case, your camera’s autofocus system can recognize faces and lock in focus to them even when they are outside the frame!

Select The Focus Point

In photography, the focus point is what determines which object in a scene will be clear and sharp.

There are many different ways to choose a focus point, such as using your eyeball, or by using an external camera.

The most common way of deciding on a focal point is to use the rule of thirds.

This rule states that you should divide your viewfinder into three equal columns and rows, with two lines splitting up each column into thirds (as can be seen in the picture below).

One-third from either side would usually correspond to one’s eye line when looking at the subject.

camera focus

Back-Button Focusing

Back-button focusing is a technique that you can use in digital photography to ensure your camera focuses on the right subject.

Back-button focusing reduces the chance of blurry photos and ensures your subject is tack sharp!

Manual Focus

Manual focus is a feature that allows you to manually adjust the focal point of your lens, or camera.

The goal is to get as close as possible to what the photographer sees with his own naked eye, and manual focus lenses are becoming increasingly popular as photographers wean themselves off of autofocus.

camera focus

Camera Focus Points And Selecting Them

There are a number of different camera focus points that can be used to create an effect or achieve a certain result. The five basic types of focus points are:

When using these types of focus points, you can use the following guidelines:

  • The center point is best for portraits and three-quarters shots.
  • A close up-shot will typically require that you use one or two other focus points as well in order to get the desired results.
  • If it’s important to show both foreground and background, choose either the middle ground or 20mm setting.
  • In general, if your subject is not moving much then choose a single focal distance rather than multiple ones.

Phase Detection Vs Contrast Detection

Phase detection is a way of measuring the distance between two points. It does this by using light waves to measure how long it takes for one wave to go from one point to another and back again.

Contrast detection, on the other hand, uses an image sensor that records changes in brightness within a frame of video or still images.

Autofocus Area Modes

These modes are the focus points or areas on your camera that will be used to calculate what is in focus.

There are three major autofocus modes: Single Point AF, Zone AF, and Continuous Mode AF.

Single point mode uses only one point for focusing whereas zone and continuous use a group of focal points for focusing calculation.


Zone mode divides the frame into specific zones which you can choose from either by touching the screen or using an external controller like a joystick if available on your camera model.

The continuous mode automatically changes between various focal points to keep track of subjects as they move through the focal plane – it is often used when taking photographs with moving objects.

Continuous vs. Single-servo Autofocus

Autofocus has been around for a long time. It is an essential feature in today’s photography world and can be found on just about every camera these days.

But there are two different types of autofocus systems that you’ll find on the market: continuous and single-servo.

Single-servo AF is when your focus point stays locked onto one subject as you shoot it with the lens focused on it, but if the object moves then so do your focus point – continuously!

Continuous AF is great because it allows for more creative shots by allowing photographers to follow their subjects without refocusing manually, which saves time in capturing those perfect moments.

The AF-ON Button

There is a button on the back of your camera called the AF-ON Button. This button enables you to choose which focus point you want in focus and it also helps to stabilize your camera for shooting stills or video.

The AF-ON Button can be used in combination with single shot, continuous, self-timer modes.

This button does not control autofocus points while using movie mode.

Where To Focus

A camera’s focal point is a very important aspect to consider when taking a picture.

The focus of the image can dictate how viewers perceive the subject, and it can also have an influence on what details are included in the photo.

There are many different types of lenses that photographers use depending on their desired effect; for example, there are wide-angle lenses and telephoto lenses which enable you to capture more or less detail respectively.

Focus Stacking

Focus stacking is a photography technique that can be used to create an image with great depth of field.


It works by combining multiple images taken at different focus distances into one final photo.

The basic principle behind this process is the same as for other kinds of compositing, like photoshop layers or video editing.

In general, you should shoot the shots focused at various distances from your subject and then use software to combine them all together in post-production.

There are many benefits to using focus stacking!

The most obvious being that you get a much greater depth of field than would otherwise be possible, meaning more things will show up in sharp detail in the background and foreground alike – making it easier for viewers’ eyes to wander around your composition.

Single Focus

Single focus is a type of photography technique that has been around for quite some time now.

It’s most often used by amateur photographers who are interested in capturing the moment and not having to worry about any other aspects of their photos.

In terms of what this style does, it allows you to capture just one object or subject while blurring out everything else in your photo.

This can be done by setting the aperture on your camera to its widest setting which will cause everything except for that specific point in focus to be blurred out.

Continuous Focus

A Continuous Focus in Photography is a technique that allows you to change the focal point of your photo by taking multiple shots with one camera.

The first shot will be focused on your subject, but then as you take more images, the focus will gradually shift from one part of the image to another.

This can be done during an event such as a wedding or party where there are many things going on at once.

Single / Continuous Focus

What is the difference between single and continuous focus photography?

Single focus photography means that even though a scene might have several objects in it, you can only see one object at once.

Continuous focus photography enables you to change your focal point while taking a picture so that you can capture more than one object within the same frame.

Manual Focus

Have you ever wondered how some photographers are able to take pictures with such clarity and sharpness?


The answer is manual focus.

Manual focus enables the photographer to select what part of a scene should be in focus before taking a picture, by doing so, they can capture every detail with their camera lens.

Cross-type Focusing Points

The most modern DSLR cameras come with a variety of different focusing points.

They range from simple, single points to the more advanced three or nine-point autofocus systems.

For beginners, it’s best to stick to a one or two-point focus system for better accuracy and control over where you want your subject in the frame (usually central).

For those who use manual lenses on their DSLRs, depth of field can be difficult to calculate as there is no focal length data available on the lens.

One way around this is using cross-type focusing points which are found mostly in high-end DSLR bodies but also some cheaper models like Canon Rebel T6i/750D.

Normal Focusing Points

The term “normal focusing points” is used to describe the three common focal lengths for a lens: 50mm, 35mm, and 28mm.

These are what people typically think of when they hear the phrase “standard lenses.”

The 50mm was popularized in 1936 by Leica with their first production camera, the Leica Standard.

This set up a standard that many other cameras have followed since then.

Auto Selecting Focus Points

The purpose of auto-selecting focus points in photography is to make it easy for photographers to take better photos.

There are many different types of cameras, and they all have their own ways of auto-selecting the focal point (or points) that will be used when taking a photo.

For example, some cameras allow you to select from one or two predetermined options while others allow you to select from a list.

Manually Selecting Focus Points

In photography, a focal point is the area of an image that will be in sharpest focus.

When using a digital camera or smartphone to take pictures, the photographer selects what they want in focus by tapping on it on the screen.

This can make for some interesting photos with different focal points and perspectives!