All you need to know about AutoFocus and its modes

What is Autofocus? [Explained]

By Gizbot Bureau

A few years back, not many possessed the knowledge of photography while few in town roamed with a camera's on their hands. However, the rapid growth in technology has made photography accessible to everyone through cheaper cameras, mobile phones and much more.

All you need to know about AutoFocus and its modes


One of the most important aspects of the photography is the art of focusing, which tests the skill of the photographer. But now, each and every functionality became automatic so that a Lehman without any knowledge can pause his beautiful moment.

Having said that, now all the devices with camera functionalities come with autofocus to get a clear view of users subject. So in this article, we will have a look at some of the aspects of the photography and what it means


When it comes to autofocus, there are two types -- passive and active. Most of the modern cameras now use passive autofocus, which uses a phase detection, contrast sensors to measure the distance between subjects.

Talking about the passive AF, both phase detection and contrast sensors rely on areas with edges and contrast but choose to work in their own ways.

Basically, the camera calculates the adjustments that need to be done to make edges and areas of contrast sharp. If it's sharp, it is in focus. But, the autofocus will fall flat, when it comes to low light.

When you look at the camera, you would have come across group of grids, which helps you to focus the subject. By default, most cameras will automatically select which autofocus points to use, which is in the center of the frame. In the case of autofocus on mobile, you need to tap on the screen where the display is located.

Having said that, there are lots of autofocus mode that you can play with when you are taking photos.

SEE ALSO: DSLR or Mirrorless? Which one is right for you?

Single Autofocus Mode

Single Autofocus Mode

Sometimes different terms are used by different companies for this feature -- One-shot AF by Canon and AF-S by Nikon. This will help if in case you are going to click non-moving subjects like landscapes. Once you select the subject, it will lock the focus and ignore another subject that comes by.

Continuous Autofocus

It is called as AI Servo by Canon and AF-C by Nikon. Unlike Single Autofocus, this mode is used to click scenes with lots of motions. The focus will get adjusted automatically as it tracks the subject in the frame. This will be helpful when you are trying to capture some click on sports tournaments.

Hybrid Autofocus

Called as AI Focus by Canon and AF-A by Nikon, this mode is a blend of both Single and Continuous Autofocus. When the scene remains static, the autofocus will lock. If something moves, it'll adjust until it finds focus again.

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