How to Use FlexiZone-Multi Autofocusing on Your Canon EOS 80D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

By default, the FlexiZone-Multi Autofocusing mode on your EOS 80D is based on focus points spread throughout the area indicated by the framing marks.

In the fully automated exposure modes, you don’t have any control over which points the camera uses to establish focus. Typically, focus is set on the object closest to the camera. When you press the shutter button halfway or press the AF-ON button, one or more focus points turns green, as shown on the right, to indicate the areas of the frame that were used to establish focus. You also hear a beep indicating that focus is set.

When you set the mode dial to P, Tv, Av, M, B, C1, or C2, you can break the focusing area into several smaller zones — thus, FlexiZone focusing — and limit the camera to finding its focusing point within one of those zones.

Exactly how many focusing points and zones are available depends on the following factors:

  • Live View photography: The key here is the Aspect Ratio setting on Shooting Menu 4. By default, the picture aspect ratio is 3:2 and you get 35 focusing points and 9 focus zones. But if you change the aspect ratio, things change:
    • 4:3 and 1:1 aspect ratios: 25 focus points and 9 zones
    • 16:9 aspect ratio: 21 focus points and 3 zones
  • Movie mode: You get 21 focus points and 3 zones.

Yeah, this stuff gets a little deep in the weeds, but don’t worry too much about how many points and zones are available. It’s not like you can control them, anyway. Just remember the techniques you use to select a zone:

  • Switch from automatic focus point selection to zone selection. Press the Set button or the Erase button (the blue trash can button) to display a large rectangle indicating the current focus zone.
  • Select the focus zone. Tap the subject to display a frame that represents the closest zone frame. Or use the Multi-controller to move the zone frame.
  • Quickly select the center zone. Press the Set button or the Erase button again.
  • Switch back to automatic focus selection. Tap the icon labeled Exit Zone mode or press the Set or Erase button one more time.

The focusing technique for zone focusing is the same as for automatic selection: If continuous autofocusing is enabled, the camera hunts for its focus point in the zone frame. If you press and hold the shutter button halfway, the frame turns green and you hear the focus beep, indicating that focus is locked as long as you keep the shutter button pressed halfway. You also can use the AF-ON button to set focus.