AF Assist Lamp

This is a lamp which is used to illuminate  the subject you are focusing on when shooting in low light conditions. The lamp is usually located beside or above the lens barrel. These lamps are not very powerful and they usually only work over a short range, up to about 4 meters. The light that they make is usually visible light, but there are lamps which uses infrared light instead. This is better for candid shots where you don’t want to startle the subject. Notable higher end external flash systems feature their own focus assist lamps with far greater range.


The picture above is a hologram AF found on some Sony cameras. This works by projecting a crossed laser pattern onto the subject. This bright laser pattern helps the camera’s contrast detect AF system to lock on to the subject. The system works well as long as the subject is large enough to be covered by several laser lines.

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