The Hidden Focus Control Button Of The D7000

Having moved from a Nikon D300 to a D7000, I thought that things would be pretty much streamlined and I (hate to admit) that I did not read the manual.

The Hidden Focus Control Button Of The D7000

I usually do read manuals, but the transition felt so smooth, that I did not feel the need to go over it. HA!

After playing with the camera a bit, I noticed that I can not change the way the focus behaved on the D7000. The way that the focus works out of the box, is that the camera and smart sensor tries to guess what you want to focus on by combining parameters like size and proximity and sets the relevant focus points.

95% of the time, this works great. But for the extra 5% where you want just a bit more creative control, toughs! That engineer in Nikon is taking that creative decision for you. So I wanted to go back to the way I worked with the D300 and have the dial on the back select the relevant focus point.

I think I hit every button and every dial and every menu setting without figuring how to actually change the focus to behave the way I want. No Luck.

Back To RTFM

The solution was right here on page 94 of my D7000 manual. And was actually an interesting read, as Nikon both added a new focus mode (AF-A) and totally left the focus control button unmarked on the body.

It turned out to be easier than I thought. by pressing the button in the middle of the focus selector and moving it from auto to any of the other modes (I am currently using 3D) you get control over your focus point again.

It turns out that this little button (with the back dial) controls the focus mode for the D7000. You can select from:

  • AF-S which works great for still objects – you focus and then click.
  • AF-C which works great for moving objects – You focus and camera keeps refocusing if subject moves.
  • AF-A (a new one) camera gets to decide between AF-C and AF-S per shot.

I guess that just like in my engineering days, there is no way around RTFM.

Ever had a missing feature that you could only retrieve via the manual?

  • Rod Salm

    Lord help me this tiny article helped out in a major way. I couldn’t get the auto-focus to do what I wanted to, it was on AF-S, and I was shooting kids. ARGH! Thank you.