Tired of missing the shot when there’s fast-moving action? Set your camera up for success with this top five Sony autofocus settings for moving subjects!

Photographing moving subjects

An animal, a human, a car … They don’t always take the time to strike a pose! In order to increase our chances of success (aka having photos in focus), we must use the right settings. Here are the ones that I use for 95% of my photoshoots (with my Sony cameras) to help me successfully track moving subjects.

Sony setting focus area tracking

Setting #1: Tracking Focus Area

Enable tracking so that the autofocus efficiently follows the subject. (My go-to setting is Tracking: Flexible Spot S.)

Sony setting AF Tracking Sens

Setting #2: AF Tracking Sensibility

Options range from 1–5 (1 being locked on the subject and 5 being extremely responsive). I suggest level 1 (Locked on) for action portraiture so the autofocus keeps on tracking the subject without stalling if a distracting element passes in front or behind it.

Sony autofocus Face/Eye AF Set

Setting #3: Face/Eye AF Set

Activate face priority mode by selecting: Face/Eye AF Set. -> ON. This setting allows the autofocus to find the face and eyes near the focus point. (A must-have that definitely makes my life a lot easier!)

Sony autofocus AF shutter

Setting #4: Back Button focus (optional)

The “Back Button” separates the focus from the shutter. The focus is then done with the thumb! To activate the back button function, program one of the customizable buttons (e.g. AF-ON and/or AEL) to focus. Then, disable the focus from the shutter in the menu with: AF w/ shutter -> Off.

Sony autofocus burst mode

Setting #5: Burst mode

Even though I don’t shoot in burst on a regular basis, having the setting ready for any eventuality allows me to use it when an opportunity arises. To activate either burst mode (L, M, or H), turn the left hand dial on the top of the camera. I particularly like the “M” option with 10 frames per second.

Autofocus: On point!

The combination of these five autofocus settings will make sure to set your Sony camera up for success to track all your moving subjects! Try it out on your next photoshoot and share your thoughts in the comments!