Canon EOS 1200D review – Autofocus

Nine regular AF points feature on the EOS 1200D, with one cross-type sensor focus point. This larger cross-type point is used to find focus more accurately towards the centre of the frame.

In bright lighting conditions, the autofocus is fast and responsive. Even in more challenging focusing situations, such as sports or wildlife, the EOS 1200D holds its own. Of course, in low light, the focusing is slower, but only fractionally. However, the same cannot be said for the focusing in live view mode. In low-light condition, the live view AF is very sluggish and has a tendency to hunt for focus. While it is suitable for day-to-day outdoor shooting, it would struggle with anything fast-paced.

Where live view excels is when zooming in on a focus area. Users can activate live view mode, tap the zoom button in the top right and enlarge an area by 5x or 10x in order to achieve focus on a very precise area.

I found that using all nine focus points could sometimes throw the focus off the subject, especially with more complex compositions. This was due either to the main subject falling outside the focus point area or other objects being in the foreground, which the AF then prioritised over the intended subject. This is one area in which flexible AF points are an advantage.

However, the centre AF point in One Shot mode comes into its own when shooting more complex compositions. I was able to focus the camera on the subject by half-pressing the shutter, recomposing the image, then shooting. It was quick and precise every time.

In addition to One Shot, there are Al Servo and Al Focus modes. Al Servo is a continuous AF, which is in a constant state of focusing, while Al Focus is halfway house between Al Servo and One Shot. This mode finds focus and won’t focus again until something in the frame moves, which is particularly useful for wildlife photography.

Image: I got the right point of focus in this image by manually selecting a single AF point

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