June 24, 2018, 07:16:45 AM

Author Topic: Best/Quickest way to move AF points around when shooting? (vs Focus/Recompose)  (Read 10286 times)


  • EOS-1D X Mark II
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Hi all,

I've been wanting to try to be able to quickly set my focus points where I need them while handholding, looking through the viewfinder....and shooting.

I saw a guy on CreativeLive that shoots weddings, and he says he does this quite a lot, rather than try to focus and recompose...

I think I'd like to do that too...but man...I just can't seem to get it to work well for me...as that every time I have to push the 3rd from the right of the 3 buttons top right of the back of the camera to activate the AF point changing...and then with my thumb...move the joy stick around to move the focus around.

Is there a way to fix the camera so that all you have to do, is move the joy stick and not have to hit that button first every time? I could do this if I didn't have to click that button THEN move the joy stick for every shot.....

I've not found a way around this....anyone have a suggestion or setting I may have missed?

Does anyone else do this...or do most people try to focus then recompose...click the button down halfway to focus, move over...then finish clicking all the way down to trip the shutter?

I'd heard some people don't like to focus and recompose, since with the spherical nature of the lens...that focus and recompose can sometimes lead to soft images...?

Thoughts? Suggestions? How do you do it?
I'm talking single shot at this point...no AF servo.......

Thanks in advance,


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  • EOS 80D
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...do you want to mention what camera?....
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On my 5D3, The joystick moves the AF point around directly with no hassles. I love multi-selectors.


  • PowerShot G1 X II
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Depending on the camera model, you might be able to assign it in the custom functions menu.
On the 7D it's in C.FnIV:Operation/Others. On menu 1 the joystick is the last icon on the list, and you can set it for AF point direct selection.
Hopefully you have this option on your camera too.


  • EOS M5
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Forget the joystick - not in a good place while your face is planted to the back of the camera. Assign it to the quickdial adjacent to the shutter. Press the select button with your thumb and spin the dial to the point you want then shoot. I use it all the time for fast paced action.


  • EOS Rebel 300D
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you could get used to moving the selected AF point around w/ the two dials

or you could select zone AF points - when i want to have rapid AF point movements, that's what i do -- if you're at center, one multi-select button press takes you to TOP/LEFT/RIGHT/BOTTOM

but my default setup is like this.. i have three fixed AF points always ready to go (note.. back button AF and AI Servo modes) - main back-button AF point selects an upper-left AF point - the * (asterisk - AE start) button is programmed to an AF point on the other side of the display (upper right) ---- and the MFn2 button is programmed to the center AF point - its set as the "open" AF selection mode, the default position though is the center AF point, i can move it w/ the multiselect button in the back

and i use the expansion point AF mode - so that whole "area" (AF point - failing that, any of the cluster around it) is available to AF on

at any time i've got three AF points available to me

..and yes - thats on the 1dx
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 02:29:28 PM by SDsc0rch »


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There's a C.Fn or Custom Controls option to directly select AF points with the multicontroller, no need to press the AF selection button.
EOS 1D X, EOS M6, lots of lenses
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On your 5D MK III, you must set the following option.
Go to Cnf2 Display /operation screen in the menu.
Select Custom controls
Scroll down to the multi controller and set it to control the AF point.  Its turned off by default.
That should do it.


  • EOS Rebel 300D
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oh yeah.. should've said ^^^ gotta have that setting that neuro just mentioned


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so long as your joystick/ multi-controller is active for AF selection, i can't think of anything quicker.

Used it on all my Canon stuff for selection of focus point whether in landscape or portrait mode, with or without a BG fitted. I've shot a football match without taking my eye from the viewfinder and just selecting the appropriate AF point for the shot (player left, player right, player central, player jumping for header etc)

I seem to recall that not all A/F points are selectable all of the time, some are not active with certain lenses or program modes. Maybe getting mixed up here - but some one will put me right  ;)

Can't get on with focus and re-compose - modern DSLR's were not designed for this practice! If they were, why do you have so many AF points?


  • PowerShot G1 X II
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For people that use either main dial or the quick control dial for the AF select....

1- how do you manage to assign the aperture and shutter speed control?
2- How do you manage "vertical" af point selection?

for now, I have it set to use multi-controller to change af points.


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You can press the AF point select  button then the M.Fn button to toggle AF modes.

There is also an option in the menu to make your AF point warp to the opposite side (I think it's called "continous") after the pointer crosses the outer edges. I find that easier than pressing the direction button to move the AF point to the center and then to the opposite side. I don't have my camera with me so I can't direct you to it.


  • EOS 6D Mark II
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There's a C.Fn or Custom Controls option to directly select AF points with the multicontroller, no need to press the AF selection button.

Oh nice!! I didn't know about this. But of course it's a feature. Just move the joystick!

My AF habits are still stuck in the 5D2.

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  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
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There's plenty of advice on how to select your focus points already, so I'll pass on info as to why Focus & Recompose Sucks...



  • EOS-1D X Mark II
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...do you want to mention what camera?....

Sorry...it is a 5D3!!!

Forgot to mention that!!

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