Autofocus vs. Manual
It sounds very simple and it is, but there are a few points to remember before you shoot the picture. On the most simple auto-focus cameras the area analyzed by the auto-focus mechanism will be in the center of the frame; it will be this part that the camera focuses on even if the main subject is to one side and therefore out of the auto-focus range. It’s very simple to learn how to alter the focus by manually overriding this mechanism. The true art lies in knowing when it’s the best situation to use either manual or automatic focusing, if you can figure that out then you’re well on your way to becoming a much better photographer all-round.
More Beams, More Accuracy
Some of the more sophisticated cameras have a larger area of focus than that of the central spot found in the more simple models. These more sophisticated cameras send out three separate beams and make a ‘judgement’, either from one of these or from a combination of all three. Many of the single lens reflex cameras (SLR) that take interchangeable lenses are of the auto-focus type. Most of these will, of course, have a manual override for focusing but when in the auto-focus mode the same alterations may be required.
The Advantages of Automatic Cameras
If your camera has auto-focus then most other things will be automatic too. Here are a 5 reasons why choosing an automatic camera is more advantageous;
- It allows for spontaneous and creative pictures to be captured instantly without time-consuming dial adjustments
- The built-in flash provides quick, on-the-spot lighting for every occasion
- Light exposure is metered automatically, saving on adjustment and measuring time
- ‘Hands-free’ pictures can be taken using the self timer; so even the photographer can appear in the shot
- The small and compact shape makes the camera easily portable in all situations.