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Chapter 5. Mastering Autofocus Options > Bringing the Multi-CAM 1000 AF System ...

Bringing the Multi-CAM 1000 AF System into Focus

I’ve explained individual bits and pieces of the Nikon D5100’s autofocus system earlier in this book, particularly in the “roadmap” sections that showed you where all the controls were located, and the “setup” chapters that explained the key autofocus options. Now it’s time to round out the coverage as we tie everything together. There are three aspects of autofocus that you need to understand to use this essential feature productively. They apply—in slightly different ways—to both autofocus when using the optical viewfinder, and in Live View. In this chapter, I’m going to emphasize the optical viewfinder/Phase Detection system, and explore autofocus in Live View in more detail in Chapter 6.

  • Autofocus point selection. This aspect controls how the D5100 selects which areas of the frame are used to evaluate focus. Point selection allows the camera (or you) to specify a subject and lock focus in on that subject.

  • Autofocus mode and priority. This governs when during the framing and shooting process autofocus is achieved. Should the camera focus once when activated, or continue to monitor your subject and refocus should the subject move? Is it okay to take a picture even if sharp focus isn’t yet achieved, or should the camera lock out the shutter release until the image is sharp?

  • Autofocus activation. When should the autofocus process begin, and when should it be locked? This aspect is related to the autofocus mode, but uses controls that you can specify to activate and/or lock the autofocus process.


  

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