Refer to Figure 7-7 to locate shutter speed on the Camera Settings display. After you select the shutter speed, the camera selects an aperture (f-stop) to match.
What shutter speed you need depends on the speed at which your subject is moving, so some experimentation is needed. But generally speaking, 1/500 second should be plenty for all but the fastest subjects — speeding hockey players like my subject, race cars, boats, and so on. For slower subjects, you can even go as low as 1/250 or 1/125 second.
If the aperture value blinks Shutter speed AF mode Drive mode after you set the shutter speed, the camera can't select an f-stop that will properly expose the photo at that shutter speed. See Chapter 5 for more details about how the camera notifies you of potential exposure problems.
3. Raise the ISO setting or add flash to produce a brighter exposure if needed.
In dim lighting, you may not be able to get a good exposure at your chosen shutter speed without taking this step. Raising the ISO does increase the possibility of noise, but a noisy shot is better than a blurry shot. The current ISO setting appears in the top-right corner of the Camera Settings display, as shown in Figure 7-7. (Note that in Sports mode, the camera automatically overrides your ISO setting if it deems necessary, but it can go only as high as ISO 400. For more on ISO, see Chapter 5.)
Adding flash is a bit tricky for action shots, unfortunately. First, the flash needs time to recycle between shots, so try to go without if you want to capture images at a fast pace. Second, the built-in flash has limited range — so don't waste your time if your subject isn't close by. And third, remember that the maximum shutter speed decreases when you enable flash; the top speed is 1/200 second. For more on this issue, check out the Chapter 5 sidebar related to flash synch speeds.
If you do decide to use flash, you must bail out of Sports mode, though; it doesn't permit you to use flash.
4. For rapid-fire shooting, set the Drive mode to Continuous.
In this mode, you can take as many as three pictures per second. The camera continues to record images as long as the shutter button is pressed. You can switch the Drive mode by pressing the button you see in the margin here; the icon representing the current mode appears in the Camera Settings display, as labeled in Figure 7-7.
If you do enable the flash, the pace at which the camera can record images slows because the flash needs time to recycle between shots. Chapter 2 explains more about all the Drive mode options.
5. For fastest shooting, switch to manual focusing.
You then eliminate the time the camera needs to lock focus in autofocus mode. Chapter 1 shows you how to focus manually, if you need help.
If you do use autofocus, try these two autofocus settings for best performance:
• Set the AF Point Selection mode to Automatic. Press the button shown in the margin here to adjust this setting.
• Set the Focus mode to AI Servo (continuous-servo autofocus). Press the right cross key to access this setting.
Chapter 6 details these autofocus options.
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Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.