α9 Focus Setting Guide

Here are some shooting tips and suggested settings for specific sports, focusing on differences from the recommended default settings.

1. Soccer, Football, Futsal, Handball

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 4

Set AF Tracking Sensitivity to the fairly responsive level 4 to deal with frequent passes and other players crossing in front of the subject.
Set Focus Area to Flexible Spot M when the subject is close, and Expand Flexible Spot when the subject is farther away or when shooting several players close together.

2. Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

AF Tracking Sensitivity 3 (Standard) is recommended for stable tracking when other players frequently cross in front of the subject.
Flexible Spot M is the most versatile Focus Area setting, but Expand Flexible Spot pinpoints players more accurately when the subject can be framed stably.

3. Rugby

Recommended settings

Focus Area Expand Flexible Spot
or Flexible Spot: M
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

AF Tracking Sensitivity 3 (Standard) is recommended for stable tracking when other players frequently cross in front of the subject. Set Focus Area to Expand Flexible Spot to make it easy to pinpoint the subject, particularly when focusing on a single player in a scene like a scrum.

4. American football

Recommended settings

Focus Area Expand Flexible Spot
or Flexible Spot: M
AF Track Sens 2

Where players are crossing and colliding with each other, set AF Tracking Sensitivity to 2 to track one player stably and continuously.
Players often group closely together, so use Expand Flexible Spot to focus on a particular player.

5. Athletics / Track and field

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

Set AF Tracking Sensitivity to 3 (Standard) to enable stable tracking without the focus being drawn to an athlete’s hand, pole, etc.
Try setting Focus Area to Flexible Spot M to provide stable focus.

6. Skiing, Mogul, Snowboarding, Ski jumping, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Short-track speed skating

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

Set AF Tracking Sensitivity to 3 (Standard) for stable tracking of the subject in alpine skiing where athletes pass behind poles, or short-track speed skating where the leader frequently changes.
The recommended setting for Focus Area is the versatile Flexible Spot M, or Expand Flexible Spot if the subject is far away or if several competitors are close together like in short-track speed skating.

7. Speed skating, Figure skating

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Zone
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

If it's hard to focus with Flexible Spot M in speed skating where skaters are moving very quickly, set Focus Area to Zone to make it easier to capture subjects moving at high speed.

8. Ice hockey

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 4

Setting AF Tracking Sensitivity to a fairly responsive 4 gives good results when the puck is being passed quickly from player to player.
The recommended setting for Focus Area is the versatile Flexible Spot M, or Expand Flexible Spot to focus on a more targeted point if the players are far away or close together.

9. Curling

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 2

Set AF Tracking Sensitivity to a fairly fixed 2 for stable tracking of a specific player.The recommended setting for Focus Area is the versatile Flexible Spot M, or Expand Flexible Spot to focus on a more targeted point if the players are far away or close together.

10. Car racing, Karting, Motorcycling (on-road)

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

AF Tracking Sensitivity setting 3 (Standard) allows stable tracking even when photographing motorsports with lots of acceleration and deceleration.
The recommended setting for Focus Area is the versatile Flexible Spot M, or change to Expand Flexible Spot if the cars or bikes are far away.

11. Motocross

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Wide
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

Use Flexible Spot M when the bikes are on the ground, and Wide for midair jump shots. Make use of a wide Focus Area to vary composition during Continuous Shooting.
If Focus Area is set to Wide and the subject is in the center of the screen when Autofocus locks on, the subject can then be tracked across almost the entire screen. This allows the composition to be adjusted freely even during Continuous Shooting.

12. Swimming

Recommended settings

Focus Area Expand Flexible Spot
or Flexible Spot: M
AF Track Sens 1 (Locked on) - 2

Set AF Tracking Sensitivity to lock on with 1 or 2 when shooting swimmers to avoid the focus drifting to the background when they dive under water.
Use Expand Flexible Spot to stop the focus being drawn to the surface of the water or splashes of water.

13. Cycling, Archery, Judo, Kendo, Horse racing, Speedboat racing, Sepak takraw

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

The versatile recommended default settings (AF Tracking Sensitivity: standard 3, Focus Area: Flexible Spot M) are good for general sports photography. If there are lots of obstacles, try setting sensitivity to 2 and Focus Area to Expand Flexible Spot.

14. Canoeing, Equestrian events

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 2

In sports where competitors have to avoid obstacles, set AF Tracking Sensitivity to 2 for stable tracking.

15. Trains and other railed vehicles, Wild birds

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Expand Flexible Spot
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

The versatile recommended default settings (AF Tracking Sensitivity: standard 3, Focus Area: Flexible Spot M) are good for general photography of moving objects. If there are lots of obstacles, try setting sensitivity to 2 and Focus Area to Expand Flexible Spot.

16. Aircraft, Air shows

Recommended settings

Focus Area Flexible Spot: M
or Zone
AF Track Sens 3 (Standard)

Try setting Focus Area to the versatile Flexible Spot M. Use Zone when framing is difficult, such as planes flying acrobatically at an air show.

17. Wild animals

Recommended settings

Focus Area Expand Flexible Spot
or Flexible Spot: M
AF Track Sens 2

Use Expand Flexible Spot in environments with lots of obstacles such as long grass or branches.

* Photographs are provided to illustrate the situations described in this guide, not to serve as sample α9 images.