AEL = Autoexposure Lock

AFL = Autofocus Lock

When you press the shutter release partially, you can lock in both the exposure and the focus, or one or the other.

For example, let's say you're at a sidewalk cafe photographing two friends sitting across from you.

Behind them, sanitation workers are loading a truck.

Because you're camera may be set to focus on what's in the center of the frame, the camera may focus on the truck rather than on your friends.

Focus on one of your friends, keep the shutter button depressed, and shift your camera so you can see both friends in the frame. Then, take the photograph.

You can set this function in the Custom Setting menu.

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Focus Area Selection