Photography Basics - Drive Mode - mikecphoto

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Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens

(at time of writing)

Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Photography

WagJag (AT)

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Drive mode is used to control how your camera takes the pictures. The most common modes and their uses are below.

One Shot

This mode is where you press the shutter button and the camera takes a picture. It is the default mode you would probably use and definitely the best mode to have when you are out and about.

Burst Mode

This mode will take continuous photos whilst you hold the shutter button, up to the maximum number of burst shots your camera can handle. If you are shooting raw and not jpeg, it is especially important to have fast memory cards else the camera can't write the data quick enough and eventually you won't be able to keep the burst shots going. I use SanDisk Extreme SDHC Memory Card as it is fast an reliable. You should read the manual to check the maximum burst rate for your camera.

2 Second Timer

This is useful when taking tripod shots. Once you press the Shutter button there will be a 2 second delay, and any handshake from pressing the button will hopefully have settled by the time the camera starts exposing for the picture, therefore giving you a sharper image. If you want to take night shots, I have a tutorial on the settings you should use here.

10 Second Timer

The 10 seconds timer is an extended version of the 2 second timer. This could be used for taking night shots as well, so as to guarantee that the camera has totally settled by the time it starts exposing.

On top of using this mode for taking night shots, it's good for taking group shots where you're in them as you'll have plenty of time to run and get into position.


I hope this helps you, I recommend keeping your camera on either 'one shot' or 'burst shot' when you are just out and about taking photos and only put the camera on the timer if you need to for specific shots such as I have mentioned above.

Any questions or comments, let me know.

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