17

The best setting to employ in this situation is back-button autofocus. It will put you in control of when the camera can search for focus and when to stop, and will separate the AF start/lock function from your shutter button, so that pressing the shutter button itself does not start up the AF hunt again when you least want it to. You can set up the AE-L/...


12

Use a large depth-of-field (DOF) or use the fact that object farther than the half of the hyperfocal distance are "acceptably focused". You can use a DOF calculator like this one to calculate what aperture to use for a certain DOF or to calculate the hyperfocal distance. The drawback of large DOF is that you need a small aperture, which limits the amount ...


10

Reliability is the true reason. When a camera focuses continuously, it keeps measuring focus and readjusting. In a perfect implementation it would lock focus and follow your subject perfectly but that does not happen. In practice, cameras spend a good percentage of the time catching up to a subject's motion, so your subject may not be exactly in focus at the ...


9

In my experience, autofocus rarely works well on flying birds. The worst thing about it is that it's unpredictable — invariably, by Murphy's law, the moment when the eagle you've been tracking for 15 minutes finally spots prey on the ground and decides to do an amazing aerobatic flip-and-dive maneuver is also the exact moment when the autofocus ...


5

The reason the focus confirmation light does not function in AI Servo mode is because the camera never stops tracking the subject and adjusting focus as necessary. The green focus confirmation light in the lower right corner of the viewfinder is an indicator that AF has been locked and has stopped measuring focus. That's the last thing you want to happen in ...


5

Depth of Field (DoF) is a myth. But it is a myth whose effects we can see with our own eyes, so we believe it to be true. That being the case, we use DoF as if it were true. With a camera/lens system focused at any distance other than infinity, there is only a single distance that will result in a point source of light being projected on the film/sensor ...


5

There are 2 issues which are likely to affect you here: The Performance of AF-C AF-C is not magic, and it will not follow the movement through the frame. Your focus point needs to remain in the same place in the frame throughout the shots. If you're off by even a small amount, it could lead to a big difference in where the focus lands. Check your images - ...


4

I shoot both a Canon 50D and the micro four-thirds G3 and GX7. I use my 50D/EF 400mm f/5.6L USM combo for bird in flight shots. For me, the difference is chalk and cheese at the speed of reaction I have to have to get a BiF shot. The G3 with my 45-200 OIS are perfectly capable of taking perched/walking bird shots, though, as you suspected. G3+45-200 ...


4

Turn off autofocus (M setting) and set lens to hyperfocal distance, if the birds are distant. Set the camera for single focus on the initial subject, AF-S. See http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d7000/af-settings.htm


4

This is the kind of situation that honestly takes practice to do well; technology can assist you, but it's not going to solve this kind of problem on its own. In these situations I do try to (a) boost ISO and (b) use a deeper Depth of Field where I can, but often you're in poor light and there's only so much you can do. Where I can I'll shoot at F8 instead ...


4

With a depth of field of 3 cm/1+ inch, there isn't much room for error. Since you say you're shooting a portrait I'll assume this is a portrait of a person and not a static subject. (If it were a static subject, though, I would tell you to lock the camera down on a tripod!) But, on the topic of a portrait: what kind of results are you after? With a DOF of 3 ...


4

It depends on what you mean by more accurate. The same algorithms are used in either AI Servo or One Shot to get an initial focus on what is in the viewfinder at the selected areas of AF sensitivity.¹ What happens after that may affect how well your subject is in focus in either mode. With One Shot the camera stops all AF focus activity once focus lock is ...


4

This is possible using Sony SLT technology. It would be possible with cameras that use the imaging-sensor to do autofocus, using on-chip Phase-Detect sensors. The reason this is not possible on most cameras is that during exposure the Phase-Detect sensor is out of the optical path. On a DSLR, the mirror goes up to expose the sensor and has to be down to let ...


4

The default for continuous shooting is Release Priority which means that the camera will take the shot even if focus is not confirmed. The other option is Focus Priority which only takes a photo when focus is confirmed. The catch is that the continuous speed can diminish in Focus Priority while is maintained at a constant speed in Release Priority. Check ...


4

There is a small black slider on the side opposite the camera grip. It has 3 positions. If you slide it to the bottom it will be in AF-S mode which stops focusing as soon as autofocus locks after you press the shutter-release halfway. It is hard to see but that is number 20 in the diagram below: It sounds like your camera has the switch in the middle which ...


3

At least for Canon cameras, this excelent explanation from Canon's Chuck Westfall should answer perfectly your question (AI Servo AF Versus One-Shot AF For Stationary Subjects): Hi, Steve: > There are no differences in focusing speed, focusing accuracy, or focusing point selection algorithms between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF with EOS DIgital ...


3

I have experience with a D7000 and an 18-200 lens. Some of this may be basic. I'm assuming birds at a distance of 20 to 500 feet. First, equipment settings. Ensure that VR (vibration reduction) is on when shooting. (Just remember to turn it off on the lens before you turn the camera off.) Auto ISO with minimum=100. Either shutter mode or manual mode on ...


3

Automatic focus can still be very useful in this case. If the eagle is so far away that you can set the lens to a fixed focus ahead of time, then it will be a small spot in a large picture. If not, you really need to actually focus the lens for that eagle that time. Auto focus can do this much faster than you can manually. Look around in your menus or ...


3

If your lens has a distance scale it will indicate the approximate distance to the point of focus as measured from the film/sensor plane. In the image below, the point of focus is 1.5 meters (5') in front of the film/sensor plane. As the point of focus approaches infinity, the distance measurement becomes less precise. In general, the longer the focal length ...


3

You should check out Canon's new EOS-M. It does continuous autofocus and has the added bonus that you can re-use your canon lenses on it.


2

It depends on the camera, but in general, even a basic PDAF should be light years ahead of CDAF for any kind of action shot. The problem with CDAF is that it is a guess and check approach. The camera can't tell that it is in focus unless it tries going too far to one side and then too far to the other. For a still object, this works ok, but when the ...


2

In addition to single frames shot using "focus and recompose" there may be times when you want to focus and then take multiple frames without refocusing as conditions in the viewfinder may change between each shot. By selecting Single AF and locking in the focus using the camera's back body focus button the camera will hold that focus as you shoot several ...


2

I have a few things I try when timing doesn't allow pre-selecting a focus point: Focus and recompose Using the center focus point I'll half-press the shutter and recompose to my desired composition. Use a smaller aperture You can use a depth of field calculator (such as this one) to ensure the subject you're photographing is in focus within the near and ...


2

If there's lots of birds then the easier answer is probably to pick an area, set up your focus manually, using a tree or rock outcrop or a calculation, and then wait with your tripod and a cable/remote release ready to fire when a bird comes into view. That's how an awful lot of the best nature pictures are taken.


2

Yes, you can. The easiest way to do so is to enable back button Auto Focus via the menu options and then select AI Servo as your focus mode. As long as you press the AF-ON button the camera will continue to focus on whatever is behind the selected focus points.


2

No. You are asking for it to keep trying auto focus all the time it is turned on... All the time you're carrying it around your neck without even aiming it. That would be hard on the battery. :) It will auto focus when the shutter needs it. Or, if you decided to activate the shutter so that it was recording movies continually, then it would auto focus ...


2

Make sure the mode dial is set to one of: Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, or Manual exposure mode. From page 78 of the D5500 Reference Manual, Note that AF-S and AF-C are available only in modes P, S, A, and M.


1

The focus confirmation light indeed does NOT work in ai-servo mode. It would be cool if the focus confirmation dot acted like a missile target lock indicator, but it doesn't. It just tells you that the AF system has attained the best focus it can. In AF Servo mode it never reaches that point because the subject may move. How am I supposed to know if my ...


1

Live view and viewfinder use different kinds of auto-focus and are different. Just make sure your auto-focus type is set to continuous and make sure you have the focus point selected and over what you want to focus on. You have to keep the button half-pressed, whereas in live view you don't. It is just the way the camera works. To test hold your hand up and ...


1

As I understand it, focus priority delays the shot till focus is achieved, while release priority potentially takes a mis-focused shot. More or less. Many cameras with focus priority will refuse to fire the shutter if focus cannot be confirmed. Some cameras with release priority just fire the shutter without attempting to focus at all, unless in some ...


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