Continuous is a mode on your camera that takes picture after picture for as long as you hold down the shutter. the frame rate of the shots depends on the camera. the Canon shoots about 4 FPS, Fuji is .3 seconds per frame, Nikon has a mode called 16 (which turns the flash off automatically, there is also has a mode that does 1.5 FPS and the Sony have different rates that depend on the camera. there are several Casio cameras that have super fast frame rates like up to 1000 frames per second!
so what is Continuous mode good for? it turns out there are lots of things that you can shoot. it’s a great way to get perfect candids. group shots are always a problem. don’t forget squirming kids and pets. you get that winning moment for sports photos. in a nut shell Continuous mode is good for anything that moves.
Continuous mode is not stop motion or time lapse. you can’t set the frame rate to a specific speed. this makes time lapse a different problem and one your camera might solve with a mode specifically for it that function.
shooting group shots can be hard because everyone is moving, getting ready or talking with one another. getting the perfect group shot is a bit of luck but if you take enough pictures Continuous mode will catch everyones eyes open eventually. use a tool like Photoshop Elements to combine the best of everyone.
pets are the same thing as kids. only worse. they won’t stay, they won’t look, but they can hear the shutter and the flash. the camera making that noise may get Fido’s attention.
in sports you know when the action is going to start and where it’s going to go. using Continuous mode all you have to do is point there and you’ll get your shot.
but use Continuous mode anything else that moves. why? because it’s really hard to snap the shutter right at exactly the right moment. unless you learn to anticipate it lag is the biggest problem to overcome. but don’t bother learning because it will only screw you up for shooting on other cameras. better to have before and after and THE shot instead of a happy accident.
speaking of happy accidents try this for party photos. you need two cameras. one has the flash on while the other is in continuous mode. start shooting continuously first. next say cheese and shoot the flash shot. you get this nifty light filled shot in the middle. and that’s often THE shot!
the problem is that this makes 100’s of photos you will never ever use. but you will want to use them somehow. here are some ideas. make a thumb nail page of the whole thing with the shot in middle. flip books are easy enough to make if you have some patients. or you can print a mini book using a service like iPhoto or Blurb. a photobooth strip is easy to make using Illustrator, Comic Life or Pages. and you can always pick THE shot and print it. here’s a nifty movie we made with QuickTime Pro. it’s set to 2 FPS. drinks
there are some problems to watch out for Continuous mode. first is that have to hold the camera steady in low light otherwise you’ll get a series of blurry pictures because both you are your subject is in motion. it’s always better to shoot Continuous mode outside or in lots of light. you’ll want to have extra cards on had because Continuous mode chews through memory cards.
there are several things you can do to make shooting Continuous mode even better. turn down the quality/size of the image will speed up the time between shots. and if it isn’t turned off automatically the flash should be set to off.
the only way to get good with Continuous mode is to go shoot! here’s some assignments:
bus / car / train drive by
kid playing with something
busy street corner