Understanding Action Mode on Digital Cameras

Utilizing automatic modes such as action mode is a great way for beginner photographers to learn the basics of digital photography without having to remember camera settings for each different shooting scenario. Using action mode will eliminate guess work and help beginners take great action shots.

How to Use Action Mode

Most digital camera manufactures allow for easy utilization of action mode. Typically automatic modes are accessed by a dial on the top of the camera. Action mode is typically depicted with a figure in a running or sprinting position. Some manufacturers may also refer to this mode as sports mode.

Why Use Action Mode

Action mode automatically sets the camera's shutter speed and aperture (f/stop) to the ideal settings for action photography. Action photography requires a fast shutter speed and more light to "freeze" the subject's motion to produce a crisp, clean image.

When to Use Action Mode

Action mode is best used when taking photographs of sporting activities, children, pets and wildlife. Constantly moving subjects require a faster shutter speed than stationary objects to produce a good image. Action mode also works well outdoors where more light can hit the camera's sensor allowing for faster shutter speeds and therefore reducing the likelihood of a blurry subject.

Beyond Action Mode

Using action mode provides an understanding of how to set shutter speed and aperture when beginning photographers delve into manual mode. Beginners can watch how the auto mode setting changes the shutter speed and aperture in different situations and lighting conditions. Observing that action shots require a fast shutter speed and more light (lower f/stop) gives beginning photographers a starting point for capturing better action shoots in manual mode.

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