Back to Basics: Focusing Tutorial

Canon recently released a series of video tutorials on different photographic topics – one of them deals with focusing which we bring to you today.

This series is a bit more basic than some of the previous ones Canon published but for beginners (in this case mostly video beginners) it might be a good idea. The big question that this video tries to answer is how to maintain focus with a shallow depth of field. Now Canon does have the very capable dual pixel AF technology but in many situations you might still want to use manual focus for precise control.

First you need to consider your aperture – the closer your aperture is (the larger the f-number is) the easier it will be to focus because more area of your image will be in focus (more slices of your visible image basically in front of your camera). Focal length also plays a part – the longer your focal length the less area you will have in focus (it also has to do with how close you are to the subject and how distant it is from the background).

You can try and use your finger as a follow focus aid (although you can get an inexpensive one instead if you need to). Remember that in many lenses you can spin the focus ring past infinity which will not give you accurate results.

Finally – there are things that can help you with focusing – either magnifiers for your viewfinder or more for DSLRs monitors (which for example can give you 1:1 magnification which is super helpful for checking focus).

You can find many more Canon EOS HD Video Tutorials on our special section.

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.

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