Chapter 4: Getting Sharp Focus

For any photographer upgrading from the Canon EOS 5D Mark II to the Canon EOS 6D, one of the top items on the wish list is an upgraded autofocus system. That upgrade has arrived with the 6D. The all-new 11-point autofocus system is fast, accurate, and robust. The 6D’s centered cross-type autofocus (AF) point has a first-of-its-kind –3 EV (Exposure Values) sensitivity, giving it the best low-light focusing performance available in a full-frame dSLR as of this writing. This is sure to be a huge boon for night and event shooters.

Canon’s engineering team designed an autofocus system that is simple to use, versatile, and customizable. Custom Functions are easily accessible from one menu tab, and include clear descriptions of what they do. This chapter will help you understand the autofocus system’s features and capabilities.


Achieving tack-sharp focus is a basic requirement for most successful images. Exposure: ISO 100, f/11, 1/125 second with a Canon 28-70mm f/2.8L USM.

Understanding the Autofocus System

It’s important to know that sharp focus ultimately involves three factors: the resolving power of the lens, the resolution of the sensor, and the resolution of the printer or monitor. Printing is beyond the scope of this book, and I assume that you’re using high-quality lenses. That leaves one remaining factor: the sensor and internal autofocus ...

Get Canon EOS 6D Digital Field Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.