Photography has come a long way since its inception in the early 1800s. With the advent of digital cameras, we can now take as many high-quality images as we want without having to worry about storage capacity or their cost. One such feature that benefits from large storage or buffering capacity is continuous shooting, also known as burst mode. Many photographers overlook this feature, but it can make all the difference in capturing the perfect shot in various types of photography. In this blog piece, we’ll explore the benefits of using continuous shooting mode and how to use it to take your photography to the next level.

But before we dive into continuous shooting mode, let’s talk about frames per second (FPS), as it is a crucial aspect of burst mode. FPS refers to the number of still images a camera can capture in quick succession. For example, if a camera has a 10 FPS burst mode, it can capture 10 photos in one second. Generally, the higher the FPS, the more images the camera can capture and the smoother the motion in the resulting video or series of images.

Most modern cameras come with a standard frame rate of 24 FPS for video recording, but some can shoot at 60 FPS or even higher. This is an important consideration, especially for capturing high-speed actions, because shooting moving subjects with a low frame-rate camera can lead to blurry images or stuttering videos.

Continuous shooting vs single shot mode

Most digital cameras usually have both single shot and burst modes. In single shot mode, the camera captures one image when you press the shutter button. This is ideal for still subjects or when you have time to compose your shots. In contrast, burst mode allows you to capture multiple photos in quick succession with just one press of the shutter button. You can also continue to capture images for as long as you hold down (in some cases, half-press) the shutter button and until the camera’s buffer fills up—this is a temporary storage area for image processing before they are stored in the memory card.

Benefits of continuous shooting

Using continuous shooting mode has numerous advantages for all photographers, whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out. For starters, it increases your chances of getting the desired shot. As an example, when photographing fast-moving subjects, it can often be challenging to capture the perfect moment in a single shot. This is where burst mode shines, as it allows you to capture multiple images in quick succession, so you don’t miss out on getting the right shot at the right time.

Secondly, burst mode allows you to capture multiple photos to create dynamic and engaging visual imagery. For instance, if you’re at a sporting event, such as football, you can shoot a series of images that highlight different nerve-wracking or wonderful moments, such as scoring goals and fan celebrations. Last but not least, it can be difficult to capture the perfect expression on your subject with a single shot. With continuous shooting, it is much easier to capture a wide range of expressions on a person’s face and select the ones that look authentic.

How to use continuous shooting in different scenarios

Sports photography

For sporting events where there is a lot of motion and action, a faster shutter speed is a must-have for freezing the action. A burst mode can help you capture the moment, whether it’s a player scoring a goal or a runner making that final push for the finish line. When photographing sports, it’s best to set your camera to high FPS burst mode and use the eye AF tracking feature to ensure the athlete’s eyes or face are in sharp focus when taking pictures.

Wildlife photography

Wildlife photography requires a lot of patience and persistence, simply because some opportunities only come around once in a while; or even once in a lifetime. Continuous shooting mode can help you capture such rare moments, whether it’s a majestic secretary bird taking flight or an elusive jaguar hunting its prey.

Portrait photography

Portrait photography requires a different approach to continuous shooting. Instead of capturing a series of images in quick succession, you’ll want to use burst mode to capture a range of expressions and poses. For best results, set your camera to a low FPS burst mode and also communicate with your subject to ensure they’re relaxed and comfortable.

Choosing the right digital camera for continuous shooting

Here are a few important things that should be taken into consideration when picking a camera for continuous shooting:

  • The FPS of the camera’s burst mode – the higher the FPS, the more images the camera can capture in quick succession.
  • The buffer size of the camera – a larger buffer allows you to capture more images in one burst before the camera slows down.
  • The autofocus system of the camera – a fast and reliable autofocus and tracking system, such as in the Nikon Z9, for tracking and capturing different subjects and objects, such as people, animals, and vehicles.

Final words

Continuous shooting is a powerful camera feature that can help you capture the perfect shot every time. Whether you’re into sports, wildlife, or portrait photography, continuous shooting mode can help you get the right shot at the right moment, taking your photography to the next level.