Autofocus or no autofocus? Prefer manual mode?

The autofocus is a small technique miracle in a camera and most people are grateful for it because it ensures sharp images. And this is a great invention and a great help for beginners as well as advanced hobby photographers. But if you want more than just sharp photos, you should turn off the autofocus every now and then and take care of the depth of field yourself. There are several situations where autofocus is a disadvantage anyway and an ambitious photographer is best off.

Tips: When should the autofocus of the camera be better off when taking pictures

An autofocus only works well if it has sufficient light available. If you want to shoot something in twilight or in a dark room, it’s better not to use autofocus and adjust the focus yourself before pressing the shutter button. If you as a photographer want to take a picture with a monochrome, low-contrast background, you will soon notice that the autofocus cannot cope with it.

Therefore it should be designed in such cases, especially since such motifs always represent a good opportunity to train your own eye in the search for the best possible motif. For photographers, the best photos are always taken in bright sunshine, because all colors shine brightly and the sunny mood on the photo makes the viewer happy.

However, there are different weather conditions that allow unique photos, such as fog or while it is snowing. Even rain photos can reproduce extraordinary moods. However, the autofocus rarely gets along with these images and should therefore be switched off immediately. Especially when taking pictures of a face, it is very important to remove the autofocus, because the focus is either on the nose, the ear or maybe the eyes, and everything else is slightly blurred. This is a disadvantage with every portrait, because the photographer himself actually determines where the focus of an image lies.

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Manual cameraAdjustment: Moving subjects are better photographed without autofocus

A real sticking point for an autofocus is a moving subject, and the faster it moves, the harder the focus can handle it. Shooting fast athletes, cars or the like is very difficult and an autofocus works too slowly to be useful in these shots. In this case, an ambitious amateur photographer should rather rely on his own feeling and his trained eye. Especially the photographing of moving images is a difficult topic in photography.

Therefore, a photographer with ambitions can only become fast enough to shoot good quality moving pictures through sustained camera training and self-adjustment. Macro photography is also an art in itself, so autofocus should be turned off in this type of art photography. With a macro shot, it is always better to determine the sharpness yourself and then press the shutter release button at the best moment to achieve an optimal result. The adjustment of the autofocus naturally makes a noise, which a photographer unfortunately forgets much too quickly.

Autofocus volume

But especially rare or shy animals can be frightened by strange sounds, whereby the photo spoils and the motive in the worst case even flees. Since animals also often move quickly, an autofocus is rarely useful for animals. So you can turn it off right away and trust your experience and talent. From time to time there is an incredible opportunity to take pictures of wonderful motifs by photographing through a pane of glass or something similar. However, in this case the autofocus cannot know what your gaze is aiming at, so you will have to adjust the focus yourself to get the best picture.

The autofocus is often a useful feature for many beginners and even for professionals, but not always. With too little light, with moving motifs or portraits, it can be very disadvantageous. And without autofocus, an ambitious hobby photographer can also train his photographic eye.