Canon EOS 60D Set Your Autofocus

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It’s important to understand how to use all of the different autofocus modes on your 60D in order to increase your chances of producing sharp, well-focused images. Here are the descriptions of each of the autofocus modes:

  • One Shot: Use this setting to focus on a subject that is not moving, like a person posing for a portrait.
  • AI Focus: Use this feature to focus on something that is not moving, and the focusing system will track the subject if it starts to move (pets or small children, for example).
  • AI Servo: Use this setting for subjects that are in motion. The focusing system will track the subject that falls in the focus area.

The AF-ON button will set focus without activating the shutter.

There are two ways to prompt your 60D camera to focus. The first is by pressing the Shutter button down halfway, just enough to activate the camera and the focusing system but not enough to actually take a photo. You can also use the AF-ON button on the back of the camera to set focus without worrying about accidentally tripping the shutter (Figure 1.6). With the One Shot focus mode, once you’ve set your focus, that focus point will remain the same as long as you hold
down your Shutter button (regardless of where you point the camera). However, half-pressing the Shutter button (or pressing the AF-ON button) while using the AI Servo mode will tell the camera to keep searching for something to focus on and will continuously find a new focus point.


The AF mode button, located above the top LCD Panel.

Next, you’ll decide where you want your camera to find the focus in the viewfinder. The 60D allows you to choose one of nine AF points and also to set automatic selection so that the camera determines the area of focus for you. Note that the manual AF point selection is available only when shooting in the Advanced shooting modes; when you are in any of the Basic shooting modes, the camera chooses the focus point for you.


The AF point selection button.

  1. Wake the camera (if necessary) by lightly pressing the Shutter button.
  2. Press the AF point selection button, located on the upper-right part of the back of your camera (Figure 1.8). Then, while looking through the viewfinder, use any of the dials to change and select your focus point. When all points are red, then the camera is in automatic selection. To control the focus, be sure to set it so only one red dot is showing in the area you want to set focus on.

You can also change the focus area by using the Quick Control screen. Just press the Q button on the back of the camera and select the focus area at the bottom of the LCD Monitor (A). Then use the Multi-Controller to select one of the nine focus points (B). To set it to automatic selection, just keep scrolling through until all of the points are selected.

LCD Monitor (A). Then use the Multi-Controller to select one of the nine focus points (B)


If you find that the autofocus system won’t find your image, it’s really easy to switch over to manual focusing. On each lens there is a switch; just change it from AF (autofocus) to MF (manual focus) and use the focus ring to adjust focus by hand (Figure 1.9). If you half-press your Shutter button during manual focusing, just as you would if you were  autofocusing, and you are focusing in the same area as the autofocus point, then you will hear a beep when the camera senses the image is in focus.

You can set the focusing mode on your lens to switch from autofocus to manual focus.


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