How to focus with Live View
Live View makes manual focusing a breeze. Just don't expect fast reactions when you switch to autofocus...
The options available to you vary between cameras, but are largely separated into a quick mode (which uses the camera's dedicated AF sensor, but means the mirror has to flip back down, interrupting the Live View feed), a slower, smoother mode and a face-detection mode (shown here).
The contrast-detect autofocus mode uses the image on the camera's sensor to set the focus, rather than using the camera's AF points, so you can position the autofocus frame wherever you want. Use the thumb- stick or wheel to move it, then half-press the shutter release until the focus locks.
Live View helps with manual focusing, as you can magnify a portion of the screen and fine-tune the focus sweet spot. This is great for landscape and macro photography; just be sure to use gentle nudges of the focus ring, as the difference between acceptably sharp and razor-sharp can be slight.
How to fine-tune image sharpness with Live View
DSLR focusing features explained: your camera's options and how to use them
Avoid focus errors: how to use autofocus in your everyday photography
DSLR Lenses: 7 questions photographers must ask about their next piece of glass
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