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Autofocus

FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Anautofocus(orAF)opticalsystemusesasensor,acontrolsystemandamotorortunableoptical

elementtofocusfullyautomaticoronamanuallyselectedpointorarea.Anelectronicrangefinderhasa

displayinsteadofthemotor;theadjustmentoftheopticalsystemhastobedonemanuallyuntil

indication.Autofocusmethodsaredistinguishedbytheirtypeasactive,passiveorhybridvariants.

Contents

1GeneralContents 2History 3Active 4Passive 4.1Phasedetection 4.2Contrastdetection 4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus

2HistoryContents 1General 3Active 4Passive 4.1Phasedetection 4.2Contrastdetection 4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus

3ActiveContents 1General 2History 4Passive 4.1Phasedetection 4.2Contrastdetection 4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus

4PassiveContents 1General 2History 3Active 4.1Phasedetection 4.2Contrastdetection 4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus

4.1PhasedetectionContents 1General 2History 3Active 4Passive 4.2Contrastdetection 4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus

4.2ContrastdetectionContents 1General 2History 3Active 4Passive 4.1Phasedetection 4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus

4.3Assistlamp3Active 4Passive 4.1Phasedetection 4.2Contrastdetection 5Hybridautofocus 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems

5Hybridautofocus4.1Phasedetection 4.2Contrastdetection 4.3Assistlamp 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems 7Trapfocus 7.1AIservo

6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems

7Trapfocus4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems 7.1AIservo 8Seealso 9References 10Externallinks

7.1AIservo4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems 7Trapfocus 8Seealso 9References 10Externallinks

8Seealso4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems 7Trapfocus 7.1AIservo 9References 10Externallinks

9References4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems 7Trapfocus 7.1AIservo 8Seealso 10Externallinks

10Externallinks4.3Assistlamp 5Hybridautofocus 6Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems 7Trapfocus 7.1AIservo 8Seealso 9References

General

Autofocussystemsrelyononeormoresensorstodeterminecorrectfocus.SomeAFsystemsrelyona

singlesensor,whileothersuseanarrayofsensors.MostmodernSLRcamerasusethrough­the­lens

opticalAFsensors,withaseparatesensorarrayprovidinglightmetering,althoughthelattercanbe

programmedtoprioritizeitsmeteringtothesameareaasoneormoreoftheAFsensors.

Through­the­lensopticalautofocusingisnowoftenspeedierandmoreprecisethancanbeachieved manuallywithanordinaryviewfinder,althoughmoreprecisemanualfocuscanbeachievedwithspecial

accessoriessuchasfocusingmagnifiers.Autofocusaccuracywithin1/3ofthedepthoffield(DOF)at

thewidestapertureofthelensisnotuncommoninprofessionalAFSLRcameras.

Mostmulti­sensorAFcamerasallowmanualselectionoftheactivesensor,andmanyofferautomatic

selectionofthesensorusingalgorithmswhichattempttodiscernthelocationofthesubject.SomeAF

camerasareabletodetectwhetherthesubjectismovingtowardsorawayfromthecamera,including

speedandaccelerationdata,andkeepfocusonthesubject — afunctionusedmainlyinsportsandother

actionphotography;onCanoncamerasthisisknownasAIservo,whileonNikoncamerasitisknown

as"continuousfocus".

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ThedatacollectedfromAFsensorsisusedtocontrolanelectromechanicalsystemthatadjuststhefocus

oftheopticalsystem.Avariationofautofocusisanelectronicrangefinder,asysteminwhichfocusdata

areprovidedtotheoperator,butadjustmentoftheopticalsystemisstillperformedmanually.

ThespeedoftheAFsystemishighlydependentonthemaximumapertureofferedbythelens.F­stops

ofaroundf/2tof/2.8aregenerallyconsideredoptimalintermsoffocusingspeedandaccuracy.Faster

lensesthanthis(e.g.:f/1.4orf/1.8)typicallyhaveverylowdepthoffield,meaningthatittakeslonger

toachievecorrectfocus,despitetheincreasedamountoflight.

Mostconsumercamerasystemswillonlyautofocusreliablywithlensesthathaveamaximumaperture

ofatleastf/5.6,whileprofessionalmodelscanoftencopewithlensesthathaveamaximumapertureof

f/8,whichisparticularlyusefulforlensesusedinconjunctionwithteleconverters.

History

Between1960and1973,Leitz(Leica) [1] patentedanarrayofautofocusandcorrespondingsensor

technologies.Atphotokina1976,Leicahadpresentedacamerabasedontheirpreviousdevelopment,

namedCorrefot,andin1978theydisplayedanSLRcamerawithfullyoperationalautofocus.Thefirst

mass­producedautofocuscamerawastheKonicaC35AF,asimplepointandshootmodelreleasedin

1977.ThePolaroidSX­70SonarOneStepwasthefirstautofocussingle­lensreflexcamera,releasedin

1978.ThePentaxME­F,whichusedfocussensorsinthecamerabodycoupledwithamotorizedlens,

becamethefirstautofocus35mmSLRin1981.In1983NikonreleasedtheF3AF,theirfirstautofocus

camera,whichwasbasedonasimilarconcepttotheME­F.TheMinolta7000,releasedin1985,wasthe

firstSLRwithanintegratedautofocussystem,meaningboththeAFsensorsandthedrivemotorwere housedinthecamerabody,aswellasanintegratedfilmadvancewinder—whichwastobecomethe

standardconfigurationforSLRcamerasfromthismanufacturer,andalsoNikonabandonedtheirF3AF

systemandintegratedtheautofocus­motorandsensorsinthebody.Canon,however,electedtodevelop

theirEOSsystemwithmotorisedlensesinstead.In1992,Nikonchangedbacktolensintegratedmotors

withtheirAF­IandAF­Srangeoflenses;todaytheirentry­levelDSLRsdonothaveafocusmotorin

thebodyduetoabroadrangeofavailablelenses.

Active

ActiveAFsystemsmeasuredistancetothesubjectindependentlyoftheopticalsystem,and

subsequentlyadjusttheopticalsystemforcorrectfocus.

Therearevariouswaystomeasuredistance,includingultrasonicsoundwavesandinfraredlight.Inthe firstcase,soundwavesareemittedfromthecamera,andbymeasuringthedelayintheirreflection,

distancetothesubjectiscalculated.PolaroidcamerasincludingtheSpectraandSX­70wereknownfor

successfullyapplyingthissystem.Inthelattercase,infraredlightisusuallyusedtotriangulatethe

distancetothesubject.CompactcamerasincludingtheNikon35TiQDand28TiQD,theCanonAF35M,

andtheContaxT2andT3,aswellasearlyvideocameras,usedthissystem.

Anexceptiontothetwo­stepapproachisthemechanicalautofocusprovidedinsomeenlargers,which

adjustthelensdirectly.

Passive

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PassiveAFsystemsdeterminecorrectfocusbyperformingpassiveanalysisoftheimagethatisentering

theopticalsystem.Theygenerallydonotdirectanyenergy,suchasultrasonicsoundorinfraredlight

waves,towardthesubject.(However,anautofocusassistbeamofusuallyinfraredlightisrequiredwhen

thereisnotenoughlighttotakepassivemeasurements.)Passiveautofocusingcanbeachievedbyphase

detectionorcontrastmeasurement.

Phasedetection

Phasedetection(PD)isachievedbydividingtheincominglightintopairsofimagesandcomparing them.Throughthelenssecondaryimageregistration(TTLSIR)passivephasedetectionisoftenusedin filmanddigitalSLRcameras.Thesystemusesabeamsplitter(implementedasasmallsemi­transparent areaofthemainreflexmirror,coupledwithasmallsecondarymirror)todirectlighttoanAFsensorat thebottomofthecamera.Twomicro­lensescapturethelightrayscomingfromtheoppositesidesofthe lensanddivertittotheAFsensor,creatingasimplerangefinderwithabasewithinthelens'sdiameter. Thetwoimagesarethenanalysedforsimilarlightintensitypatterns(peaksandvalleys)andthe separationerroriscalculatedinordertofindiftheobjectisinfrontfocusorbackfocusposition.This givesthedirectionandanestimateoftherequiredamountoffocusringmovement. [2]

PDAFinacontinuouslyfocusingmode(e.g."AIServo"forCanon,"AF­C"forNikon,Pentaxand Sony)isaclosed­loopcontrolprocess.PDAFinafocus­lockingmode(e.g."One­Shot"forCanon, "AF­S"forNikonandSony)iswidelybelievedtobea"onemeasurement,onemovement"open­loop controlprocess,butfocusisconfirmedonlywhentheAFsensorseesanin­focussubject.Theonly apparentdifferencesbetweenthetwomodesarethatafocus­lockingmodehaltsonfocusconfirmation, andacontinuouslyfocusingmodehaspredictiveelementstoworkwithmovingtargets,whichsuggests theyarethesameclosed­loopprocess. [3]

AlthoughAFsensorsaretypicallyone­dimensionalphotosensitivestrips(onlyafewpixelshighanda

fewdozenwide),somemoderncameras(CanonEOS­1V,CanonEOS­1D,NikonD2X)featureTTL

areaSIRsensorsthatarerectangularinshapeandprovidetwo­dimensionalintensitypatternsforafiner­

grainanalysis.Cross­typefocuspointshaveapairofsensorsorientedat90°tooneanother,although

onesensortypicallyrequiresalargeraperturetooperatethantheother.

onlyactivewith'fastlenses'withcertaingeometricalapertures(typicallyF­number2.8andfaster).

Extendedprecisioncomesfromthewidereffectivemeasurementbaseofthe'rangefinder'.

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Phasedetectionsystem:7­Opticalsystemforfocus detection;8­Imagesensor;30­Planeofthevicinity

Phasedetectionsystem:7­Opticalsystemforfocus

detection;8­Imagesensor;30­Planeofthevicinity

oftheexitpupiloftheopticalsystemforphotography;

31,32­Pairofregions;70­Window;71­Visual

fieldmask;72­Condenserlens;73,74­Pairof

apertures;75­Aperturemask;76,77­Pairof

reconverginglenses;80,81­Pairoflightreceiving

sections;

Contrastdetection

Contrastdetectionautofocusisachievedbymeasuringcontrastwithina

sensorfield,throughthelens.Theintensitydifferencebetweenadjacent

pixelsofthesensornaturallyincreaseswithcorrectimagefocus.The

opticalsystemcantherebybeadjusteduntilthemaximumcontrastis

detected.Inthismethod,AFdoesnotinvolveactualdistance

measurementatall.Thiscreatessignificantchallengeswhentracking

movingsubjects,sincealossofcontrastgivesnoindicationofthe

directionofmotiontowardsorawayfromthecamera.

Asitdoesnotuseaseparatesensor,contrast­detectautofocuscanalsobe

moreflexibleandpotentiallymoreaccurate.Thisisacommonmethodin

videocamerasanddigitalcamerasthatlackshuttersandreflexmirrors.

MostDSLRsusethismethod(orahybridofbothcontrastandphase

autofocus,althoughphasedetectisavailableonsomemodels,giving

themsignificantlybetterAFtrackingperformance.

Contrastdetectionplacesdifferentconstraintsonlensdesignwhen

comparedwithphasedetection.Whilephasedetectionrequiresthelens

tomoveitsfocuspointquicklyanddirectlytoanewposition,contrast

detectionautofocusinsteademployslenseswhichcanquicklysweep

throughthefocalrange,stoppingpreciselyatthepointwheremaximum

contrastisdetected.Thismeansthatlensesdesignedforphasedetection

oftenperformpoorlyoncamerabodieswhichusecontrastdetection.

Assistlamp

Phasedetection Ineachfigure(nottoscale), thepurplecirclerepresents theobjecttobefocusedon, theredandgreenlines

Phasedetection

Ineachfigure(nottoscale),

thepurplecirclerepresents

theobjecttobefocusedon,

theredandgreenlines

representlightrayspassing

throughaperturesatthe

oppositesidesofthelens,the

yellowrectanglerepresents

sensorarrays(oneforeach

aperture),andthegraph

representstheintensity

profileasseenbyeach

sensorarray.

Figures1to4represent

conditionswherethelensis

focused(1)toonear,(2)

correctly,(3)toofarand(4)

muchtoofar.Thephase

differencebetweenthetwo

profilescanbeusedto

determinewhichdirection

andhowmuchtomovethe

lenstoachieveoptimal

focus.

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Theassistlight(alsoknownasAFilluminator)"activates"passiveautofocussystemsinlow­lightand

low­contrastsituationsinsomecameras.ThelampprojectsvisibleorIRlightontothesubject,whichthe

camera'sautofocussystemusestoachievefocus.Manycamerasthatdonothaveadedicatedautofocus

assistlampinsteadusetheirbuilt­inflash,illuminatingthesubjectwithstroboscopicburstsoflight.The

strobeburstsaidtheautofocussysteminthesamefashionasadedicatedassistlight,buthavethe

disadvantageofstartlingorannoyinglivingsubjects.Anotherdisadvantageisthatifthecamerauses

flashfocusassistandissettoanoperationmodethatoverridestheflash,itmayalsodisablethefocus

assistandautofocusmayfailtoacquirethesubject.Similarstroboscopicflashingissometimeusedto

reducethered­eyeeffect,butthismethodisonlyintendedtoconstrictthesubject'seyepupilspriorto

theactualshotbeingtaken,andthusreduceretinalreflections.

Insomecases,externalflashgunshaveintegratedautofocusassistlampsthatreplacethestroboscopic on­cameraflash.AnotherwaytoassistcontrastbasedAFsystemsinlowlightistobeamalaserpattern ontothesubject.ThelasermethodiscommerciallycalledHologramAFLaserandwasusedinSony

Cybershotcamerasaroundtheyear2003,includingSony'sF707,F717andF828models.

Hybridautofocus

Inahybridautofocussystem,focusisachievedbycombiningtwoormoremethods,suchas:

Activeandpassivemethods

Phasedetectionandcontrastmeasurement

Thedoubleeffortistypicallyusedtomutuallycompensatefortheintrinsicalweaknessesofthevarious

methodsinordertoincreasetheoverallreliabilityandaccuracyortospeedupAFfunction.

ArareexampleofanearlyhybridsystemisthecombinationofanactiveIRorultrasonicauto­focus

systemwithapassivephase­detectionsystem.AnIRorultrasonicsystembasedontimedreflectionwill

workregardlessofthelightconditions,butcanbeeasilyfooledbyobstacleslikewindowglasses,and

theaccuracyistypicallyrestrictedtoaratherlimitednumberofsteps.Phase­detectionautofocus"sees"

throughwindowglasseswithoutproblemsandismuchmoreaccurate,butitdoesnotworkinlow­light

conditionsoronsurfaceswithoutcontrastsorwithrepeatingpatterns.

Averycommonexampleofcombinedusageisthephase­detectionauto­focussystemusedinsingle­lens

reflexcamerassincethe1985s.Thepassivephase­detectionauto­focusneedssomecontrasttowork

with,makingitdifficulttouseinlow­lightscenariosoronevensurfaces.AnAFilluminatorwill

illuminatethesceneandprojectcontrastpatternsontoevensurfaces,sothatphase­detectionauto­focus

canworkundertheseconditionsaswell.

Anewerformofahybridsystemisthecombinationofpassivephase­detectionauto­focusandpassive contrastauto­focus,sometimesassistedbyactivemethods,asbothmethodsneedsomevisiblecontrast toworkwith.Undertheiroperationalconditions,phase­detectionauto­focussingisveryfast,sincethe measurementmethodprovidesbothinformation,theamountofoffsetandthedirection,sothatthe focusingmotorcanmovethelensrightinto(orcloseto)focuswithoutadditionalmeasurements. Additionalmeasurementsonthefly,however,canimproveaccuracyorhelpkeeptrackofmoving objects.However,theaccuracyofphase­detectionauto­focusdependsonitseffectivemeasurement basis.Ifthemeasurementbasisislarge,measurementsareveryaccurate,butcanonlyworkwithlenses

withalargegeometricalaperture(e.g.1:2.8orlarger).Evenwithhighcontrastyobjects,phase­detection

AFcannotworkatallwithlensesslowerthanitseffectivemeasurementbasis.Inordertoworkwith

mostlenses,theeffectivemeasurementbasisistypicallysettobetween1:5.6and1:6.7,sothatAF

continuestoworkwithslowlenses(atleastforaslongastheyarenotstoppeddown).This,however,

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reducestheintrinsicalaccuracyoftheautofocussystem,eveniffastlensesareused.Sincetheeffective

measurementbasisisanopticalpropertyoftheactualimplementation,itcannotbechangedeasily.Very

fewcamerasprovidemulti­PD­AFsystemswithseveralswitchablemeasurementbasesdependingon

thelensusedinordertoallownormalauto­focusingwithmostlenses,andmoreaccuratefocusingwith

fastlenses.ContrastAFdoesnothavethisinheritdesignlimitationonaccuracyasitonlyneedsa

minimalobjectcontrasttoworkwith.Oncethisisavailable,itcanworkwithhighaccuracyregardless

ofthespeedofalens;infact,foraslongasthisconditionismet,itcanevenworkwiththelensstopped

down.Also,sincecontrastAFcontinuestoworkinstopped­downmoderatherthanonlyinopen­

aperturemode,itisimmunetoaperture­basedfocusshifterrorsphase­detectionAFsystemssuffersince

theycannotworkinstopped­downmode.Thereby,contrastAFmakesarbitraryfine­focusadjustments

bytheuserunnecessary.Also,contrastAFisimmunetofocusingerrorsduetosurfaceswithrepeating

patternsandtheycanworkoverthewholeframe,notjustnearthecenteroftheframe,asphase­

detectionAFdoes.Thedown­side,however,isthatcontrastAFisaclosed­loopiterativeprocessof

shiftingthefocusbackandforthinrapidsuccession.Comparedtophase­detectionAF,contrastAFis

slow,sincethespeedofthefocusiterationprocessismechanicallylimitedandthismeasurementmethod

doesnotprovideanydirectionalinformation.Combiningbothmeasurementmethods,thephase­

detectionAFcanassistacontrastAFsystemtobefastandaccurateatthesametime,tocompensate

aperture­basedfocus­shifterrors,andtocontinuetoworkwithlensesstoppeddown,as,forexample,in

stopped­downmeasuringorvideomode.

Recentdevelopmentstowardsmirrorlesscamerasseektointegratethephase­detectionAFsensorsinto

theimagesensoritself.Typically,thesephase­detectionsensorsarenotasaccurateasthemore

sophisticatedstand­alonesensors,butsincethefinefocussingisnowcarriedoutthroughcontrast

focusing,thephase­detectionAFsensorsareonlyneedtoprovidecoarsedirectionalinformationin

ordertospeedupthecontrastauto­focusingprocess.

InJuly,2010,Fujifilmannouncedacompactcamera,theF300EXR,whichincludedahybridautofocus

systemconsistingofbothphase­detectionandcontrast­basedelements.Thesensorsimplementingthe phase­detectionAFinthiscameraareintegratedintothecamera'sSuperCCDEXR. [4] Currentlyitis usedbyFujifilmFinePixSeries, [5] FujifilmX100S,Ricoh,Nikon1series,CanonEOS650D/RebelT4i

Comparisonofactiveandpassivesystems

Activesystemswilltypicallynotfocusthroughwindows,sincesoundwavesandinfraredlightare

reflectedbytheglass.Withpassivesystemsthiswillgenerallynotbeaproblem,unlessthewindowis

stained.Accuracyofactiveautofocussystemsisoftenconsiderablylessthanthatofpassivesystems.

Passivesystemsmaynotfindfocuswhenthecontrastislow,notablyonlargesingle­coloredsurfaces

(walls,bluesky,etc.)orinlow­lightconditions.Passivesystemsaredependentonacertaindegreeof

illuminationtothesubject(whethernaturalorotherwise),whileactivesystemsmayfocuscorrectlyeven

intotaldarknesswhennecessary.Somecamerasandexternalflashunitshaveaspeciallow­level

illuminationmode(usuallyorange/redlight)whichcanbeactivatedduringauto­focusoperationtoallow

thecameratofocus.

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2/10/2015 Autofocus­Wikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia Activeautofocus systemviainfrared­ CanonAF35M(1979) Earlypassive

Activeautofocus systemviainfrared­

CanonAF35M(1979)

Activeautofocus systemviainfrared­ CanonAF35M(1979) Earlypassive autofocussystem integratedinthelens

Earlypassive autofocussystem integratedinthelens withPentaxME­F

(1981)

autofocussystem integratedinthelens withPentaxME­F (1981) Modern(2014) Autofocussinglelens reflexcamera Trapfocus

Modern(2014)

Autofocussinglelens

reflexcamera

Trapfocus

Amethodvariouslyreferredtoastrapfocus,focustrap,orcatch­in­focususesautofocustotakeashot whenasubjectmovesintothefocalplane(attherelevantfocalpoint);thiscanbeusedtogetafocused shotofarapidlymovingobject,particularlyinsportsorwildlifephotography,oralternativelytoseta "trap"sothatashotcanautomaticallybetakenwithoutapersonpresent.ThisisdonebyusingAFto detectbutnotsetfocus–usingmanualfocustosetfocus(orswitchingtomanualafterfocushasbeen set)butthenusingfocusprioritytodetectfocusandonlyreleasetheshutterwhenanobjectisinfocus. Thetechniqueworksbychoosingthefocusadjustment(turningAFoff),thensettingtheshootingmode to"Single"(AF­S),ormorespecificallyfocuspriority,thendepressingtheshutter–whenthesubject movesintofocus,theAFdetectsthis(thoughitdoesnotchangethefocus),andashotistaken. [6][7][8]

ThefirstSLRtoimplementtrapfocusingwastheYashica230AF.Trapfocusisalsopossibleonsome

Pentax(e.g.K­xandK­5),Nikon,andCanonEOScameras.TheEOS1Dcandoitusingsoftwareonan

attachedcomputer,whereascamerasliketheEOS40Dand7Dhaveacustomfunction(III­1andIII­4

respectively)whichcanstopthecameratryingtofocusafteritfails.OnEOScameraswithoutgenuine trapfocus,ahackcalled"almosttrapfocus"canbeused,whichachievessomeoftheeffectsoftrap focus. [9] ByusingthecustomfirmwareMagicLantern,someCanonDSLRscanperformtrapfocus.

AIservo

AIservoisanautofocusmodefoundonCanonSLRcameras,althoughthesameprincipleisusedwith NikonandsomePentaxcameras,knownthereas"continuousfocus"(AF­C). [10] Alsoreferredtoas focustracking,itisusedtotrackasubjectasitmovesaroundtheframe,ortowardandawayfromthe camera.Wheninuse,thelenswillconstantlymaintainitsfocusonthesubject,henceitiscommonly usedforsportsandactionphotography.AIreferstoartificialintelligence:algorithmsthatconstantly predictwhereasubjectisabouttobebasedonitsspeedandaccelerationdatafromtheautofocussensor.

Seealso

Seealso Fixed­focuslens Circularpolarizer

Circularpolarizer,theonlypolarizertoworkwithsome

SLRautofocusers

WikimediaCommonshas mediarelatedto Autofocus .

WikimediaCommonshas

mediarelatedtoAutofocus.

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Plenopticcamera,acamerathatenablesfocusinginapostprocessingstep

References

Loke

NormanGoldberg.CameraTechnology:TheDarkSideoftheLens

SidneyRay.AppliedPhotographicOptics

RalphJacobson,SidneyRay,GeoffreyGAttridge,NormanAxford.ManualofPhotography:

PhotographicandDigitalImaging

Externallinks

showinghowphasedetectionautofocusworks.

showinghowcontrastdetectionautofocusworks.

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