Burst mode (photography)

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Sequence of continuous high-speed images of an eruption of The Great Geysir.

Burst or continuous high speed is a shooting mode in still cameras. In burst mode several photographs are captured in quick succession by either pressing the shutter button or holding it down.[1] This is used mainly when the subject is in successive motion, such as sports. The photographer can then select the best image of the group or arrange them in a sequence to study the transitions in detail.


The speed at which successive photographs can be captured depends on a variety of factors, mainly the processing power of the camera.[2] Disabling certain features such as post processing which the camera applies automatically after capturing each image will usually allow a faster rate of capture. While some cheaper point and shoot cameras may have a multi-image burst function which allows them to capture a certain amount of frames within a second with a single shutter button press, most film and digital SLR cameras will continue to actuate the shutter for as long as the button is held down, until the memory card is full or the battery runs out, although the rate of capture may significantly slow after a certain amount of frames due to filling the camera's data buffer.


Cameras capable of higher continuous shooting rates are much desired in situations where the subjects are in motion, for example sports, or any situation where the opportunity for the ideal photograph is only present for a very short time. Instead of having to time the photography, a photographer can simply start shooting from just before they believe the action will occur, and they have a high chance of at least one frame being acceptable. Modern digital SLR cameras are usually found with continuous shooting rates of between 3 and 8 frames per second, although very high end cameras such as the Canon EOS-1D X are capable of 12 frames per second with full autofocus, or 14 frames per second when in mirror lock-up mode. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is capable of recording 40 still images per second in burst mode, at a slightly reduced resolution.

Some mid-end phones and most high-end phones are capable of burst shooting (recently, very few low end phones are equipped with burst mode). For example, the Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini can capture 20 photos continuously at 3.3 fps when tapping and holding the shutter button. Other examples include: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at 4-5 fps, Apple iPhone 5S at 10 fps, or up to 30 fps with special software,[2] and the ASUS Padfone Mini at 16fps.


  1. ^ "Burst Modes - and How They Work - Photo Review". photoreview.com.au. March 17, 2014. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Curtis, Sophie (January 6, 2014). "Apple buys 'burst mode' camera app SnappyLabs - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London: TMG). ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Yalamanchi, Naresh (April 20, 2014). "Burst mode shooting in ios 7 camera | continuous mode shooting in iOS 7 camera". careiphone.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.