A growing number of digital cameras now include a Face
Recognition mode. The camera detects faces in a scene and then automatically
focuses (AF) and optimizes exposure (AE) and, if needed, flash output.
The technology can be effective when taking pictures of large
groups, when a person is in the distance or when the subject moves into the
frame. Even if a person moves, the camera will stay focused on it and adjust
exposure. It is also effective when photographing people in bright light when
the LCD is difficult to see.
Some digital cameras also have a tracking function that
allows the user manually give priority to a single face. This comes in
handy when taking photos in a crowd, at school plays and similar function.
Face the digital camera
A person’s face must
be facing towards the camera for Face Recognition AF/AE to work most
effectively. Like so many digital camera features, it also works best
when taking photos in good light.
Face Recognition, also known as
Face Priority, is typically activated when switching a camera to portrait mode
or a dedicated face-detecting shooting mode. Since the technology is hardware
based, it is generally faster than manually composing and locking focus and
exposure on a face.
A word of caution about using face detection
It’s important to note that Face
Detection (FD) may be associated with a multi-point autofocus mode, where the
camera, not you, determines where to focus. When a face is not detected in a
scene, the camera will revert to this mode.
Many photographers find multi-point
autofocus mode to be inconsistent, if not unreliable. They use Single
Area focus instead to have precise control of where the camera locks focus.
They only switch to FD mode when photographing people.