Sunday, December 11

Bursting with photographs

In reply to some comments on my Wordless Wednesday post this week, I mentioned that I used the burst facility on my camera when photographing wildlife. I realised that some people were not familiar with this facility and so thought I would try to explain what it is and when and why I use it.

Obviously I can only show how to access this on my cameras but I think that the symbol to look for is the same on most cameras. I see it as a pile of photographs.

On the Lumix FZ72 you need to press a button on the top right of the camera.
On the FZ1000 you need to turn a dial on the top left of the camera.

With the FZ72 when you press the burst button an on screen option allows you to set the burst speed at 2, 5 or 9 frames per second. In auto mode the number of shots taken is limited to three.

Using the FZ1000 you need to bring up the menu screen to set the burst rate. L is 2 frames per second, M is 7 frames, H is 12 frames and SH is 50. Once the shutter button is depressed on the FZ1000 the camera just keeps firing off shots. On SH the maximum is 60 shots at 50 frames per second. At the other speeds it depends on the size of your memory card. I have my burst rate set on H.

So when do I use burst mode? Mainly for taking photos of a subject that is moving or likely to move. The advantage is that I can take multiple shots of an animal, bird or insect and choose a pose or poses that I like best. Firing off one shot can mean that the only shot you manage is blurred. 
A disadvantage, if you can call it one, is that you can end up with lots of images to sift through.
Sometimes the differences are subtle - like above.

I don't really take portraits but I can see how it could be useful to take multiple images and be able to capture the best expression or avoid the subject having their eyes shut.

I also use burst when taking shots of steam trains. When the subject is fast moving it is difficult to compose a picture. Using burst I can choose shots where the engine is in the best position in relation to the landscape.

You may have been standing next to someone using burst mode and heard the repeated sound of the shutter firing. This can have the effect of frightening a subject that is fairly close like this robin.
It would also annoy Martyn - or anyone else - standing close by filming video. For this reason I operate my camera in silent mode. The slight disadvantage in this is that I can't be absolutely sure that I have taken a picture, however, so far this hasn't been a problem.

I have to admit until I started to write this post I hadn't realised that I could set the FZ1000 to take 50 frames a second so I have yet to try this - maybe next time that I am trying to photograph a bird in flight.

There is one other thing that I should mention and that is that I often forget to switch off burst and end up with a series of identical landscapes images. I tend to work on the principle that it is better to have burst switched on when I don't need it than have it switched off when I do. Unwanted images are easily deleted. I must, however,  try to remember to change out of the 50 frames per second mode when I have finished using it.

NB: I have created an index page that lists and links all the photography posts that Martyn and I have written. This will be updated as appropriate. If you are interested the link is on the sidebar and is accessed by clicking this sidebar image image


20 comments:

  1. Well done Sue you have covered the subject well, including the pitfalls, you have the gift of describing it in details that most aspiring photographers will understand

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    1. Thanks, David - it's all down to two previous incarnations. Primary teacher for 26 years and almost 10 years teaching use if ICT to teachers some who were technophobes.

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  2. Oh, Sue, this is SO helpful. You've really given some great tips and I shall be trying this out. Thank you!!!!
    :)

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    1. So glad someone is finding it useful, Sue. More to come!

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  3. It's a good feature to have on a camera though I must admit that I forget to use it. I'm going to make more of an effort to use my camera better.

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    1. That's what I am trying to do too, Jo

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  4. The burst works great for photographing hummingbirds.

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    1. If only we had the chance to try that, Bonnie.

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  5. Thanks Sue. I found the icon and now I shall endeavour to use it. Mind you, I've only had the camera six years! I wish technology manuals could be written by someone like you.

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    1. It comes with years of having to strip things to basics, L. I find manuals as total gobbledegook too. Glad to help.

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  6. I guess this is the same as the icon of a athlete on my canon camera. I have used it to photograph a boat race but have never thought about using it for wild life. I will have to give it a go.

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    1. I thought that icon just sets the camera to a fast speed, Brian. Does it fire multiple shots. Usually the icon is the same as the one on my camera. I've seen it as a button on the top on some Canon cameras.

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  7. How interesting Sue, I have an action setting on my canon that captures movement really well.xxx

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    1. I find the burst mode invaluable, Dina.

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  8. Like L, I purchased a new DSLR camera a couple of years ago and still don't know how to use it properly. I took a peak at it based on your description above and, lo and behold, there is a button with all those frames on it! Thanks for the info Sue...learned something new (and useful!) today :)

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    1. Hope that you enjoy having a go, Margaret.

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  9. Great to share this, Sue. There are always features on a camera that we don't realise that are there and then when we do it's a revelation. I've got that 'pile of photos' icon on my canon and to be honest, its always set to that. Like, Brian I've experimented using the sports setting for wildlife too. I've had good results but the continuous shoot still remains my favourite. Just looked at my outdated, canon camera body now and can't see a burst feature. It sounds a very good feature to have. I like you have different settings to choose from. Great series, Sue :-)

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    1. My camera is more often set to burst, Shirley which is why I end up with so many photos after a day out. I like that fact that it doesn't just freeze motion but takes a variety of shots and reveals some great 'poses' using it where birds are bathing is great.

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  10. This is very helpful guide! The photos look so awesome!

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    1. Glad you find it helpful, Malar

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