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Technical Solutions | D500 TIPS

Sports AF: Autofocus Basics

The following settings are suitable for most sports:

  • Autofocus mode: AF-C
  • AF-area mode: 25-point dynamic-area AF
  • Custom Settings
    • a1 AF‑C priority selection: Release
    • a3 Focus tracking with lock-on > Blocked shot AF response: 2 > Subject motion: Normal
    • a10 Autofocus mode restrictions: AF‑C
    • c2 Standby timer: 1 min

AF Mode: AF‑C

Focus is adjusted continuously while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway or the AF-ON button is pressed.

AF-Area Mode: 25-Point Dynamic-Area AF

If your subject briefly leaves the selected focus point, the camera will focus based on information from surrounding focus points. The following indicators are displayed while the AF-mode button is pressed.

Control panel

Focus-point display

Viewfinder

Focus Tracking with Lock-On

Custom Setting a3 (Focus tracking with lock-on) controls how autofocus responds to changes in the distance to the subject.

Blocked Shot AF Response: 2

Increasing the speed with which the autofocus system reacts to blocked shots ensures that focus responds quickly to frequent subject changes.

Subject Motion

Position the slider according to how your subject moves. The default (“normal”) position, midway between Erratic and Steady, is suited to a wide variety of subjects.

The Standby Timer

Choose long standby times to keep the timer active and avoid the delay that occurs when it is reactivated (note that this increases the drain on the battery). If you’re at a soccer match and the default six-second timer expires while you’re waiting for a player to line up a corner kick, the delay may make you miss the golden moment following the kick. In situations like these, we suggest setting the timer to a minute or more.

See this section for the recommended AF settings for different sporting events.