Al Servo / Single

The autofocus modes are divided into Al servo and Single shooting modes.

Single shooting mode
The shooting mode single is the first choice for static subjects. In correlation with the chosen focal area the photographer can decide precisely where the focus should lie. When the focus is detected, the set distance is stored and it is stored for as long as the shutter release is depressed. Only very few professional cameras are the exception as they may have a separate focus button. On these cameras the shutter release can be adjusted independently and is not connected to the focus. The single shooting mode is suitable for sport images or other lively occasions. Examples are events that are to take place at an already known distance (e.g. arriving at/crossing the finishing line). The advantage of this mode is that (in this type of subject scene) the camera takes the shot without much delay.

Al servo-autofocus
The al servo autofocus mode is generally used for sport photography. For this purpose it is often better to use multiple focal areas in order to achieve better focal area subject coverage. It can very difficult to follow e.g. a footballer with just one focal area. When more focal areas are activated, the active focal area “transfers“ the focus onto the surrounding focal areas if necessary. This mode can also be used to capture other (dynamic) subject scenes that would work well in single shooting mode but it is not possible to use it (e.g. due to lack of time).

Additionally, many SLR cameras have a focus operating mode that allows them to switch between both functions mentioned above when camera detects motion by the main subject.

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