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Technical Solutions | D4S TIPS

Soccer Shots: Autofocus - Basic Settings

When photographing soccer, choose the following autofocus and AF-area modes.

Autofocus Mode: Choose Continuous-Servo AF (AF-C)

In continuous-servo AF, focus is adjusted continuously while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway or the AF-ON button is pressed. If the subject is in motion, the camera will engage predictive focus tracking to predict the final distance to the subject and adjust focus as necessary.
To select continuous-servo AF, press the AF-mode button and rotate the main command dial until AF-C is displayed in the viewfinder and top control panel.

AF-Area Mode: Choose 9-Point Dynamic-Area AF

This mode is recommended when there is time to compose photographs or when photographing subjects that are moving predictably. The focus point is selected manually prior to shooting, but if the subject briefly leaves the selected focus point, the camera will focus based on data from surrounding 8 points. Press the AF-mode button and rotate the sub-command dial until 9-point dynamic-area AF is selected in the viewfinder and top control panel.

AF-Area Mode

AF-Area modes are described below.

AF-area mode Top control panel View-finder Focus-point display
Selection Shooting *
Single-point AF

The focus point is selected manually. The camera focuses on the subject in the selected focus point only. Choose for subjects you can keep framed in the selected focus point.

AF-area mode Top control panel View-finder Focus-point display
Selection Shooting *
9-point dynamic-area AF
21-point dynamic-area AF
51-point dynamic-area AF

The focus point is selected manually. The camera focuses on the subject in the selected focus point when autofocus is initiated, but if the subject later leaves the selected point for brief periods, the camera will focus based on information from surrounding points. Choose for low-contrast subjects if the camera has difficulty focusing or for active subjects that are hard to keep framed in a single point, and increase the number of points if the subject is moving unpredictably or occupies a large area of the frame. Choose a setting one level higher for subjects at the edge of the frame.

AF-area mode Top control panel View-finder Focus-point display
Selection Shooting *
3D-tracking

The initial focus point is selected manually. The camera uses color information to track subjects that leave the selected focus point and selects new focus points as required.

AF-area mode Top control panel View-finder Focus-point display
Selection Shooting *
Group-area AF

New with the D4S
The camera focuses using all the focus points in a group of 5 selected by the user, reducing the risk of the camera focusing on the background. Choose for subjects that are difficult to photograph using a single focus point.

AF-area mode Top control panel View-finder Focus-point display
Selection Shooting *
Auto-area AF

The camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus point.

* On selected for Custom Setting a5 (Focus point illumination) > Dynamic-area AF display.

Focus Point Selection and Aperture

The focus points available vary with the maximum aperture of the lens.

Maximum aperture f/5.6 or faster

Focus point selection is supported with all 51 points: 15 cross-type sensors () at the center of the display and 18 line sensors () on either side.

Maximum aperture slower than f/5.6 but faster than f/8

(e.g., a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4 on a TC-17E II teleconverter) : Focus point selection is supported with 15 points: 9 cross-type sensors at the center of the display and 3 line sensors on either side.

Maximum aperture f/8

(e.g., a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4 on a TC-20E III teleconverter) : Focus point selection is supported with 11 points: a cross-type sensor at the center of the display, 4 line sensors on either side, and 1 line sensor above and below. The 4 points shown by symbols are available for dynamic-area AF only, not for group-area AF).