Do you use auto or manual focus?

Hello everyone,

People will be stand up almost always at the same place in front of the booth.

So my question is the following:

Do you use auto or manual focus? and why?

Thank you very much :)


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • HAMA Photography
    Manual. Because auto my choose the wrong focus point.  You should be shooting at around f8-10 so a pretty large dof.  For me I set it to be in focus roughly 1 arms length from the lens.  Then those behind that distance should all be in focus to.  You will always have the people that like to have the camera take a shot up their nose by standing way to close but they seem to love it anyway.
  • davidlowie
    I use auto just to take a test shot and set my focus for my distance, and then switch to manual.

    When I was getting started, auto focus was causing lots of problems ranging from shots taking a long time because people were moving around a lot, to the software (Breeze) eventually giving up on the shot because it hadn't focused.

    I recommend to anybody to learn how to use the camera 100% manually. When anything is set to auto, weird things happen.
  • hitphotobooth

    I used to use manual focus because auto focus would not work properly on the Canon 60D and 100D that I used.  The camera would lockup, fail because it couldn't focus.  Even with the manual focus, I was not satisfied with the resulting photos as it wasn't consistent.

    Then I discovered the Canon 70D which has fast autofocus and works well with my open booth.  I have been using this on autofocus for about 2 years now, and it has never failed to take the shot.  But has taken a couple of blurred photos only because the people were moving around too much, or dancing thinking it was video being taken.

    In some cases, the preview would show that it's out of focus while people are moving, but once it takes the shot, it is clear and sharp. So the focusing system is fast enough to catch up in most cases.

    I set the focus point around the center as that's where most people position themselves.

    I know the camera might be overkill for a photobooth, but I get a lot of comments of how clear and sharp the photos are, so to me, it's worth the extra expense.  Plus, I don't have to worry about focusing throughout the event, the camera does it all for me.

    I mostly use landscape 4x6 print templates with large photos, so focus is critical.

    If you can get hold of the Canon 70D - buy, rent or borrow - I suggest you try it using autofocus.

    Hope this helps.
  • Burton
    I agree. Auto focus will in real time try to focus on whatever is in focus grid through viewfinder. Clients don't realize this and move about causing camera to keep trying to refocus. I find a good way to set up for test shots is to use a prop or hat rack or sign about 4 or so feet from lens and manually focus on it therefore setting the focus on the closest or midrange of photo. With an aperture setting between f8-f11 it should put everything behind it in focus. I sometimes put a line of masking tape on floor to give best results and instruct to stay behind it. Auto focus just leads to headaches. learn to shoot manual (which for a booth isn't hard) it will save you soooo much time
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