Why is focus peaking useful?
Focus peaking allows the photographer to focus manual lenses with greater speed than the typical Live View method. It’s ideal for scenarios where it’s challenging to quickly assess what areas are in focus. This can be useful for shoots with low-light conditions or when it’s difficult to determine a good focus with the naked eye.
If you don’t want to use autofocus to capture slow objects, like clouds moving in the sky, focus peaking is the technique for you. Use it to find the proper depth of field for your shots, but pay attention to your adjustments, including your ISO.
“You can usually set it too high or low,” says photographer Jason Weingart. “If you’re shooting at a shallow depth of field, like a 1.4 f-stop, you want to set a higher sensitivity of focus peaking. Not as much stuff is going to be sharp, so it’s going to come through a little better. If you’re shooting a really wide depth of field, you’ll have that set lower because more things are going to be sharp.”
Manual over automatic.
Focus peaking allows you to take advantage of many manual lenses to make manual focusing even more effortless. “You’re going to want to use it more with manual focus than with autofocus because, with manuals, you’re going to see the different areas get highlighted as you turn the focus ring. It’s more beneficial to use with manual focus than autofocus, but you can definitely use it with both," Weingart says.