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Change These 2 Settings for Proper Focus Point Selection As Soon As You Get a New Camera

by Erin Peloquin on April 3, 2014 · 37 comments

A brand new camera arrived on my doorstep yesterday! The Canon 6D is the latest addition to my toybox.

6d product shot

After I have a chance to play with it for a few days, I’ll write about why I’m shooting now with the 6D instead of the 5Dii. In the meantime, if you are interested in purchasing my beloved 5Dii at half the cost of retail, contact me here.

But for now, I thought I’d share the first two customizations I made to the Canon 6D before snapping any photos. Good focus is nearly impossible for me without these settings.

The default focus settings for any camera are always completely automatic. This means you have no control over what the camera focuses on, and it usually focuses on what is closest to your lens.

The terminology related to focusing can be difficult to understand, especially if you are reading your manual trying to figure out what to change. Although we often consider the word “auto” to be bad when it relates to our cameras, AutoFocus is a good type of Auto. The opposite of AutoFocus is manual focus, meaning that you spin the dial on your lens to find focus – that’s the old fashioned way, right?

Rather than manual focus, what you want to look for in your camera books is manual AF Point Selection. This means that the camera is still auto focusing, but you tell it what to focus on by choosing the AF point.


On the 6D, you change the settings to manual AF Section like this:

  • Press the Quick Control button to go to the Quick Menu.
  • Use the Multi-controller to scroll down to the AF Selection chooser and press Set.
  • Press Set again to toggle from Automatic Selection to Manual Selection.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Press Menu to leave this setting.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Telling your camera that you’d like to select your AF point is that easy.

When you are ready to shoot, select your AF point by pressing the AF Point Selection button, then use the Multi-controller to navigate to it.

Wait, I have to press a button and then set my focus point? Isn’t that too much to do before taking a photo of a wiggly toddler? Wouldn’t it be easier to skip the button and just select the point?

YES! These questions lead us to the second customization I make before shooting. I have assigned my multi-controller to directly navigate to the focus point, without having to press the button first. Since this controller doesn’t have a shooting function by default, I can’t imagine why this isn’t a default setting.

Regardless, this is an easy enough change to make also:

    • Hit the Menu button and use the multi-controller to navigate to the Custom Functions menu. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


    • Press Set, and use the multi-controller to move down to C.Fn III: Operation/Others
    • Push the multi-controller to the right until you reach menu 5. Press Set.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


    • Use the Multi-controller to navigate to the Multi-controller button assignment item at the lower right corner. Hit Set.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


    • Move the multi-controller to the right to select “AF point direct selection.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


    • Hit Set, and then hit Menu 3 times to back out of the customization area.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


After these two quick changes, I was ready to shoot with my new camera. By the way, I think that the sign of a true camera junkie is someone who makes these changes and completely ignores setting the date and time before taking those first shots. At least I can admit it, right?


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