Shooting Photos in Sports Mode with a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera - dummies

Shooting Photos in Sports Mode with a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera

By Julie Adair King

Sports mode on the Canon Rebel T3 and T3i results in a number of settings that can help you photograph moving subjects. First, the camera selects a fast shutter speed, which is needed to “stop motion.”


Colors, sharpness, and contrast are all standard in Sports mode, with none of the adjustments that occur in Portrait and Landscape mode. Other settings to note include the following:

  • Drive mode: To enable rapid-fire image capture, the Drive mode is set to Continuous. This mode enables you to record multiple frames with a single press of the shutter button. You also have the option of switching to either Self-Timer: 10 Sec/Remote Control, which results in a single image being captured with each shutter-button press, or Self-Timer: Continuous, which lets you set the camera to record from 2 to 10 shots with each shutter release.

  • Flash: Flash is disabled, which can be a problem in low-light situations, but it also 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.

  • Autofocusing: The AF mode is set to AI Servo, which is designed for focusing on moving subjects. When you press the shutter button halfway, the camera establishes focus on whatever is under the center focus point. But if the subject moves, the camera attempts to refocus up to the moment you take the picture.

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

The other critical thing to understand about Sports mode is that whether the camera can select a shutter speed fast enough to stop motion depends on the available light and the speed of the subject itself. In dim lighting, a subject that’s moving at a rapid pace may appear blurry even when photographed in Sports mode. And the camera may need to increase light sensitivity by boosting the ISO setting, which has the unhappy side effect of creating noise, a defect that looks like grains of sand.