Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Delay

One of the greatest hassles most new digital camera owners soon find is how to handle “the delay”,  the unique feature (or is that annoyance) of a lag between when you snap the shutter and when the picture is actually taken. This happens because the camera does all sorts of things when you press the button, from focusing to setting exposure and white balance. The delay is not a big problem for still or portrait, but is a pain for action sphotps.

This was meant to be a photo of sparrows skimming across the water, but they are long gone and only little waves give any evidence of their passing. Come on admit you have lots of similar photos

The solution for action photos is to expect the delay!
  • Half press the shutter button as you are waiting for the action to start. Keep it there until you are ready for the photo, and then press the all the way. Pressing half way tells most cameras to  begin choosing focus, color balance, and exposure. The subsequent delay when you take your shot is now quite tiny, comparable to film cameras.

  • A second approach is to switch on manual exposure and focus. Most digital cameras have tremendous depth-of-field, so focus is not critical.  

  • Try panning the camera, which means folowing the action with your body to keep the subject in the viewfinder before, during and after the exposure.
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