Beginner Stick to one AF mode, or choose for the situation?

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Name
Conan
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#1
Hey people, had another day enjoying using my camera, and was delving into the settings.

I realise for focus mode the difference between settings, and tend to stick with AF-A, sometimes using AF-S if needs be.

However, when it comes to the viewfinder AF-area mode I am unsure what to use. For a long time, I had set the camera (D3500) to single point AF, and chose the focus point I wanted to use with the button wheel.

I did some reading, and tried the other modes. I found the Dynamic area AF to seem no different to single point, but the 3D tracking (11points) I can see if I focus on say the middle point, and either move the camera or the subject does, it flashes red at the point I originally focused to keep focus there.
Auto area AF I do not see the need for, as it seems to select multiple points of focus- I may be misunderstanding the idea behind it, but selecting where I want to focus seems intuitive, whereas the camera choosing random points seems, well, random.

I guess that the 3D tracking may be best for me to use as it does this, but wondered if there are any drawbacks to this? Should I choose the mode depending on the situation, and if so, what situation would single point be of benefit over 3D tracking?
 
Messages
1,211
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
Af area to suit the situation really, I generally rate them in my own level of success or hit rate. (I’m not sure which of these you have on yours but I expect something similar)

Single normally gives the best/highest keeper rate.

But if it’s tricky or moving fast with decent contrast (white bird with green background or red bike with tarmac background etc) you could/try 3D tracking I do find anything other than single a little hit and miss sometimes.

But they all do a job to some degree, so use what’s best for that situation, generally single point but as above with enough contrast the camera will do a pretty decent job of choosing the right AF point.
 
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