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Technical Solutions | Z 9 TIPS

Recommended AF Settings by Event: Details

Soccer

Photographing soccer matches involves quick changes of focus and subjects that may be briefly obscured by foreground objects. The following autofocus settings are recommended:

Focus mode AF‑C
AF-area mode Dynamic-area AF (S or M)
Custom Settings a1 AF‑C priority selection [Release]
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on Blocked shot AF response [2]
Subject motion [Steady]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point]

Dynamic-area AF (S) is recommended if you want to focus on a single athlete in a group of players.

Gymnastics

This section lists some suggested settings for gymnastics events.

Floor Exercises and Rhythmic Gymnastics

Auto-area AF is recommended if composition is a priority.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Auto-area AF
Custom Settings a1 AF‑C priority selection [Release]

Select [Focus point and AF-area mode] for Custom Setting a5 [Store points by orientation] to automatically switch focus points and AF-area modes as you rotate the camera (see this section). Choose [Alternating points] for Custom Setting a4 [Focus points used] to reduce the number of focus points for quicker selection (see this section).

Balance Beam

To automatically switch focus points and AF-area modes as you rotate the camera from "wide" to "tall" orientation, select [Focus point and AF-area mode] for Custom Setting a5 [Store points by orientation] (see this section).

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking
Custom Settings a1 AF‑C priority selection [Release]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point and AF-area mode]

Vault

If you find the subject hard to frame, selecting auto-area AF will allow you concentrate on composition while leaving the camera in charge of choosing the focus point.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Auto-area AF
Custom Settings a1 AF‑C priority selection [Release]

Rings and Horizontal and Uneven Bars

3D-tracking is recommended for subjects that change posture and position frequently and often are near apparatus such as bars or rings.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

Athletics

You may find these settings useful when photographing road-running or track-and-field events.

Sprints (Hand-Held, Single Runner, from the Front)

Dynamic-area AF (S) is recommended for photos of runners on a distant starting line.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point]

When photographing runners after they have crossed the finish line, select [Focus point and AF-area mode] for Custom Setting a5 [Store points by orientation] to automatically switch focus points and AF-area modes as you rotate the camera between "tall" (portrait) orientations and "wide" (landscape) orientation (see this section).

Instant AF-Area Mode Selection

For flexible AF-area mode selection when photographing approaching runners, select 3D-tracking with the camera and assign [Dynamic-area AF (S)] to the lens L‑Fn or L‑Fn2 buttons using Custom Setting f2 [Custom controls (shooting)] > [ Lens Fn button]/[ Lens Fn2 button] > [AF-area mode] (see this section). You can then press a lens function button to select dynamic-area AF (S) when your subject is far away and release the button to instantly switch to 3D-tracking as the runners approach.

Dynamic-area AF (S)
(distant subject)
3D-tracking
(runner approaching)

AF-area mode can also be assigned to the Fn1, Fn2, Fn3, or AF-ON button, to the center of the sub-selector or vertical multi selector, or to the AF-ON button for vertical shooting (see this section).

Hurdles

The settings below let you refocus as needed if the camera focuses on the hurdles in the foreground while the race is being run. When photographing hurdlers who have crossed the finish line, select [Focus point and AF-area mode] for Custom Setting a5 [Store points by orientation] to automatically switch focus points and AF-area modes as you rotate the camera between "tall" (portrait) orientations and "wide" (landscape) orientation (see this section).

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking
Custom Settings a1 AF‑C priority selection [Release]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point]

Marathons (from a Vehicle)

When shooting from a moving vehicle, choose dynamic-area AF (S) to keep specific runners in focus as they change position in the pack.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Dynamic-area AF (S)
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on Blocked shot AF response [3]
Subject motion [Steady]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point]

Shot Put, Discus, Hammer Throw, and Javelin (from the Front, at a Distance)

If you find the subject hard to frame, selecting auto-area AF will allow you concentrate on composition while leaving the camera in charge of choosing the focus point.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Auto-area AF
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

Long Jump, Triple Jump, and Pole Vault (Facing Oncoming Jumpers)

Auto-area AF is recommended for subjects that rapidly change posture and position.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Auto-area AF
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

High Jump

Wide-area AF (L) is recommended for events in which the subject's face may be momentarily hidden from view. In the case of the high jump, focus will continue to track subjects without being affected by bars or poles in the foreground, even if the jumpers briefly turn away from the camera.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Wide-area AF (L)
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

Aquatics

Here are some settings you may find helpful when photographing aquatic events.

Swimming

Choosing dynamic-area AF (S) helps prevent the camera focusing on splashes while letting you instantly refocus on the main subject as needed. To quickly switch focus from one swimmer to another, choose lower values for Custom Setting a3 [Focus tracking with lock-on] > [Blocked shot AF response].

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Dynamic-area AF (S)
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on Blocked shot AF response [2]
Subject motion [Steady]
Instant AF-Area Mode Selection

For flexible AF-area mode selection when photographing the start of a race, select dynamic-area AF (S) with the camera and assign [Auto-area AF] to the lens L‑Fn or L‑Fn2 buttons using Custom Setting f2 [Custom controls (shooting)] > [ Lens Fn button]/[ Lens Fn2 button] > [AF-area mode] (see this section). You can then press a lens function button to select auto-area AF when your subject is diving from the starting block and release the button to instantly switch to dynamic-area AF (S) once the swimmer is in the water.

Auto-area AF
(distant subject diving)
Dynamic-area AF (S)
(subject swimming)

AF-area mode can also be assigned to the Fn1, Fn2, Fn3, or AF-ON button, to the center of the sub-selector or vertical multi selector, or to the AF-ON button for vertical shooting(see this section).

Diving

Choosing auto-area AF lets you concentrate on composition when photographing divers and other hard-to-frame subjects. Focus will automatically track the subject while the AF-ON button is pressed or the shutter-release button is pressed halfway.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Auto-area AF
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

Artistic Swimming

For events such as artistic swimming (also known as synchronized swimming), where your subjects change pose with dizzying speed and focus constantly switches from one subject to another, we recommend the ever-adaptable wide-area AF (S).

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Wide-area AF (S or L)
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

Table Tennis

Using 3D-tracking helps you frame shots with the net in the foreground.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]

BMX and Skateboarding

If you find the subject hard to frame, selecting auto-area AF will allow you concentrate on composition while leaving the camera in charge of choosing the focus point. To focus on the rider when photographing BMX events, select [People] for [AF subject detection options] in the photo shooting menu.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode Auto-area AF
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point]

Motor Sports

To focus on drivers or riders near the vehicles, select [People] for [AF subject detection options] in the photo shooting menu.

Focus mode AF-C
AF-area mode 3D-tracking
Custom Settings a1 AF-C priority selection [Release]
a5 Store points by orientation [Focus point]