Using the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D’s Sports Mode

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D includes a Sports mode, which automatically activates a number of settings that can help you photograph a moving object, whether it’s an athlete, a race car, or a romping dog. Capturing action without blur, like in sports photography, requires a fast shutter speed. In Sports mode, the camera automatically chooses that fast shutter speed for you. Now all you have to do is point and shoot!

  1. Locate the Mode dial.

    The Mode dial, labeled here, is found on the top of the camera.

  2. Rotate the dial so that the Sports icon is selected.

    The Sports icon, an image of a runner, should be aligned with the silver line to the left of the Mode dial.

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  3. Frame the subject.

    For this feature to work correctly, you must adjust framing so that your subject remains within one of the autofocus points.

  4. Press the shutter button halfway to establish focus initially.

    The AF mode is set to AI Servo. In this mode, the camera establishes focus initially when you press the shutter button halfway. Again, remember that you must adjust framing to keep the subject within an autofocus point. (You may find it easier to simply switch to manual focusing and twist the focusing ring as needed to track the subject’s movement yourself.)

  5. Press the shutter button completely, then keep it depressed, to take a continuous stream of pictures.

    The Drive mode is set to Continuous in the automatic Sports settings. This enables you to record multiple frames with a single press of the shutter button. You also have the option of switching to a Self-Timer or Remote Control mode, if you prefer.

Sports mode disables the built-in flash. This means that in dim lighting, the camera may not be able to select a very fast shutter speed and still deliver a good exposure. Disabling the flash, however, enables you to shoot successive images more quickly because the flash needs a brief period to recycle between shots. In addition, disabling the flash permits a faster shutter speed; when the flash is on, the maximum shutter speed is 1/200 second.

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