Burst Mode

Burst Mode


  1. A camera setting that allows for the rapid capture of multiple photographs in quick succession with a single press of the shutter button.
  2. Commonly used to photograph fast-moving subjects or fleeting moments, allowing the photographer to later select the best shot from the sequence.
  3. Often involves the temporary storage of images in a buffer before they are written to permanent storage, enabling faster capture rates.

Comprehensive Explanation


Burst mode is a feature found in many modern cameras, including smartphones, that allows for the rapid capture of multiple images in quick succession. This feature is especially useful when shooting fast-moving objects, capturing facial expressions, or in any situation where timing is crucial. The functionality offers the advantage of choice, enabling the photographer to sift through a series of shots to select the one that captures the moment best.

How Burst Mode Works


On most devices, burst mode is activated by holding down the shutter button. Some smartphones may offer dedicated settings or modes to initiate burst shooting.

Capture Speed

The speed at which photos are taken in burst mode varies by device and can range from three to over twenty frames per second. This speed often depends on various factors such as image resolution, available memory, and processing power.

Buffering and Storage

Images captured in burst mode are temporarily stored in a high-speed buffer before being written to the device’s slower, permanent storage. The buffering allows the camera to capture a new set of images even before the previous set has been fully saved.

Applications in Photography

Action Shots

Burst mode is invaluable for capturing fast-moving subjects like athletes, animals, or vehicles, where timing is of the essence.

Candid Photography

It allows the photographer to capture spontaneous moments and expressions that may last for only a fraction of a second.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Although not its primary purpose, burst mode can be used to take a series of images at different exposures, which can later be combined to create a high dynamic range (HDR) image.

Advantages and Limitations


  1. Choice: Burst mode gives photographers multiple shots to choose from, increasing the likelihood of capturing the perfect moment.
  2. Speed: The high capture speed ensures that fleeting moments are not missed.
  3. Flexibility: The feature is useful across a variety of photographic scenarios, from action shots to portraits.


  1. Storage: Burst mode can quickly consume storage space, particularly if shooting in high resolution.
  2. Battery Drain: The rapid capturing and processing of multiple images can significantly deplete the device’s battery.
  3. Processing Time: Depending on the device, there may be a delay as the camera processes and saves the burst of images, which could make the camera temporarily unresponsive for other shots.

Tips for Using Burst Mode

  1. Plan Ahead: If you know you’ll be capturing fast-paced action, set your device to burst mode in advance.
  2. Hold Steady: Try to keep the camera as steady as possible to ensure that the images are sharp.
  3. Review and Delete: After using burst mode, make sure to review the captured images and keep only the best ones to save storage space.


Burst mode is a powerful feature that enables the rapid capture of multiple photographs in quick succession. It is particularly useful in scenarios where timing and speed are crucial. While it offers numerous advantages in capturing the ideal shot, it also has limitations such as increased storage use and potential battery drain. Understanding how to effectively utilize burst mode can greatly enhance the versatility of your photography toolkit.

Sebastian Chase
Sebastian Chase

Sebasitan Chase is a mobile digital photographer who enjoys trying out new mobile technologies, and figuring out how to get them to deliver high-quality images with minimal effort.Join him on his mission to help mobile photographers create incredible images and videos with their new-age digital cameras, no matter the form that they may take.

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