Nikon D3300 / D3200 Focus Square Tutorial | How to Focus Training Video

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the easiest way to learn your camera's

focusing systems is to think of it in

terms of how when and where the camera

is focusing if you can break it down

into those three simple concepts this is

going to be easy now when you get your

camera out of the box the default

setting for focusing once it's turned on

is that when you push the shutter button

halfway down it engages the cameras

focusing systems so that's how you focus

if you push it down all the way it's

going to take the picture do it real

quick pretty straightforward

when the camera is focusing has to do

with how often the cameras focusing

systems are engaged is it a single

moment or is it over and over and over

again the way we access our auto focus

modes which has to do with when is we're

going to push our eye button and you're

going to see it in the bottom left hand

corner when you come into this menu you

should see four different options in the

truth of the matter is there's really

only two a F S stands for autofocus

single servo in what this means is that

when we push the shutter button halfway

down and hold it down eventually we get

something called focus lock and if you

look in the bottom left-hand corner of

your camera when this is engaged you

should see a little green circle that

means the camera has focusing lock now

as long as I hold the shutter button

halfway down and I move the camera

around the focus will not change this is

a very important and powerful tool if

you are interested in taking pictures of

people because as a portrait

photographer we want to get focus lock

on their eyes and so what I do is I get

a focus lock hold the shutter button

halfway down and I recompose that means

I move the camera to position the

subject in a more aesthetically pleasing

position in the frame this is called

recomposing and I'll show you more about

this when we cover the portrait

crash-course later on in the video if

you're a sports photographer and maybe

you shoot wildlife or race cars or kids

moving around you're probably going to

want to test out AF see which stands for

autofocus continuous so when we select

AF see you should be doing following

along with your camera if you're not and

we look through the viewfinder you're

going to notice something very

interesting when you move the camera

around that Green Dot starts to blink

and what this means is the camera is

continually focusing over and over and

over again we do not achieve focus lock

with AF continuous because the camera is

trying to make a prediction of a moving

subject what we're going to do is put

our focusing square over the moving

subject and we're going to hold our

shutter button halfway down track a

subject and push the shutter button down

all the way when we're ready to take the

picture very useful for moving subjects

now the good news is if you are a pure

beginner what I recommend is to go with

AF a which stands for autofocus

automatic in this mode we're giving the

camera permission to switch between AFS

and AF see when I shot weddings I almost

exclusively left my camera on AF because

the bride would be standing outside the

church now she's walking down the aisle

now she's standing at the altar and now

she's dancing and now she's cutting cake

and so there was lots of this moving and

stopping and moving and stopping and the

camera does a pretty good job of

determining whether or not you're

dealing with a still or a moving subject

it's one less setting you have to worry

about now most of the time my camera

does stay on AF a unless I'm doing a

really important portrait shoot or maybe

I'm shooting sports exclusively for the

day now the fourth option we have in

this menu is M this stands for manual

the true

the matter is I never use it simply

because our cameras most of the lenses

come with an AF to manual switch so when

I want to do manual focusing I flip the

switch to manual and I focus with the

ring but there are some lenses out there

that don't have the switch and if you

have one you would manually focus by

going into your menu and turning it to M

so the when the camera is focusing has

to do with the autofocus modes and

whether it's a single focus lock or a

continual refocusing where has to do

with our focusing points the way we

select this menu again we're going to

push our eye button we're going to go

into the second from the bottom left

hand menu says AF area mode and you're

going to see four different selections

in here I'm going to make a very strong

recommendation to use your single point

selection in nothing else the reason is

the other three modes give permission to

the camera to change how the focusing in

which focusing squares are being used

with single point selection you have

complete control and you know where the

camera is looking and where it's

focusing 100% of time I use single

focusing square so just keep that in

mind and what does this mean you should

have your camera look through the

viewfinder and tap your shutter button

and you should see one of those focusing

squares light up now wherever the camera

is lighting up terms of those points

that is where it is focusing if you want

to change your focusing square you are

going to push on your directional pad in

the direction that you want the next

square to be selected so we push on the

pad and we can change our focusing

points this is very useful and it's one

of the more important skills you need to

become you know like secondhand nature

is changing your squares as you look

through the viewfinder so for example if

you wanted to get a moving subject on

the edge of the frame you would use one

of the edge focusing points again pretty

straightforward now a cool little tip

about this is that if you push the okay

a button it'll jump back to the center

square a lot of people don't know that

the center square is hypersensitive on

almost all DSLR cameras and that's the

same for our Nikon is that it is more

sensitive and more accurate so if you're

having a very hard time you know getting

a precise focus lock keep that in mind

the center focus square is cross-type

the other ten are not very important to

remember for the sake of being thorough

let's talk about the other autofocus

area modes or though other where's the

dynamic AF focusing cluster has to do

with allowing the camera to get

information from the surrounding squares

it sort of like takes a little sneak

peek and it makes a judgment on where

the subjects going to be three-d

focusing is meant for moving subjects

and it's supposed to allow the camera to

actually change which focus Square is

being used in how it is focusing on the

subject it the concept of it is

spectacular and when it works it's

awesome but it's not always perfect the

AF or the autofocus automatic mode

essentially gives permission to the

camera to focus on the closest subject

to you I never use it it has another

side note I should tell you that if you

are not shooting on pas or M which you

should be the camera is going to make a

lot of the focusing decisions for you

and you're not going to be able to

switch around in these different modes I

tell all beginners focus no pun intended

on the pas and M modes the creative

modes where you have complete control

now as you advance as a photographer

with your skill sets there may come a

time when you want to use different

customized controls such as back button

focusing back button focusing

essentially is a customization that

removes the halfway shutter depression

of focusing and it moves it to this back

thumb button AFL AEL so the way this

would work is you engage focusing by

pushing on the thumb button and you take

picture by pushing the shutter button

down all the way the shutter button is

responsible for nothing else but taking

the picture now the reason I don't teach

back button focusing to pure beginners

is it simply a little bit easier to

learn the half-way depression and then

taking it all the way but a lot of my

professional friends shoot exclusively

on back button focus and when you get

more advanced I would definitely

recommend checking it out

so in summary how does the camera focus

you push your shutter button halfway

down second when does the camera focus

that depends if you are on a single mode

or a continuous predictive mode single

mode gets focus lock the continuous

predictive mode tries to guesstimate

where your subject is going to be for

focusing clusters I definitely recommend

you go with a single square simply

because it's going to give you the most

control so that is your crash course on

the how when and where your camera

focuses and I hope you enjoyed it if you

found this video helpful you may want to

check out my crash course for the Nikon

d3300 or the Nikon d3200 I'll show you

the basics and teach you how to shoot

like a pro in no time you can order it

from the following link