Fact: photographers rely on autofocus. Even though cameras have the ability to manually focus, many have probably never even tried it. And with that, new methods have appeared that help your camera autofocus better. The LUMIX S5II got a really big assist with that ina recent firmware update. Additionally, it’s also got even more assistance tools that made the focusing abilities of the camera so much better. Have you ever heard of AF-Scope? If you haven’t, you’re going to wish that your camera had it.
This article is presented in partnership with LUMIX.
The LUMIX S5II gets the new AF-Scope function via the latest firmware update. This helps you fine-tune the camera’s autofocus on the fly. It’s great for really challenging lighting or when you want to get the shot on a specific subject without changing the focusing point types. By default, I leave my camera in 1-area + mode or 1-area and in AF-C mode. That’s where the phase detection autofocus really kicks in. But sometimes, you need to fine-tune that focus. And that’s where the AF-scope function really comes in.
Essentially, you can now use the LUMIX S5II in AF-C mode and then fine-tune the autofocus using the pinpoint focusing mode. Pinpoint is otherwise only available in AF-S mode — but now you’ve got the option to use it in AF-C.
I tend to use the front shutter button to both shoot and autofocus my LUMIX S5II. Then, when I want to touch up the autofocus, I press the AF-On button on the back. I’ve configured that button to do the scope function. When you use it, the scene becomes really magnified in on the smallest of autofocus points. The camera will then find where you’re trying to focus, but you can also give it an assist using the standard autofocus button — in this case, the front shutter button.
There’s several times when this will be useful: product photography, portrait photography when getting the eyes in focus is important, product photography, food photography, and even photographing birds in trees. It’s especially useful when those birds are obfuscated by branches and leaves. But perhaps most photographers will use it when shooting in very low light without AF-lamp assistance.
Just note that this is a slower method, but it also means that you’re going to get that super small detail in focus even in challenging lighting. And for a lot of photographers, getting the shot is the most important thing. Afterall, the LUMIX S5II already has everything else. You can get exactly the image quality you want with the Real Time LUT feature. There’s fantastic ergonomics with buttons right where you need them and small touches like the bumps on the ISO button. The viewfinder is also really great for seeing important details when needed.
Perhaps some of the photographers who will really love the AF-scope feature are astrophotographers. And when combined with the Live Composite mode to get the focusing right in the first place, you’ll be really happy that your stars are so beautifully sharp.