HOW TO: Take Action Shots

This document supplies generic information on using the rapid fire option on a Digital Camera


Most digital cameras will have a mode they call sport mode or rapid fire mode. This function is mostly used for Action Shots. To enable this function you will need to look at the camera dial or the setting on the camera or both.

1. Start by turning the setting dial to Sport mode. This is found on the top of most digital cameras.

2. Checking this setting using the camera will tell you what else you may need. Some will need to have the flash turned off. May need to select a shutter speed or other settings on the camera. You should not need to have a shutter speed of more than 1/500th of a second. Most of the time 1/250th or even 1/125th of a second is fast enough. Some of the smaller point and shoot type cameras may have a preset that cannot be modified.

3. Raising the ISO setting on the camera will really assist you in capture action in lower light settings. The increase in the camera ISO may add a little noise or graininess to the picture which will still be better than a fuzzy picture.

4. Some of the better cameras may have a function called Continuous shot mode. This will also assist in the action shots. The camera will continue to take pictures as long as the shutter button is held down. Most cameras will average about three to four shots per second.

5. Some cameras will also have a setting called AF mode or AL-servo (Continuous-servo autofocus). These setting will assist in keeping the subject or item in focus. These are usually found on the DSLR cameras.

6. Remember that focus is very important some camera will take better action shots if you have manual focus turned on. Other cameras do not have this option so they may not shoot the action as fast. Disabling the view screen on the back of the camera will assist in processing and transfer to the memory storage card. This function is also called image preview.

7. Lock in the autofocus in advance by pressing the shutter button half way down. The image capture time is faster because the camera has already done the work of establishing Focus.

8. Press the shutter button to capture the images. Action shooting strategies are also helpful for shooting candid portraits of children and pets. Even if they are not running or leaping around. So if an interaction or scene catches the eye. Set the camera in to action mode and shoot away.