D7000: Best Focus Mode for Photos of Toddlers?

Started Nov 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
Jim Holtz Senior Member • Posts: 1,043
Re: No issue with ISO

j_photo wrote:

-When you shoot AF-C, the shutter will release whether you have acquired focus or not. If you are not used to shooting in this mode, you might find a lot of images with missed focus. A little more attention to whether focus has been achieved may be needed.

-With f2.8, you will have limited depth of field. Any focusing inaccuracies will have more consequence.

If it were me, I would spend some of the time shooting with bounced flash. That would open up more flexibility in exposure settings.


A1 in the D7000 options list allows AF-C mode to either require focus lock before release or to just release. I like focus before release but YMMV.

Here are settings posted by Jonikon some time ago that I find to be the best for my style of shooting. Try them and see how they work for you;

After a good amount of testing different AF settings of my D7000, I have settled on some settings that give me the most versatile AF mode with the most accurate results. I find this method superior to the AF-ON mode.

Set AF mode to AF-C

a1 - AF-C priority set to* Focus* (this is very important!).
a3 - Set to OFF.
a6 - Number of focus points = 39
f5 - Assign AEL/AFL button to AF lock only.

I choose the number of AF points base on the requirements of my subject.

  • 1 point for static objects.
  • 9 points for slow or predictable direction moving subjects.
  • 21 points for erratic moving subjects (like hummingbirds), that only fill a small portion of the scene.

With this AF set-up, keep your shutter button half pressed so the lens continuously adjusts focus until you actually fully depress the shutter. Focus and re-compose is accomplished by pushing and holding down the AFL buttonaftersubject focus is achieved.

I hope some will find these AF settings suggestions helpful to achieve more reliable AF results.

Good luck!


 Jim Holtz's gear list:Jim Holtz's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
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