Digital Cameras: What Is an AF Assist Lamp?

You may have heard of AF Assist Lamps when talking about digital cameras, but not many people actually know what they are or what they do.  Many companies equip some of their digital cameras with a lamp, which can usually be found above or right next to where the lens is. This lamp illuminates the object that the camera is focused on when you are taking pictures in conditions of little to no light.  

Understanding the AF Assist Lamp

When there is little to no light, most digital cameras' auto focus features will not work well, so the AF Assist Lamp will be able to give the room enough light for the auto focus to do it's job.  Because AF Assist Lamps only work within short distances, you have to be within a range of about ten feet in order for the lamp to work.  If needed, external AF Assist Lamps can be purchased which will allow for a much longer range of lighting if the average ten foot range is too short.

Some AF Assist Lamps use infrared in order to keep the brightness down for people trying to take pictures in dark rooms.

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