I gotta tell ya. One year ago I barely used Live View to manually focus on my camera. Today, I can’t live without it (Note: I’m mainly talking about photos taken while on a tripod). It’s one of those things that’s become so important when it comes to sharpness in my photos, that I’m amazed I did without it for so long. Basically, Live View let’s me zoom in (before I take the photo) on an area in the photo that I want to focus on, and use the focus ring on my lens to manually focus the camera so that area is perfectly tack sharp. I’ve definitely seen a difference in the sharpness of my photos since I’ve started using it.
Well, a few weeks ago I was on the Photo Tips and Tricks show on Kelby TV and I did a quick tip on how I focus while in Live View (a shortcut to the video is below – the tip starts at 3:30).
Not All Cameras Are the Same
First, before you watch the video clip below, understand that not all cameras are the same. In order for Live View to really help with focussing, you usually have to zoom in on the back of your screen, while in Live View, to focus on the critically sharp area (like maybe a rock or tree in the foreground, or a building or bridge in the background). I’ve found that Live View on some Canon cameras I’ve seen is very crisp. Even when you zoom in. On my Nikon D800… well… not so much. It’s kind of pixelated. I’ve been testing out a Sony Alpha 99 camera the past week, and I’ve got to say – it’s Live View feature is amazing. Even zoomed in, it’s like looking at an high definition version of the photo.
So… not all cameras give you the same exact quality of image in Live View. But the tip below, should help out regardless. With a little bit of practice (and that’s the key here by the way), I think you’ll find you can nail the focus in your photos more consistently than you can with auto focus.
Have a good one!
NOTE: My tip starts at 3:30 if you want to jump straight to it.