10 surefire ways to get your sharpest-ever photos

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10 best focusing techniques

One of the first rules of photography is that the subject should be pin-sharp. Most modern digital cameras offer a number of ways of achieving sharp photos, and in this post we’re going to look at the most important digital camera focus techniques and the best settings to use. We’ll look at how to select the AF point and which focus mode to use.

Tip 1. Manual focus

Although nearly all modern digital cameras can focus the lens automatically (the Leica M9, Leica M9-P and Leica Monochrom being notable exceptions) they also allow you to focus manually instead.

Manual focus is a particularly good option with macro photography because many cameras struggle to lock onto very close subjects and the lens ends up hunting (moving in and out of focus) every time the shutter release button is depressed.

It’s far less frustrating to switch the camera (or the lens) to manual focus and do the job yourself.

What’s more, Live View technology makes manual focusing very easy because it is usually possible to enlarge the image on the screen so that you can see the precise spot that you are interested in, and then adjust the focus until it is perfectly sharp.

Tip 2. Single shot autofocus

Often abbreviated to single autofocus or single AF, this camera focus option sets your camera to focus when the shutter release is depressed half-way and to keep the lens focused on the selected subject until the shot is taken and the button is released.

If you need to refocus you have to lift your finger off the shutter button and then depress it a second time.

Single focus mode is useful for static subjects such as still life and landscapes.

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