Sometimes, one frame isn’t always enough to get perfect results. Find out how continuous shooting can help you capture everything, from movement to portraits.
One of the many benefits of shooting digitally is that you don’t need to worry about how many shots you’re taking – gone are the days when we had to think in blocks of 24 or 36 exposures. This means that when certain situations arise, it can be best to shoot continuously, rather than one frame at a time. Let’s look at the scenarios when it’s a good idea to shoot this way and explain how to get your X Series camera ready for action.
Shooting multiple frames in quick succession, which can then be superimposed later in post-production, is a good way of depicting motion.
What to Shoot
The most obvious answer here is any form of movement or action. By definition, any subject that is moving can be harder to capture perfectly, so it’s a good idea to stack the odds in your favor by shooting continuously. The same applies to photographing wildlife, too. But what about portraits? You often get the very best shots of people the split second after they think their picture has been taken. In the moment after a shot has been taken, a sitter or group will relax, and this can often mean a cheesy grin turns into a truly photogenic unguarded moment; capture it by shooting continuously. In fact, the more you think about any subject, the more you realize it can lend itself to continuous shooting. Get into the mindset of challenging how you’re shooting every time you pick up your camera – it could be that continuous shooting is the right choice!
As you know, continuous shooting speeds are measured in frames-per-second (fps), and the mirrorless design of FUJIFILM X Series cameras means you can capture images at an impressive rate. Most models shoot at 8fps and some go even faster than that. All FUJIFILM cameras offer two continuous shooting rates; Continuous High and Low. These are typically accessed via the drive mode button or, on selected models, a dedicated switch on the top plate.
The number of continuous frames you can capture in one burst depends on various factors, including the file format you’re using and the type of memory card. Shoot JPEG only for the maximum speed and number of images. If you choose RAW or RAW+JPEG, the capacity will drop, as the camera needs longer to copy or ‘write’ the files to the card. The specifications in your camera’s instruction manual tells you its maximum shooting capacity. Similarly, choose the fastest type of card to get the most shots – UHS-I or UHS-II cards are best, but make sure your camera is compatible.
X Series cameras offer mechanical and electronic shutters. To maximize speed, choose electronic. This can be done by going to the SHOOTING SETTING menu, then selecting SHUTTER TYPE > ELECTRONIC SHUTTER.
The electronic shutter also provides access to the fastest shutter speeds, often up to 1/32,000 sec. These are fast enough to freeze any movement, but be aware of the ‘rolling shutter’ effect caused by the way the sensor is scanned by the electronic shutter, as opposed to exposed in one go with a mechanical shutter.
If you want to shoot at fast frame rates, and are shooting fast-moving subjects, we’d advise you to use continuous autofocus. Depending on the X Series model you own, this can be done in one of two ways. Either choose the C setting on the focus selector switch on the front of the camera, or go to the AF/MF SETTING menu and choose AF MODE > CONTINUOUS AF. In the continuous autofocus mode, the camera continues to focus as long as the shutter release is pressed halfway. If your subject is static, you can stick with single shot AF (AF-S); the S setting on the focus selector switch.
Selected X Series models also allow Custom AF-C presets to record different types of action. These can be accessed by going to the AF/MF SETTING menu, then choosing AF-C CUSTOM SETTINGS. Five custom presets are available and each one comes with an explanation on the LCD of when it should be used. On some models, a sixth, user-defined preset is available that gives you the option of creating your own. Here, you can change three focusing parameters to define how the continuous AF system behaves.
Your Next Steps
- CHALLENGE Pick a fast-moving subject and photograph it using the fastest continuous shooting speed that your camera offers. Can you find a favorite amongst the multiple frames? Post your results to social media with the hashtag #MyFujifilmLegacy. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.
- LEARN Download our booklet Capture the Action with FUJIFILM X Series.