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EOS Rebel SL3 Sports focus on background rather than foreground


I am a mom of kiddos who play sports and we purchased this camera a few months ago to capture moments of our kiddos as they grow and play / perform. I have enjoyed learning different settings and features, but I can't seem to figure out how to get my Canon EOS Rebel SL3 to focus on the individual in the foreground, rather than the background. For example, taking a picture of my son on the field playing soccer, he is blurred but the players on the bench on the other side of the field are clear. What can I do to adjust this? I have it on the sports setting using the Canon 75-300mm lens on AF. Thanks in advance for any guidance!



The Sports setting is  giving preference to moving action, like sports on a field. not stationary closeups of your son.

First thing is to select the Focus Spot you want, probably the center spot because you are centering your son in the viewfinder. Try just this.

In between sports events, read the manual for the camera  so you get familiar with how the Basic Zones set the camera. They may not be the best way to use it. They make it a simple point & shoot camera, but you can learn a lot more about it and photography by learning to set the camera the way YOU want it, based on what you are shooting.

I'll give that a try. Thank you!



Here is one approach you could take:

Step 1) Take your camera out of Sports Mode. Turn the mode dial on the top of your camera to Tv mode and hit your Set button.This prioritizes your shutter speed. Turn the main dial on the top of your camera and set a shutter speed of 1/400 or1/500 or so.

Step 2) Set your ISO to Auto ISO. Your camera will set the aperture for you.

Step 3) Find out how to change your focus mode and set your focus on one point, or single point.

Step 4) Aim the center of your camera at the person you want to focus on and focus your shot. I'm assuming that you are still using a half-press of the shutter button to focus. Half-press the shutter button to focus and then press it all the way down to take your shot.

Step 5) If you find your picture is too light or too dark, adjust your shutter speed up or down. Higher, or faster shutter speeds will make it go darker. Conversely, lower or slower shutter speeds will make it go lighter. Don't go too low, or your subjects will start to get blurry.

Give that a try.

Steve Thomas


Thank you! I'll give that a try. 


If you haven't already downloaded the full manual for your camera from the Canon support site, you should do so:

Then you need to set the AF operation to AI servo AF (P 106 in the advanced user guide) and set the selected focus point to center or a point directly below center so that you are selecting which focus point is on the player of interest (P 108 in the advanced user guide).

1/500 is about the minimum shutter speed for HS soccer, higher is preferable when light permits.  I prefer setting cameras to manually select aperture (wide open, i.e. lowest f number available for the lens) and fixed shutter speed (1/500 or faster) with ISO set to auto to let it choose the proper exposure via setting ISO.  Don't rely too heavily on the camera's high speed continuous mode, you need to time your shots to get the desired action because the camera frame rate is too slow to catch peak action in most sports.

The closer you can get to the field the better, in sports photography your location is critical and this is especially true when poor lighting forces a higher ISO with more noise making cropping less practical.

These were from a soccer match last week, not a lot of highlights for the home team unfortunately because only the keep got multiple chances to shine and that is never a good sign.



EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Great shots! I appreciate the information and will give that a try.

I understand what you mean - the keeper definitely has their work cut out for them, more often than we hope sometimes! Thanks for sharing!