Nikon® D5 Fast Start

Lesson 28/34 - Autofocus


Nikon® D5 Fast Start


Lesson Info


Next up in the menu is the tab for custom settings. And this is gonna allow us to tweak little tiny things that's gonna make you go, wow. Some people are really picky about how they like things. So first off, we have some setting banks for the custom menus like the previous photo banks that we saw earlier. There was the photo shooting banks, these are the custom setting banks. If you have many different ways that you tweak the settings on your camera, you can go in and you can have four different ways of memorizing those particular settings and locking them into A, B, C or D. This is broken into a number of smaller categories dealing with different parts of the camera. One of the things that you'll notice is that they are color-coded and if you make a change on a particular feature, there will be an asterisk by it that says that you have changed it from the default setting on the way the camera came from the manufacturer. So we're gonna start off with the Autofocus setting, and first u...

p is the AF-C priority selection. Let me get a drink of water, because this is a complicated one, folks. Okay, so normally when you're in the AF-C mode, the camera, I don't wanna say it doesn't care about focusing, but that's not the priority. Its main priority is to take the photo and it will try to focus whenever it can. So that's why most sports photographers leave this in the release mode. Now there is the option of focus plus release or release plus focus. And what this indicates is the difference between the first shot and the subsequent shots. So in the focus plus release option, the camera puts a greater emphasis on making sure that that first picture is in focus. Now this may mean that you're gonna miss the moment, because the camera's gonna work for that extra quarter second in order to achieve focus. And then after once it achieves the first one in focus, it'll fire as fast as it can. Now the release plus focus means you get that first shot exactly when you want it, and then it's gonna concentrate on getting focus a little bit better on subsequent shots. And then finally on the focus, probably the least common option is where it really prioritizes making sure things are in focus and it will slow down the motor drive rate. And so most photographers are just gonna leave this in the release mode, and if you're not getting enough shots in focus and you're willing to kind of cut back on the motor drive option to increase the in-focus shots, you may wanna try the focus plus release or the release plus focuses. So these are just fine-tune ways to control the priority that the camera has when it's getting into these fast action situations. Next up is the AF-S option, so when you're in the single mode, the camera will focus and that's the priority. And so this is the way most people have it. You could have it in the release, that's kind of an unusual set up for the camera, but in this case the camera will not actually fire the shutter until the camera is in focus. And so that's why most people usually leave that one to the focus mode. Focus tracking with lock on enables us to go in and tweak exactly how our camera focuses and switches and changes the focusing. So we have two different things going on, so let's take a look at some examples here. So the blocked shot autofocus response. We have the option of going either quicker or delayed. And another way to figure this out is do I wanna stay on my first subject? And so if you're focusing on the subject, do you want it to jump off of that subject to the new subject, or do you want it to stick on that same subject? And this really depends on what you're photographing and what your priorities are. You might wanna chose 1 for quick if you're trying to choose a race leader and you don't care about who you're focusing on, other than the person in first or the one closest to you. So at the finish line of a race and you wanna get whoever's first, that you want very quick. And in the delayed, you don't want it to jump off of your subject very quickly, if you are shooting something like tennis. Because what happens, is a ball becomes between you and your subject. Or a racket comes between you and your subject. In butterfly swimming, a lot of times you're going to be photographing the subject from in front of them, and there's gonna be all this water and this splashing going on in front of the athlete, and you don't want the camera to focus on that. And so that's why you would want the delay on that, so that it's not refocusing on that new subject. So it really depends on the type of subjects that you're shooting. To start with, in the middle at number three is probably a good choice for a lot of people. Subject motion. Are they moving very erratically, or very steady? And so how much does your speed of your subject change? And so if it's very erratic, you want to indicate that. If it's not erratic, you want to indicate that. And so think about subjects and how erratic their movement is. So very erratic movement would be basketball, football, and the long jump. The best example, I think, is the long jump. Think about it. A runner accelerates to the fastest speed that they can possibly run, they jump up in the air, and then they come to a perfectly good stop within 30 feet. And so that's a case where they're changing momentum dramatically in a very short time, so that would be very erratic movement. If your subjects are steadier, like auto racing or marathon running, then it's gonna be easier to track those subjects and having that at the steady would be the recommended setting for that. And so you may need to tweak this as you go from one sport to the next. And so that is focus tracking with lock on and the little tweaks that we can make. Next up, 3D tracking and face detection. So if you recall, one of the options on the focusing was to use the 3D system. Do you want the camera to look at face detection and add that into the formula? And for many people, if you're gonna be using this, that's gonna work out pretty well. Now some people don't like the 3D tracking system very much because it takes a lot of control out of their hands as to where it's choosing to focus. And so it's gonna be a little bit of a test That you're gonna need to put the camera through to see if it works for your type of photography. The 3D tracking watch area, you can either have it in the normal area that you have selected, or you can have it look outside that area into a larger area, which I like to know where it's tracking and what it's looking at, so I'm thinking that normal's gonna be better for most people. You have the choice of 55 points, but if you know that you only need a few of them, or you want to get more quickly from one point to the next, and this generally is what happens is somebody is in the middle or they wanna be way off to the side and they just want less clicks in order to get over there. You can reduce it down to 15 just to get to the important ones that you want to go to really quickly. Store by orientation is a really neat feature. If you were to select the right-hand focusing area and then rotate your camera vertically, those focusing points are now up in the top of the camera. If you store by orientation, you can choose a set of points over on one side, and then when you turn the camera vertically, you can choose a different set of points that maybe mimics that area. So it remembers which points you were choosing when you had the camera either vertical or horizontal. And I found that really helpful for getting similar types of composition, even though I'm shooting horizontal or I'm maybe shooting vertical with the camera. And so I really like being able to do the focus point and mode separately for horizontal and vertical here. All right, for all you fans of back-button focusing, this is where you turn off the autofocus activation of the shutter release. So if you want to do back-button focusing, set your camera to AF on, here on A8. And that way you can focus by pressing the back button and you can shoot pictures without focusing with the shutter release. Now if you do select AF on, you do have the option of enabling or disabling out of focus release and so if you choose enable here, in this case, let me read this again. Out of focus release. And so you can disable your camera from even firing if your camera is not in focus. So it's forcing you to make sure it's in focus. I would not have this enabled just because it's gonna limit where and when you can shoot in most situations. Limit the AF area mode selection. So here are all the different ways in which you can focus the areas that you can choose. If you know that you don't use one of those and you're tired of passing by it and having to click past it when you never ever ever use it, you can just uncheck that box and you won't have that option as you're working with the camera on a regular basis. Same thing with the mode restrictions. If you know you don't use one of those modes, you could restrict it so that you can't accidentally even set the camera incorrectly. Focus point wrap-around, I think is a cool little item here. So we have all these focusing points, and if you can imagine you're way off to the right hand side and you decide I'd like to be way over to the left hand side, what do you have to do? Well, you gotta go click click click click click click all the way over to the left hand side. Or, if you have Wrap turned on, you could go to the right and it wraps around the time-space continuum all the way to the left hand side without you having to click repeatedly to get over there. So it doesn't really hurt anything and it does go from the top to bottom and the bottom to top. So it just allows you to get someplace different with less clicks. Under Focus point options, we get ourselves into another sub-menu of different choices. First option is do you want to be able to see those focusing points when you are manually focusing? And I like to have them turned on because there is an indicator in the viewfinder that lets you know when you have manually focused correctly. And it's nice to know where it's looking and confirming that yes, that's exactly what I'm trying to focus on. If you don't like it, you can turn it off. The Dynamic-area AF assist simply has a slightly different display, and this is when you are choosing a focusing point and it's looking in the surrounding neighboring area for help if it doesn't do a good job with the main point. And so it's kinda nice just to see where those are, and they're pretty small dots so they don't get in the way. But if you don't like them, you can turn them off. The Group-area AF display just simply has the choice between either dots or boxes, whatever your preference is there. Focus point illumination. If it's bright out, it's gonna show you the boxes that you're focusing on in black. But if it's dark out, it's gonna switch over to red, so it automatically switches back and forth between black and red, whatever is the easiest to see in that type of lighting conditions. If you didn't like those red boxes, you could turn that off, or if you liked them a lot, you could turn them on all the time. So that's just kind of a personal choice in the way you want those to work. But I think auto works pretty good for most people. All right, if you have one of the particular lenses that you can adjust the focusing ring on, this is not available on all rings, but you could choose that focusing ring to turn the other direction. And something for you long-time Nikon users, you may not know about if you used Nikon your whole life. With the photo and video industry, Nikon is the one company whose lenses all focus backwards. And so when people work on a movie industry and they're using all these different lenses and then they pick up a Nikon lens, they're like, this goes the wrong direction when you turn it to infinity. And so if you want to change that because it's just awkward to you, you can go in and change it, but it is limited only on some of the lenses, it's usually their bigger telephoto lenses that you can do that on.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But dense technical manuals make for a terrible first date. Get the most out of your new Nikon D5 camera with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. 

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this Fast Start class, you’ll learn:

  • How to use the new 53 point AF system
  • How to understand and use the autofocus system for great photos
  • How to incorporate video into your shooting using the 4K advanced video capabilities.
John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This Fast Start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Nikon D5's settings to work for your style of photography.


Michelle Mealing

As usual, John Greengo has provided me with a wealth of information, this time to decide on my next Nikon camera purchase. John has a talent for explaining technical aspects in a simply to understand, yet intelligent, language. I feel very lucky to be able to tap into the knowledge of such experts and thank the day I found out about Creative Live. Unfortunately I had to miss a little part of the live broadcast due to international time differences. I will definitely be watching the class again and again (there's so much content). Thanks John and Creative Live. Looking forward to my next class.

a Creativelive Student

Already set the Fn3 button for Voice Memo - easy peasy thanks to this and so many other "buried" ( in the manual ) treasures. Notwithstanding three years with the D4 and one year with the D5, I am substantially more familiar and comfortable with the available tools / features of this amazing camera, Nikon's D5. Thank you, John, for the relaxed, easy-to-follow yet informative, professional instruction - well done!

Silvio Mayorga

The course is quite comprehensive and helpful. It is a great course. Good guidelines to arrange camera set up.