If you're going to use the center AF point only...

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Skip M Veteran Member • Posts: 7,174
Focus and recompose.

Jonathan Brady wrote:

I've seen several reviews of the 6D in which they talk about using only the center AF point. First off, just how bad are the outer points? And second of all, who uses JUST the center AF point? Do many people ignore basic guidelines of photography (ie, rule of thirds) for the majority of their shots?

IMO, I'd like to have highly sensitive AF points in the middle and at the 4 junctions of the rule of thirds and then a small array of other points that don't necessarily have to be quite as sensitive (if we're talking about a budget conscious camera, anyway). Am I the only one thinking like this?

No, many people do not "ignore the basic guidelines of photography...for the majority of their shots."  You focus with the center point, then move the camera to get the desired composition.

What we'd like has little to do with what the cameras actually have, especially the Canon bodies that are at less than the pinnacle of the model lineup.  When the center point is the only highly sensitive point, then that's the one we use.  The 5D3 has an array of sensitive focus points that would satisfy your (and most people's) needs.  It's the sacrifice that Canon expects the consumer to make in return for buying a less expensive camera than the top models.

Some of us might find focus points fixed at the "rule of thirds" areas not as useful as other people.  All it would mean to me is that I'd have to move the camera less when I focus and recompose.  1/3 of the frame may not mean 1/3 of the subject.  Or I might decide not to compose my subject with the rigidity that you may want to.  Sometimes a centered subject is what you want, sometimes the "golden mean" applies, sometimes it's none of the above.  Like all rules, the rule of thirds is there to be broken.  The trick is to know when and by how much.

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Skip M
'Living in the heart of a dream, in the Promised Land!'
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