Live Mode Face Detection Settings on a Canon EOS 60D

The Canon 60D’s Face Detection Live mode is best suited for taking portraits and casual shots of people and animals. The camera attempts to detect faces, automatically moves the AF point over faces, and then focuses. One big difference between this mode and the normal Live mode is that you don’t have to move the focus box around the screen. The camera tries to automatically detect and frame faces with an autofocus frame. That’s right, faces. The 60D can detect multiple faces in the scene, which can cause confusion over which face to focus on. (You use the multicontroller to move the target over a different face.)

Face detection works best when people or animals are looking directly at the camera, and the most prominent features that make up their face (their eyes and mouth) aren’t obscured by hair or other objects. Face detection becomes more problematic when your subject is in profile or turned mostly away from the camera.

This mode isn’t foolproof, but it’s faster than normal Live mode and may enable you to shoot Live View shots of casual get-togethers and parties without becoming so frustrated you blow a gasket.

To use Face Detection Live mode, follow these steps:

  1. Set AF mode to Face Detection Live mode:

    1. Press Menu, navigate to Shooting Menu 4, highlight AF mode, and press Set.

    2. Use the Quick Control dial or press up or down with the multicontroller to highlight an AF mode, and then press Set again to lock in your choice.

  2. Press the Live View button.

  3. Focus.

    Detecting faces isn’t the same thing as focusing. You still have to initiate autofocus by pressing the shutter button halfway or pressing AF-ON. When focus is achieved, the white focus box will turn green, and you hear a beep.

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    If focus can’t be achieved, the AF rectangle turns on. And if the camera can’t detect a face in the scene, the normal AF rectangle is shown in the center.

  4. Take the photo.

    Press the shutter button all the way down to take the photo.

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