One of the best camera tech tips I ever got was to turn off the focus capability of the shutter release button. I’ve been doing so for years now, and today, I suggest that you do the same.
(Gasps of dismay and shock ensue. Make do without our autofocus?!?)
I’m not really asking you to do without your autofocus. I love my AF. With its speed and ultrafine focus, I would be hard pressed to do without it. I just don’t like it coming on every time I half way push the shutter button.
So how do I focus? On my camera there is a “focus start” button. My right thumb rests almost automatically on this button, so it is quite easy to have my shutter finger at the ready while I decide if I want to refocus or keep my current focus. Index finger on the shutter, thumb on the focus.
Some of you might wonder why I prefer this to the AF off button. The AF off button is something that is only used from time to time. With the AF Start button being the entire focus control, you are using it everytime you want to focus, and the action becomes very automatic.
It might take a short time to get used to having a separate button to focus, but it is really a quick and simple process, much easier than learning to drive a car, or even change your aperture while looking through the lens.
There are very few downsides. All of your camera’s functions still work- AI Servo, AE, you name it. The only thing that changes is your focus.
I learned to use this button in doing sports photography in which the anticipated action is pre-focused. Mostly, I have gotten used to the closest focus setting which gets me a very high percentage of focused shots. Your point is very well taken.
Sports and wildlife are similar in that way. Before I learned this trick I would spoil many shots as the autofocus chose a point a did not want when I found the shot that I did want. Pre focusing, with the option to then adjust focus can be key