Best upgrade for better focus

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
OP dansmith21 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Best upgrade for better focus

Thanks for the good feedback! Unsurprisingly, it sounds like the answer is a mix of things. Here's a summary:

3) Don't worry about the equipment, just work harder at carefully choosing auto-focus modes and other settings to get the best quality shots.

This seems to be the most popular answer (or, more generally: improve my technique).

I think I probably have an unhealthy bias towards wide apertures that buy me lower ISO sensitivity but sacrifice depth of field. (I generally *like* smaller depth of field, but I get that it comes with a high out-of-focus risk, and sometimes when multiple people are in the shot, it just won't work.)

I found a promising-looking book about auto-focus technique that I'll spend some time with.

I won't try to workshop some of my photos here—not sure that would be very productive, as I think I need a much faster trial-and-error feedback loop to really figure things out.

1) Upgrade the camera body. Maybe the D5600 or a higher-end model will do faster/smarter processing, or will get better results due to more focus points?

Main benefits to look for here seem to be 1) better low-light picture quality, freeing me to use narrower apertures, 2) compatibility with AF-P lenses, and 3) ability to calibrate.

To diagnose calibration/hardware issues, I'll have to try comparing regular and Live View shots from a tripod.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the upgrade from Multi-CAM 1000 (11 focus points) in the D5100 to better systems like Multi-CAM 4800DX (39 focus points) in other 5000-line and 7000-line cameras. I'll interpret that to mean this may not be too important (but I'm happy to hear opinions on this!)

2) Upgrade the lenses. Maybe higher-end lenses have faster motors? Maybe a wider max aperture will help? (Although I tend to shoot in S mode and let the ISO auto-adjust.)

Main thing to look at here would be AF-P lenses, which require upgrading the camera body first.

4) Don't worry about the equipment, embrace brute force: shoot in burst mode, take a lot more shots, and throw away all the junk.

Nobody endorsing this approach, so that's useful. Better technique > brute force + random luck.

selected answer This post was selected as the answer by the original poster.
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow