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Motor drive modes

From: Photography 101

Video: Motor drive modes

If you're just shooting a single photo, like a portrait for example. You only want the camera to take one picture when you push the button, click. If you're shooting some type of action, for example sports, or race cars. You probably want the camera to shoot a series of photos for as long as you hold the button down, click, click, click, click, click. That's called the motor drive function, and every camera has the ability to switch between single, and continuous mode. Some have low and high speed continuous modes. And some models even have advanced modes like a slow speed mode, allowing you to shoot even quieter in an extremely slow speed.

Motor drive modes

If you're just shooting a single photo, like a portrait for example. You only want the camera to take one picture when you push the button, click. If you're shooting some type of action, for example sports, or race cars. You probably want the camera to shoot a series of photos for as long as you hold the button down, click, click, click, click, click. That's called the motor drive function, and every camera has the ability to switch between single, and continuous mode. Some have low and high speed continuous modes. And some models even have advanced modes like a slow speed mode, allowing you to shoot even quieter in an extremely slow speed.

So let's take a look at a couple of different camera models and see where these buttons are. I'll start with the Canon here. Now this is a more advanced Canon model which does have one of these more advanced modes. So I wanted you to see what this looks like. First of all, to change the motor drive mode on this camera. We look for a button on the top that says AF.drive, and in this case we're controlling the motor drive. The AF is for the auto focus function, so this camera will control two different functions from a single button. So I just push that button and rotate the thumb dial on the back. To switch between single, continous high, and continous low.

So let's have a look at a different one. Let's see, here's single. (audio playing) And then if I switch it to continuous low. (audio playing) And if I go to continuous high. (audio playing) We see that it's shooting at a much higher frame rate. This particular camera also has a silent mode. (audio playing) And you can hear that it's much quieter than the other modes. What's happening here is that when you push the button the mirror moves out of the way, and the picture's made.

But then as long as I had my finger down on the button, the mirror stays up. It doesn't come back down until I take my finger off the button. And when it does come down, it comes down more slowly so it doesn't make as much noise. This is great if you're shooting in a sensitive situation like a wedding, for example. On the Nikons, you'll find that the continuous mode is controlled from a dial, usually found underneath the mode dial. To move it, you push down a little release button. And you'll see now, it says S for single. And you move it to continuous low.

(audio playing) Or to continuous high. (audio playing) (audio playing) The Sony has a really interesting function on it. First of all, let's find the button. It's up here at the top, you'll see a little clock that tells you Self timer mode. Which, by the way, is where you usually find the Self timer under the same drive mode. And it has a series of stacked rectangles telling us that I can take multiple pictures with this mode. So, if I wake up the camera here. (audio playing) And push this button, you'll see that I can switch between Single shot, which it's in now.

(audio playing) Or I can move to advanced low. (audio playing) And then this one has another mode that is called Speed Priority control. The difference here is on most cameras when you're in the high speed mode. The camera is continuously trying to refocus between shots, so the camera of course stays in focus. This particular model will allow you to lock the focus off of the first exposure. And then shoot at an even higher frame rate. This is great if you have something that is moving by but you're keeping the same distance between you and the subject. (audio playing) And as you can hear it shoots at a much higher frame rate because of that.

So regardless of which camera you're working with, you're going to find that this button is on there somewhere. Labeled perhaps drive or labeled with a series of little rectangles on it. But find the function and check out the different modes that your camera has. All DSLR's have them and there's a place and a time for each mode.

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Photography 101

41 video lessons · 30109 viewers

Joseph Linaschke
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