Get the Fastest Autofocus Camera Performance Easily

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There’s a problem. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we champion our build quality tests so much. Over time, your mirrorless camera or DSLR will have its autofocus performance degrade. There could be a combination of issues that cause this. But the biggest one we’ve found is directly related to the build quality of a camera. We’ve often found that the higher the build quality, the fewer issues a camera has with autofocus. With that said, we’re going to share the trick to always get the fastest autofocus camera performance possiblle. And we guarantee that you’re probably not doing this!

Clean the Lens and Camera Contacts

This is a huge player. First off, if you have a weather-resistant or weather-sealed camera, make sure that you also have a weather-sealed lens. More importantly, check the rubber gasket at the mount. This is a huge factor for getting the fastest autofocus camera performance. Over time, little bits of dirt, grime, and debris get in there and affects the contacts, which affects lens and camera communication. You need to clean it out. We suggest using Isopropyl alcohol. It’s the best way to ensure you get the fastest autofocus camera performance. Use a cotton swab or a makeup swab to apply it. 

“So why would you go about cleaning the contacts of your lenses? You’d be amazed what it can do. If suddenly you start finding the autofocus of your camera to be sluggish, then part of it could have to do with the contacts. Cleaning the contacts removes dirt, grime, dust, and anything else that can hinder the communication between the camera and the lens. With isopropyl alcohol, just use the cotton swab dipped in the alcohol and rub it into the contacts. That should take away any sort of dirt blocking the full communication.”

This tutorial

Using a Third Party Lens

Generally speaking, third-party lenses get a lot wrong. Some brands don’t work directly with the camera manufacturer. So instead, they reverse engineer the system to autofocus with it. Sigma is a brand that often complains about this. Some brands are better at it though. Tamron, for example, is partially owned by Sony. To that end, they share autofocus algorithm information a bit better. 

But this is one of the best reasons to get a first-party lens. I know for a fact that I’ve seen this with Samyang lenses on Canon RF bodies.

Update the Firmware

Sometimes all you need to do is update the firmware on the camera. I’ve been steadily amazed at how much cameras improve when you do that. To name a few, let’s start with the Canon EOS R. When it first launched, the autofocus was just okay. But after a few firmware updates, it becomes supercharged. Indeed, that’s how you get the fastest autofocus camera performance in this case. This happened a lot with Nikon, Leica, and Panasonic too. Trust us. Make sure you’ve got the latest firmware and you’ll be amazed.

Tweak the Performance in the Autofocus Settings

In your camera’s menu system, you can tweak how the autofocus works. In this case, it’s best to deep dive into the autofocus settings. You can generally tweak things like sensitivity and accuracy there. Some cameras even have autofocus profiles to help you adapt to a situation better. Of course, photographing a client in a studio isn’t the same as tracking a person running on a track.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.