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Using Face Detection and Registration

Face detection in digital cameras has been around for a few years, and although it might not be the professional portrait photographer’s go-to function, it does present a nice technology for those who want to bypass some of the more technical approaches to focusing. Your a7-series camera has two face detection modes: one for general face detection, and another for faces that you register with the camera. Both modes adjust focus and exposure for the detected face, but with Face Registration, you can program eight faces for the camera to prioritize.

When you turn on Face Detection focusing, the camera does an amazing thing: It zeroes in on any face appearing on the LCD and places a box around it (Figure 6.11). I’m not sure how it works; it just does. Another great thing about Face Detection is that it doesn’t slow down the autofocus function.

Figure 6.11

Figure 6.11 Face Detection can lock in on your subject’s face for easy focusing.

ISO 200 • 1/80 sec. • f/8 • 35mm lens

Setting up and shooting with Face Detection focusing

  1. Before turning on Face Detection, you must first ensure that your camera’s autofocus area is in Multi mode. And since Face Detection determines exposure based on your subject’s face, you must also have Multi metering enabled (see “Metering Modes for Portraits,” earlier in this chapter, for how to change metering modes).
  2. Press the Menu button and use the Control Wheel to highlight and select the Camera submenu, and navigate to the fifth tab.
  3. Use the Control Wheel to navigate to the Smile/Face Detection function, and select it by pressing the center of the Control Wheel (A).

  4. In the Smile/Face Detection mode options, press up or down on the Control Wheel until you highlight Face Detection On (B). Select this option by pressing the center of the Control Wheel, and return to shooting.

  5. Point your camera at a person, and watch as a frame appears over the face in the LCD or in the electronic viewfinder.
  6. Press and hold the shutter release button halfway to focus on the face, and wait until you hear the confirmation chirp.
  7. Press the shutter button fully to take the photograph.
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