9

My camera has these settings for autofocus, and I don't know what they mean. I suspect "A" is "Auto", and "C" is "continuous", but I have no idea what "S" is.

  • What is the make and model of your camera? – Matt Grum Jul 28 '11 at 17:58
  • @Matt: It's a Nikon D7000 but I believe I have seen similar markings on a friend's Canon before. – Billy ONeal Jul 28 '11 at 17:59
  • 1
    See also: photo.stackexchange.com/q/496/21 – Rowland Shaw Jul 28 '11 at 19:07
  • 3
    @Rowland: No, I'm not talking about AF-S lenses, I'm talking about the autofocus mode. (It's unfortunate the names overlap) – Billy ONeal Jul 28 '11 at 19:59
  • It's often best to include enough information in the question to make it unambiguous -- I see Craig has now edited it to include that; it would also be good in the future to give an indication as to what your camera is; many of the abbreviations used are specific to a particular manufacturer (for example, @vlad259 tries to cover both options) – Rowland Shaw Jul 29 '11 at 7:32
19

This link explains it well. Paraphrasing the article:

  • AF-C (AF-continuous or servo mode) is used for photographing moving subjects.
  • AF-S means single shot and is used for subject that is stationary.
  • AF-A is where the camera decides whether the subject is moving or not and tries to alternate between the servo and single shot mode accordingly.
7

There is another important difference between AF-S and AF-C. With AF-S, you cannot take a shot without focus being locked (green light being on). With AF-C you will take a shot anytime the shutter release is pressed. So with AF-C, while it will attempt to track focus on a moving subject, you can take shots at any time whether or not the AF has focus lock.

  • At least on the D7000, this is configurable. The default behavior of AF-S is to wait for a lock because it is intended to shoot stationary subjects. But you can override this and force the camera to take the shot anyway by holding the AF-LOCK button (or you can change how this works completely). – Billy ONeal Dec 31 '12 at 7:14
1

Sometimes 'Servo' - continuous autofocus and sometimes 'Single' - one shot.

Try it by focusing on a moving subject and see what it does...

-4

When AF-S appears on a lens:

AF-S: Autofocus Silent Focusing is driven by a "Silent Wave" motor in the lens instead of the focus drive motor in the camera. AF-S lenses focus faster than standard AF-Nikkors and almost completely silently. AF-S lenses with a "II" designation weigh less and are generally smaller than their equivalent predecessors.

  • 2
    The question wasn't about AF-S in a lens's specification; it was about the AF-S autofocus setting in the camera. – scottbb Apr 4 '18 at 7:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.