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How to Use Burst Mode in the Nikon D90

Action photography requires a fast shutter speed — and a fast trigger finger. Luckily, the Nikon D90 has a Release (or burst) mode, which records a continuous series of images as long as you hold down the shutter button. If you want to know how to take great digital pictures of a quick-moving subject, the Release mode is a terrific way to start.

Release mode determines how you trigger the actual image capture and what happens after you take that step. The default setting is Single Frame, which records a single image each time you press the shutter button completely. In other words, this is normal-photography mode. Burst mode, as it is more typically called, comes when you use either of the Continuous Low or Continuous High settings. (Release mode also allows you to select self-timer, delayed remote, and quick response remote settings.)

You can see which Release mode is currently selected by inspecting the Control panel or Shooting Information display (press the Info button). Look for the Release mode symbol in the areas highlighted below.

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Continuous Low records a continuous series of images as long as you hold down the shutter button. At the default setting, Continuous Low mode can capture a maximum of three frames per second. But you can change the maximum capture number to 1, 2, or 4 frames per second. Just open the Custom Setting menu, select the Shooting Display submenu, and then select item d6, CL Mode Shooting Speed, shown here.

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Continuous High works just like Continuous Low except that it has a maximum frames-per-second rate of four to five frames. You can’t adjust the maximum rate for this mode.

To change the mode, press and hold the Release Mode button on top of the camera. As soon as you press the button, all settings except the Release mode disappear from the Control panel and are dimmed in the Shooting Information display. While continuing to press the button, rotate the main command dial (on the back of the camera) to cycle through the available Release mode settings.

Both of the Continuous modes are designed to make it easier for you to capture action. But keep in mind that the actual number of frames you can record per second depends in part on your shutter speed. At a slow shutter speed, the camera may not be able to reach the maximum frame rate.

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