7D - 70D - 7D2

Started Jul 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jerry-astro
Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 14,734
Center point vs. spot AF
3

hires wrote:

What is the difference between center point and spot AF? My 550D has center point as did my 30D. From this thread it sounds like the 7D might be the better camera for bird photography with the 400 5.6?

Spot AF is to autofocus as spot metering is metering.  It enables you to focus accurately in an area that might be very busy with potential targets.  Think, for example, of shooting a small bird sitting on a branch surrounded by foilage.  A standard AF sensor is large enough that the surrounding foilage may confuse it and in a situation where you're shooting long with thin DOF, you will not get accurate focus acquisition on the target.  With spot AF, the AF sensor is smaller and will have the capability of picking a smaller, high contrast area and hopefully eliminate surrounding clutter that could throw off focus.

I haven't had the opportunity or need to use it extensively on my 7D, but for those few times where I've needed it, it's been invaluable.  There were definitely cases where standard AF simply could not properly acquire a target and the only way to accurately nail the target would be manual focus or spot AF.

Center point simply defines one of the points available for AF.  If you have spot AF enabled on the 7D, it can be used with any of the AF points you've selected including the center point.

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Fujifilm X-H1 Carl Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 OIS WR +1 more
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