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Exploring Drive mode

From: Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

Video: Exploring Drive mode

The great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke extensively about the decisive moment; that one particular moment that happens that is the perfect decisive expression of the scene or event that you're trying to photograph. Now, because he was a genius, he was often able to fire his camera at the perfect decisive moment. For the rest of us, there's Drive mode. In Drive mode, as you hold the shutter button down on your camera, the camera will continue to snap frames one after another.

Exploring Drive mode

The great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson spoke extensively about the decisive moment; that one particular moment that happens that is the perfect decisive expression of the scene or event that you're trying to photograph. Now, because he was a genius, he was often able to fire his camera at the perfect decisive moment. For the rest of us, there's Drive mode. In Drive mode, as you hold the shutter button down on your camera, the camera will continue to snap frames one after another.

Drive mode is a great tool for shooting in fast moving environments; sports, street shooting, and nature shots, for example. But it can also be ideal for portraiture, when a person's face is making lots of tiny subtle changes, and you're not sure which is the ideal expression. However, you can't use Drive mode indefinitely. That is, you can't just hold the button down, and expect the camera to always keep shooting. When you take a picture, the camera has to move a lot of data around, and do a lot of computation. You can take pictures faster than your camera can get them written to the media card, so your camera has a memory buffer that can hold a certain number of pictures.

Now, as you shoot, your images can be quickly thrown into that buffer. Then the camera can start the process of copying images from the buffer to your memory card, while you continue to snap away. If the buffer fills, then your camera will cease to be able to take pictures, and you'll have to wait for it to empty out before you can start shooting again. Your current Drive mode is displayed right here. A single frame, that is, a single little rectangle right there indicates that I'm in single shot mode. If I press the shutter button, it takes one picture. I can change Drive mode by pressing my Autofocus- Drive button up here, and then turning the command dial on the back.

One click to the right takes me to high-speed burst. This is going to get me approximately 6 frames per second. Well, that was only five, but I let my finger off the button. As you can see, it's a really fast burst mode. If I continue from there, I get a slower burst mode. This is the one that doesn't have the H next to it. That gets me about three frames per second. So you can see that that is noticeably slower. Now, you may think, well, if I've got that really fast burst mode, why would I ever bother with the slower burst mode? Well, sometimes you actually don't want to capture things at six frames per second; portraits, for example.

It's nice using a burst mode for portrait, because people's expressions do change, and sometimes a subtle expression change from one moment to the next will make for a better picture. But people's faces don't tend to change expression fast enough to need a six frame per second burst. On the other hand, if you're shooting HDR, or trying to stop a really fast moving car or something at a particular moment, then going to that faster drive mode is going to be a better choice. So it's really nice having these two different burst speeds, and this is one of the nice improvements of the Mark III over the Mark II is the six frames per second burst.

Going on, I get a new silent shooting mode. So this is going to shoot a single frame, but it's going to try and do it a little more quietly than it did the last time. I think you can hear the difference. That's definitely quieter than my normal single shot sound. So if you're shooting a performance, or shooting in a museum, or shooting espionage, then having a quieter shutter can be a real bonus. I also have a quieter burst mode. If I go here, I'm back to my slower speed at about three frames per second, but it's definitely quieter.

Moving on from there, I get my self-timer mode. So this is the old thing where I press the shutter button, and it starts beeping, and then I run around in front of the camera. I've got two different timers, though. I've got this timer, and this one. So this first one is a ten second timer; that means the shutter is going to go off in ten seconds, giving me a plenty of time to get around in front of the camera. The second one is a two second timer, which is not going to be nearly enough time to get around in front of the camera, and stop breathing heavy, and get a decent expression on my face. What this is good for is times when I want the self-timer just because I want camera vibration to reduce.

So maybe I'm locked down on a tripod. I'm getting ready to do a product shot, or I'm getting ready to do a long exposure shot of some kind. A two second timer will give the camera two seconds to stop moving after I've touched it before it actually takes the picture. So that's really handy for studio shooting, and lowlight shooting. Finally, either of these will also allow me to work with a remote control. It's not necessary to dial these into use a remote control; this is just a self-timer that will work with a wired or wireless remote.

All of these eventually loop back around to my normal, single shot, loud shooting, as opposed to do the single shot, quiet shooting. So that's Drive mode. Very easy to get to, even while you're looking through the viewfinder. It's just the button right to the left of the ISO button, which you can feel very easily.

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This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

108 video lessons · 20466 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 10m 29s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 28s
    3. A note for 5D Mark II users
      50s
    4. Using this course
      1m 55s
  2. 35m 44s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      5m 28s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      4m 3s
    3. Examining batteries and media cards
      8m 35s
    4. Powering up
      1m 49s
    5. Exploring the menu system
      2m 53s
    6. Clearing all settings
      2m 5s
    7. Setting the date and time
      1m 55s
    8. Setting the language
      1m 42s
    9. Formatting the media card
      3m 4s
    10. Holding the camera
      4m 10s
  3. 25m 6s
    1. Setting Scene Intelligent Auto mode
      1m 28s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      5m 51s
    3. Touring the LCD screen and the status display
      2m 22s
    4. Exploring the top-mounted control buttons
      1m 42s
    5. Autofocus basics
      5m 7s
    6. Metering basics
      1m 42s
    7. Reviewing images
      2m 59s
    8. Working with image playback
      3m 55s
  4. 39m 32s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      41s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      5m 2s
    3. Using the lock switch
      1m 21s
    4. Revisiting metering
      1m 43s
    5. Changing the ISO
      2m 14s
    6. Looking at ISO speed settings
      4m 36s
    7. Exploring long exposure noise reduction
      2m 53s
    8. Exploring high ISO noise reduction
      1m 40s
    9. Using program shift
      2m 11s
    10. Exploring image format and size
      3m 59s
    11. Using the Info button
      2m 4s
    12. Examining level and grid display
      3m 45s
    13. Using the Quick Control screen
      1m 35s
    14. Setting the color space
      1m 25s
    15. Configuring multiple media cards
      3m 24s
    16. Using the feature guide
      59s
  5. 23m 15s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 25s
    2. Selecting autofocus areas
      3m 54s
    3. Exploring other autofocus options
      3m 44s
    4. Customizing servo auto focus
      4m 49s
    5. Exploring autofocus custom functions
      4m 50s
    6. Using manual focus
      3m 33s
  6. 10m 31s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 48s
    2. Exploring white balance presets
      3m 7s
    3. Using manual white balance
      5m 36s
  7. 10m 47s
    1. Exploring Drive mode
      4m 52s
    2. Using the self-timer
      3m 38s
    3. Using remote controls
      2m 17s
  8. 52m 26s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 26s
    2. Using exposure lock
      1m 22s
    3. Working with focus points and metering
      3m 47s
    4. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 0s
    5. Using the depth of field preview button
      2m 40s
    6. Using Shutter Priority mode
      3m 26s
    7. Using Manual mode
      3m 27s
    8. Using auto exposure bracketing
      6m 3s
    9. Exploring Bulb mode
      2m 34s
    10. Working with the Auto Lighting Optimizer
      1m 40s
    11. Correcting lens aberration
      2m 46s
    12. Exploring Highlight Tone Priority
      2m 25s
    13. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      7m 5s
    14. Creating multiple exposures
      6m 25s
    15. Using the mirror lockup feature
      2m 20s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Modifying LCD brightness
      3m 27s
    2. Rotating images
      2m 36s
    3. Using the playback grid
      42s
    4. Enabling AF point display
      1m 18s
    5. Rating images
      3m 4s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 40s
    7. Using Quick Control during playback
      1m 17s
    8. Exploring file numbering options
      2m 43s
    9. Creating folders
      1m 10s
    10. Changing file names
      3m 12s
    11. Adding copyright information
      3m 29s
  10. 7m 57s
    1. Defining picture styles
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring predefined picture styles
      2m 1s
    3. Adjusting predefined picture styles
      1m 56s
    4. Working with the monochromatic picture style
      2m 0s
  11. 22m 28s
    1. Activating Live View
      7m 16s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 32s
    3. Focus manually in Live View
      1m 25s
    4. Working with aspect ratio
      2m 33s
    5. Exploring other Live View options
      3m 36s
    6. Reviewing the drawbacks to using Live View
      2m 6s
  12. 12m 16s
    1. Shooting video in Auto and Program modes
      6m 39s
    2. Shooting video in Priority or Manual modes
      3m 35s
    3. Exploring movie playback
      2m 2s
  13. 13m 0s
    1. Exploring custom modes
      5m 38s
    2. Using the custom menu
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring custom controls
      4m 26s
  14. 8m 57s
    1. What are custom functions?
      35s
    2. Working with exposure level increments
      1m 34s
    3. Bracketing auto cancel
      53s
    4. Changing the number of bracketed shots
      1m 5s
    5. Changing ISO speed setting increments
      1m 34s
    6. Exploring the Live View shooting area display
      40s
    7. Enabling safety shift
      2m 6s
    8. Clearing all custom functions
      30s
  15. 8m 16s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      3m 12s
    2. Using the Battery Info command
      1m 45s
    3. Looking at operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 3s
    4. Getting firmware updates
      1m 16s
  16. 15m 10s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      5m 31s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      5m 11s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      4m 28s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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