Speed Up Your Camera!

 

This article was originally published in September 2012.

Often, when on the field, have you found your camera struggling to keep up with you? A faster frame rate isn’t necessarily the answer. Here’s a few quick things you can do to make your camera shoot faster, when on the go.

Keep the batteries charged and firmware updated, so that the camera does not hang. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

Keep the batteries charged and firmware updated, so that the camera does not hang. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

Switch off Automation
Quite often, we try to shoot a particular subject and find that the action has taken place before the camera has even achieved focus. On the other hand, sometimes, everything may be perfect, but a little bit of shutter lag means that you have not been able to capture the moment. In situations like these, switch off any sort of automation within the camera. Switch to manual focus, choose exposure manually and even switch off the LCD display. This may seem cumbersome, but it will ensure that the camera will react much faster.

If you anticipate that something is about to happen, fi rst check your battery and the available card space. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

If you anticipate that something is about to happen, fi rst check your battery and the available card space. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

Avoid Unnecessary Shots
Cameras that shoot at 5fps and 7fps tend to make us lazy. Instead of looking for the perfect moment, we use the Burst mode and hope that one of the photographs hits the mark. However, every camera has a buffer capability. If you have been making unnecessary frames, the buffer capacity may get clogged up. This will make the camera slow or unresponsive when you actually need to shoot.

Previsualise the composition and keep the camera ready, until a man walks by or birds fly into the frame. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

Previsualise the composition and keep the camera ready, until a man walks by or birds fly into the frame. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

Try Shooting JPEG Files
While RAW photos often give much better quality, they can be heavy and slow down the camera’s performance. When speed is of essence, switch to shooting JPEG files, so that you at least capture the moment.

Tags: automation, buffer capacity, Burst Mode, fps, Frame Rate, jpegs, LCD display, manual focus, Raw, shutter lag