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3 Ways To Reduce Shutter Lag on Your Camera

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Life is fast and when it comes to capturing it, you need a camera and more importantly a memory card that will keep up.

If you have a focus on wildlife, sports or even photographing your children you’ll know what I mean. There’s nothing worse than having a moment unfold before you only to find out that your gear won’t (and doesn’t) keep up. That flashing little led light on the back of your camera between shots can make a any second feel like a minute. Basically, when the lights on you won’t be able to take a photo and it’s this little light that can be a common frustration for the avid shooter.

Hopefully in this article you can find a solution that will not only turn that light off faster, but also offer a few other solutions you can go with in order to reduce shutter lag.

First off, if you’re photographing in semi-low light areas and you’re not too worried about noise I would recommend turning off noise reduction in your camera’s menu. What’s actually happening to every photograph you’re taking is for the amount of time the camera took to capture the photograph, noise reduction will take the same amount of time to process the image. Now, don’t think that this will make your camera fast in great light – it won’t but if you’re photographing in semi low light you may find it will increase in the speed it takes to photograph the next image.

The second thing you can do is switch the camera to manual focus. Sometimes in cameras the focus can take a little while to perform on moving subjects, an example that comes to mind is when I was last in Africa. I remember focusing on a lioness prowling through the grass and my autofocus on my Canon would automatically want to focus on the grass in the foreground. I was forced to wait for the continuous focus to lock on to the lioness before I pressed the button. Now this frustration cost me a couple of shots, which is why I opted to turn the camera over to manual focus to illuminate the problem.

Another option which I highly recommend following through on is to buy a much faster rated memory card. Typically most cameras – bar a few Digital SLR’s – use SDXC or SDHC memory cards and it’s recommend you use at least a class 10 speed memory card. The great news here is there is now a much newer type of memory card out that’s called a UHS-II card. Don’t ask me who comes up with these names, but when you put a Sandisk UHS-II or Lexar UHS-II memory card into a compatible camera it’s like jumping into a rocket ship on launch to the moon.

The advantage of one of these cards is that it can read and write all your photos at the one time (#multitasking – maybe the should have called given it a female name?). So, when you’re photographing fast moving subjects at around 6 – 12 frames per second, your camera’s buffer will be able to keep up.

At the end of the day if you combine all two to three of these speed tips you’ll find you won’t have to wait as long for that horrible led light to turn off before you take a photo!