Back-Button Focus and How it Can Improve Your Photography

On this video photographer Tony Northrup takes a look at a simple tweak that you can do in a few seconds in your camera which can help improve your focusing considerably.

The idea behind back button focusing is simple. While most people use the shutter button for both focusing and shooting, there are photographers who find it useful to separate the two – focusing with a dedicated button at the rear of the camera and shooting with the regular button. The advantage according to Northrop (and others who use this method) is that you can focus quicker especially on moving subjects.

We have already covered the way autofocus technology works as well as given you some good focusing tips courtesy of photography Phil Steele  and even Northrup himself had a video covering this topic. We also had photographer Steve Perry’s video on Back-Button Focusing here on LensVid and he also highly recommends this method.

Update Bonus: In an interesting coincidence Canon just published this quick video on Back Button AF which according to Canon works on all EOS cameras

You can find  many more helpful photography tips and techniques on our Photography tips section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

1 comment

  1. This works for me because there’s an easy way to revert back, so when I need to hand over my camera to someone else to take a shot that I’m in, I can trust that they can get it right without giving them a photography lesson. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.