Autofocus is great for most occasions, but there are times where no matter how many times you have pressed that shutter button, it just can't focus on your subject.
For those times, manual focus is the best option.
It is a little intimidating at first, and it will take you some getting used to, but, once you get the hang of it you'll have much more control over your photos.
Say you're shooting a small object up close.
This is one of those times when auto focus, especially on an introductory lens, can have a hard time finding your subject.
First, flip your lens to manual focus mode.
Then, find your focus ring which is different from your zoom ring.
This is what you'll use to focus in on your subject.
Some advanced or studio photographers will actually use careful measurements to focus on their subjects but when you're out and about, you'll need to eyeball it.
Once you're in manual focus mode, turn the ring until your subject comes into focus.
But, before you snap the photo, check the focus by using your camera's magnifying tool.
While you're in live view mode, press it to zoom, check your focus, and tap it again to exit back to the regular view.
When your subject is in focus, hold steady and hit the shutter.
Besides closeups, there are a few other occasions where manual focus is the better option.
For instance, if you're trying to shoot a subject in a busy scene or one with lots of similar objects.
The camera might have a hard time identifying exactly which one you're trying to shoot.
So, use manual focus.
Another common one is low light.
If your lense has a smaller aperture, it's going to be difficult to autofocus in dimly lit scenes.
So, switch to manual focus and be sure to hold the camera really steady when you get your shot.
Finally, if you're shooting landscape, autofocus will often find something in the foreground, leaving the rest of the scenery blurred.
In this case, focus on something far in the distance while you're in autofocus mode.
Then lock that focus by switching to manual before snapping your photo.
Focusing manually might take you a little bit longer at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll master it in no time.
If you have any questions or DSLR tips of your own, hit me up on Twitter and check out cnet.com/how-to for more tips like this.
For CNet I'm Sharon Profis.
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