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Technical Solutions | D5 TIPS

Sports AF: Custom Settings

Users of the D4S should note the differences between it and the D5 with respect to Custom Settings Group “a” (Autofocus).

D5 D4S
a1 AF‑C priority selection a1 AF‑C priority selection
a2 AF‑S priority selection a2 AF‑S priority selection
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on a3 Focus tracking with lock-on
a4 3D-tracking face-detection a4 AF activation
a5 3D-tracking watch area a5 Focus point illumination
a6 Number of focus points a6 Focus point wrap-around
a7 Store by orientation a7 Number of focus points
a8 AF activation a8 Assign AF‑ON button
a9 Limit AF-area mode selection a9 Assign AF‑ON button (vert.)
a10 Autofocus mode restrictions a10 Store by orientation
a11 Focus point wrap-around a11 Limit AF-area mode selection
a12 Focus point options a12 Autofocus mode restrictions

The D5 has two new Custom Settings: a4 (3D-tracking face-detection) and a5 (3D-tracking watch area). The former a8 (Assign AF‑ON button) and a9 (Assign AF‑ON button (vert.)) have been absorbed into f1 (Custom control assignment), while the former a5 (Focus point illumination) is now a12 (Focus point options), from which the Continuous mode and Group-area AF illumination options have been eliminated.

a1: AF‑C Priority Selection

Custom Setting a1 (AF-C priority selection) controls whether the camera gives priority to focus or shutter release.

  • Shutter-release button pressed all the way down
  • Subject not in focus
  • Subject in focus
  • Photo taken (frame number shown in top left corner)
Release

Pictures can be taken whether or not the camera is in focus. Frame rates do not slow during burst photography.

Focus+release

In burst mode, priority is given to focus for the first frame and to release for later frames, ensuring that the first frame is in focus and that no subsequent frames are missed. Frame rates do not slow.

Release+focus

In burst mode, priority is given to release for the first frame and to focus for later frames. Frame rates slow as needed to allow camera to focus.

Focus

Pictures can only be taken when the camera is in focus.

Note: Release timing not exactly as shown.

a3: Focus Tracking with Lock-On

This menu contains two options: Blocked Shot AF Response and Subject motion.

Blocked Shot AF Response

In continuous-servo AF, focus tracking with lock-on prevents the camera refocusing when your subject is briefly obscured by another object, ensuring that it will continue to track the main subject once the obstacle has moved away. Choose the length of time before the camera refocuses from 1 (Quick), 2, 3, 4, and 5 (Delayed). Lock-on applies only while the camera is focusing; to focus at a new distance without waiting for lock-on to end, re-initiate
autofocus.

The camera will track and focus on objects at the same distance as the main subject. High values (slow response) make the camera slow to refocus on obstacles when the shot is blocked. Select low values (quick response) to quickly refocus on subjects passing in front of the camera and for improved response when switching rapidly from one subject to another.

Subject Motion

Choose how the camera tracks subjects in motion. Choose Steady for subjects approaching the camera at a steady
pace, like speed skaters or race cars on a track, Erratic for hockey players and other subjects prone to sudden stops and starts.

a6: Number of Focus Points

Choose the focus points available for user selection.

  • AF55 55 points: Choose from the 55 points shown at right. Use for precise framing.
  • AF15 15 points: Choose from the 15 points shown at right. Use for quick focus-point selection.

a7: Store by Orientation

This option lets you concentrate on shooting without having to worry about focus-point selection. Choose whether the camera uses the same focus point and AF-area mode in all orientations, or stores separate focus points and/or AF-area modes for use in “wide” (landscape) orientation, “tall” (portrait) orientation with the camera rotated 90° clockwise, or “tall” orientation with the camera rotated 90° counterclockwise. The options are Focus point, Focus point and AF-area mode, and Off.

  • Focus point: Rotating the camera restores the focus point last selected in the chosen orientation. If you select Off after choosing this option, the camera will select the center focus point for all orientations.
  • Focus point and AF-area mode: Rotating the camera restores the focus point and AF-area mode last selected in the chosen orientation.
Camera rotated 90° counterclockwise
Landscape (wide) orientation
Camera rotated 90° clockwise
  • If group-area AF (HL) is selected in "wide" orientation, switch to group-area AF (VL) to preserve the row selection when rotated 90° in either direction.
Camera rotated 90° counterclockwise: group-area AF (VL)
Landscape (wide) orientation: group-area AF (HL)
Camera rotated 90° clockwise: group-area AF (VL)
  • Off: The same focus point and AF-area mode will be used regardless of camera orientation.
Camera rotated 90° counterclockwise
Landscape (wide) orientation
Camera rotated 90° clockwise

a8: Number of Focus Points

Choose AF‑ON only to split the functions of the AF‑ON and shutter-release buttons so that the former is used for focus while the latter is used only to release the shutter. Lift your thumb from the AF‑ON button to lock focus and take more shots at the current focus distance or prevent the camera refocusing when an object passes between you and your subject.

Highlighting AF‑ON only and pressing displays an Out-of-focus release option; for sports photography, confirm that Enable is selected.

AF-ON button

Custom Setting f1 (Custom control assignment) can be used to assign AF‑ON to controls other than the AF‑ON button. The lens focus function buttons on telephoto lenses equipped with a focus function selector will perform the same function as the camera AF‑ON button when the selector is in the AF‑ON position.

a9: Limit AF-Area Mode Selection

Prevent the selection of unwanted AF-area modes. For example, you can select Dynamic-area AF (25 points) and Group-area AF to switch quickly back and forth between these two modes.

a10: Autofocus Mode Restrictions

Prevent the selection of unwanted autofocus modes. For sports photography,
you may find it convenient to choose AF‑C to stop you accidentally selecting single-servo AF.

a11: Focus Point Wrap-Around

Select Wrap if you frequently switch between widely separated focus points. Focus-point selection will “wrap around” from top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right, and right to left so that, for example, pressing when a focus point on the right edge of the display is highlighted (1) selects the corresponding focus point on the left edge of the display (2).