What Are the Different Types of Autofocus?

Autofocus is an essential feature of modern cameras.

Autofocus allows the camera to automatically adjust its focus on an object, which can be great for taking pictures without worrying about manually adjusting the lens. 

However, there are many different types of autofocus that you need to know about to get the best possible picture every time.

In this blog post, we will go over all of them so that you can choose what works best for your needs.

What Are the Different Types of Autofocus?

Continuous autofocus, single-shot autofocus, and hybrid autofocus

There are two main types of autofocus, continuous and single-shot.

Additionally, your camera may have a third one, hybrid autofocus which uses a combination of continuous and single-shot autofocus to get the best possible results.

Continuous autofocus will keep adjusting as long as you hold down your shutter button until it takes a picture.

In contrast, single-shot autofocus locks in on your subject, and as long as you press the shutter button halfway down, the focus will not change.

Single Autofocus (AF-S)

This type of autofocus is the most basic and is used for stationary objects.

With AF-S, you press the shutter button halfway down to lock in focus, and once it’s locked in, you can take the picture. 

This type of autofocus is excellent for taking pictures of people or animals not moving around too much.

Continuous Autofocus (AF-C)

This type of autofocus is excellent for taking pictures of moving objects. 

With continuous autofocus, you press down on the shutter button all the way to take a picture, and it will continuously focus while you are holding down the shutter button to capture your subject in motion.

This type of autofocus is perfect for taking pictures of sports or any moving object.

Hybrid Autofocus (Auto-Servo AF) 

The Hybrid autofocus mode combines both continuous and single autofocus to give you the best results possible.

If your subject moves, then it will use continuous focus, but if it stays still, it will use single-shot autofocus.

This type of autofocus is great for taking pictures of both stationary and moving objects.

Which Autofocus Mode Should I Use?

Using different types of autofocus

That all depends on what you are trying to photograph. If you take a picture of a person or an animal that is not moving around too much, then AF-S is your best choice. 

If you are trying to photograph something in motion, like sports or pets, then Continuous Autofocus will be the way to go. 

And lastly, if you want an autofocus mode for both stationary and moving objects, hybrid autofocus does a great job at that.

Hybrid autofocus is a good middle ground if you’re unsure which type of autofocus to use.

Factors Affecting Autofocus Performance

Factors Affecting the Different Types of Autofocus

There are a few things that can affect your autofocus performance. The most common one is the lighting conditions. 

If you’re in a dark room, it will be harder for your camera to focus on anything, and if you’re in direct sunlight, it may be difficult for your camera to see what you’re trying to photograph.

Another thing that can affect autofocus is the camera’s environment. If you are in a dusty or windy area, your camera may have trouble focusing on anything.

And finally, if you’re using a lens that isn’t compatible with your camera body, it will be difficult for your camera to autofocus. 

Keep all of these things in mind when you are trying to take a picture. If everything is set up correctly, it should be much easier for your camera to autofocus on what you’re photographing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Autofocus in Manual Mode?

Yes, you can use autofocus in manual mode. You tell the camera what ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to use in this mode.  

How Can You Tell Your Camera What Distance to Focus On?

Your camera has a focusing point set on any subject so long as the focus points are turned on in your settings. 

With this feature enabled, all you need to do is press down on the focusing point, and your camera will focus on whatever is under that point.

What Is a Manual Focus Lens?

A manual focus lens does not have any autofocus functionality, so you need to manually change the distance between the lens and what you’re photographing if there’s no auto-focus function. 

How Does Autofocus Work?

Autofocus works by using a sensor on your camera to see what you are trying to photograph. The autofocus sensor looks for contrast in the image, which can tell where something is located. 

Final Thoughts

No matter which type of autofocus you choose, make sure to practice with it beforehand to know how it works and adjust your settings accordingly.

Autofocus can be an outstanding tool for taking amazing pictures, but only if you use it correctly.