Do I have to switch to Live View if I want to autofocus at the bottom or edge of the frame, or can I use the viewfinder?
Andrew Southwell, via email
In regular shooting, autofocus is handled by a phase-detection module. A number of AF points are available – typically from 11 to 51, depending on the Nikon model. In some cameras, the area of the frame that’s covered by AF points is limited to a fairly centralised zone.
In Live View mode, your Nikon uses contrast-detection AF, which is measured directly on the image sensor, so you can autofocus on pretty much any point in the frame. To maintain a focus distance setting captured in Live View, switch from AF to M focus mode before swapping back to regular shooting.
To autofocus on an area that’s not covered by regular AF points, switch to Live View or focus and recompose