Using Live View and Movie Mode Autofocus with a Nikon D7000 - dummies

Using Live View and Movie Mode Autofocus with a Nikon D7000

By Julie Adair King

As with viewfinder photography, you can opt for autofocusing during Live View shooting on your Nikon D7000, assuming that your lens supports it. If you use the kit lens (or one similar), set the switch on the lens to the A position. The following steps explain what’s involved in choosing the autofocus settings and then actually setting focus:

  1. Choose the Autofocus mode (AF-S or AF-F).

    Dial in the setting quickly by pressing the AF mode button while rotating the Main command dial.

    In AF-F mode, the autofocus system perks up and starts hunting for a focus point immediately.

  2. Choose the AF-area mode by pressing the AF-mode button while rotating the Sub-command dial.

    This setting determines what part of the frame the camera considers when establishing focus.

  3. Locate the focus frame in the Live View display.

    The appearance of the frame depends on the AF-area mode, as follows:

    • Wide Area and Normal Area: You see a red rectangular frame.


    • Face Priority: If the camera locates faces, you see a yellow focus frame around each one. The double yellow line indicates the face that the camera will use to set focusing distance.

      If you don’t see any yellow boxes but instead see the red frame, the camera can’t detect a face and will set focus as it would if you were using Wide Area mode.


    • Subject Tracking: A white focusing frame appears.

    In AF-F mode, the frame turns green when the object under the frame is in focus.

  4. Use the Multi Selector to position the focusing frame over your subject.


    In Face Priority mode, you can use the Multi Selector to move the box with the double-yellow border, which indicates the final focusing point, from face to face in a group portrait. In the Wide Area and Normal Area modes, press OK to quickly move the focus point to the center of the frame.

  5. In Subject Tracking AF-area mode, press OK to initiate focus tracking.

    If your subject moves, the focus frame moves with it. To stop tracking, press OK again. (You may need to take this step if your subject leaves the frame; press OK to stop tracking, reframe, and then press OK to start tracking again.)

  6. In AF-S autofocus mode, press the shutter button halfway down to start autofocusing.

  7. Wait for the focus frame to turn green.

    What happens next depends on your Autofocus mode:

    • AF-S mode: You also hear a little beep (assuming you didn’t disable the beep, which you can do via the Setup menu), and focus is locked.

    • AF-F mode: Focus will be adjusted if the subject moves. The focus frame turns back to red (or yellow or white) if focus is lost; green signals that focus has been achieved again. You can lock focus by pressing the shutter button halfway down. (In most cases, the camera will reset focus on your subject when you press the button even if the focus frame is already green.)

  8. (Optional) Press the Qual button to magnify the display to double-check focus.

    Each press gives you a closer look at the subject.

    As when you magnify an image when you’re viewing photos in playback mode, a small thumbnail in the corner of the monitor appears, with the yellow highlight box indicating the area that’s currently being magnified. Press the Multi Selector to scroll the display if needed.

    To zoom out, press the ISO button. If you’re not using Subject Tracking mode, you can also press OK to quickly return to normal magnification.