litle girl dressed in a mustart cardigan and blue dress sat on a tree stump surrounded by bluebells
Baby peeping through autumn leaves on a tree
Camera focus spot sitting over the face of a lady

When you look through the viewfinder, you may only

see one focus spot visible

It's a great way to get really creative with your photography whilst still benefiting from the accuracy of auto focusing. But beware, not all cameras offer all these options.

girl sat in bluebells

As the name suggests, this is where the camera lets you select a single focus spot. You can use the arrow buttons/joystick on the back of your camera to toggle the spot to exactly where you want it!

Great for: PrecIsion focusing

Bad for: fast moving subjects

Boy sliding down a slide in a bright yellow jumper which matches the slide's yellow legs

Imagine the focus spot I've just mentioned had a group of nine additional spots around it giving you a wider area of focus! This is great for kids on the move as you've got a far better chance of gaining focus.

This option lets you select what your camera focuses on then the camera will track that item as it moves! This is a brilliant option for fast moving children or dogs!

Best for: TRACKING movement



This option lets you select a larger focus area, known as a Zone. The size and shape of the zone will vary from camera-to-camera but you can basically place the zone where you want the focus to fall. The camera will then select something to focus on within the focus zone.

Kids get into sport as they join Kids Run Free

Imagine you have several children running towards you and don't know which one to focus on! This option will automatically focus on whatever comes into focus first! Handy hey?

Best for: UnpredicTable shots and shooting from the hip

Bad for: Precise shots where you want to control where the focus lands

Boy walking in a stream in yellow wellies

This is mainly available on more modern cameras. The camera will try to detect and focus on a face and/or eyes. The only problem is if you're not photographing their face (ie close up of the wellies jumping in the river) or they run away from you so you can't see their face!


OK, so we've discussed focus modes (subject is moving/not moving)

and focus areas (where we ask the camera to focus).

Now it's time to look at metering for the available light!