The Drive mode enables you to tell the camera what to do when you press the shutter button: record a single frame, a series of frames, or record one or more shots after a short delay.
Your camera offers the following Drive mode settings, which are represented by the symbols you see in the margin:
✓ Single: This setting, which is the default for Creative Auto and all fully automatic modes except Portrait and Sports, records a single image each time you press the shutter button. In other words, this is normal-photography mode.
✓ Continuous: Sometimes known as burst mode, this setting records a continuous series of images as long as you hold down the shutter button. On the Rebel T1i/500D, you can capture just about 3.4 shots per second. Obviously, this mode is great for capturing fast-paced subjects, which is why it's the default setting for Sports mode. It's also selected for Portrait mode, which is a great benefit if your subject is the fidgety type.
Keep in mind that some camera functions can slow down the continuous capture rate. For example, when you use flash or enable the High ISO Noise Reduction feature (explained in Chapter 5), you typically can't achieve the highest burst rate. The speed of your memory card also plays a role in how fast the camera can capture images. In other words, consider 3.4 shots per second a best-case scenario.
✓ Self-Timer/Remote Control: Want to put yourself in the picture? Select this mode and then press the shutter button and run into the frame. You have about 10 seconds to get yourself in place and pose before the image is recorded.
I also often use the self-timer function when I want to avoid any possibility of camera shake. The mere motion of pressing the shutter button can cause slight camera movement, which can blur an image. So I put the camera on a tripod and then activate the self-timer function. This enables "hands-free" — and therefore motion-free — picture taking.
As another alternative, you can purchase one of the optional remote-control units sold by Canon. You can opt for either a wireless unit or one that plugs into the remote-control terminal on the left side of the camera. Either way, set the Drive mode to the Self-Timer/Remote Control option when you want to trigger the shutter release button with the remote control.
✓ 2-Second Self-Timer: This mode works just like the regular self-timer mode, but the capture happens just two seconds after you fully press the shutter button. Unfortunately, this mode isn't available to you in the fully automatic exposure modes or Creative Auto mode; you can choose this option only in P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP modes.
✓ Self-Timer Continuous: With this option, the camera waits 10 seconds after you press the shutter button and then captures a continuous series of images. You can record as many as 10 continuous images.
To check the current Drive mode, display the Shooting Settings screen. The Drive mode icon appears in the area labeled in Figure 2-16.
If you want to use a different mode, you have two options:
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