The Nikon D3300’s Shutter Release Modes
Every camera manufacturer strives to ensure that your initial encounter with the camera is a happy one. To that end, the D3300’s default settings are designed to make it easy to take a good picture the first time you press the shutter button. The camera is set to the Auto exposure mode, which means that all you need to do is frame, focus, and shoot.
Although the default settings deliver acceptable pictures in many cases, they don’t produce optimal results in every situation. You may be able to take a decent portrait in Auto mode, for example, but by tweaking a few settings, you can turn that decent portrait into a stunning one.
Single Frame and Quiet Shutter Release modes
Single Frame Release mode captures one picture each time you press the shutter button. It’s the default setting for all exposure modes except the Sports Scene mode.
Quiet Shutter mode works just like Single Frame mode but makes less noise as it goes about its business. First, the camera disables the beep that it emits by default when it achieves focus. (You can turn off the beep for other Release modes via the Beep option on the Setup menu.)
Continuous (burst mode) shooting
Sometimes known as burst mode, this mode records a continuous series of images as long as you hold down the shutter button, making it easier to capture action. On the D3300, you can capture up to five frames per second.
A few critical details:
Enabling flash disables continuous shooting. Flash isn’t compatible with burst mode photography because the time that the flash needs to recycle between shots slows down the capture rate too much. If flash is enabled, the camera operates as if you were using Single Frame mode.
Images are stored temporarily in the memory buffer. The camera has a little bit of internal memory — a buffer — where it stores picture data until it has time to record them to the memory card. The number of pictures the buffer can hold depends on certain camera settings, such as resolution and file type (JPEG or Raw).
When you press the shutter button halfway, the shots-remaining value in the lower-right corner of the viewfinder changes to display an r. For example, r24 means that 24 frames will fit in the buffer.
After shooting a burst of images, wait for the memory-card access light on the back of the camera to go out before turning off the camera. That’s your signal that the camera has successfully moved all data from the buffer to the memory card. Turning off the camera before that happens may corrupt the image files.
Your mileage may vary. The number of frames per second depends on several factors, including shutter speed. To achieve the highest rate, the shutter speed must be 1/250 second or faster. Additionally, although you can capture as many as 100 frames in a single burst, the frame rate can drop if the buffer gets full.
You’re no doubt familiar with Self-Timer mode, which delays the shutter release for a few seconds after you press the shutter button, giving you time to dash into the picture.
Here’s how it works on the D3300: After you press the shutter button, the AF-assist lamp on the front of the camera starts to blink, and the camera emits a series of beeps (assuming that you didn’t disable its voice via the Beep option on the Setup menu). A few seconds later, the camera captures the image.
By default, the camera waits 10 seconds after you press the shutter button and then records a single image. But you can tweak the delay time and capture as many as nine shots at a time. Set your preferences by using the Self-Timer option, found on the Setup menu and shown in the figure 2-4. Here’s what you need to know about the two settings:
Self-Timer Delay: Choose a delay time of 2, 5, 10, or 20 seconds. The selected delay time appears with the Self-Timer symbol in the Information and Live View displays. (Refer to the figure for help locating the symbol in the displays.)
Number of Shots: Specify how many frames you want to capture with each press of the shutter button; the maximum is nine. When you record muliple frames, shots are taken at 4-second intervals.
Two more points about self-timer shooting:
After the specified number of shots are captured, the camera resets the Release mode to Single Frame, Quiet, or Continuous. Turning off the camera also resets the Release mode. Either way, the camera selects the Release mode you used before Self-Timer mode.
Cover the viewfinder during self-timer shooting. Otherwise, light may seep into the camera through the viewfinder and affect exposure. Your camera comes with a cover made for this purpose. Remove the rubber eyepiece that surrounds the viewfinder and then insert the cover in its place.
Wireless remote control modes
Two other Release mode settings relate to the Nikon ML-L3 wireless remote control unit and work as follows:
Delayed Remote: After you press the shutter-release button on the remote unit, the AF-assist lamp blinks for about 2 seconds, and then the camera takes the picture.
Quick Response Remote: The image is captured immediately. In this mode, the AF-assist lamp blinks after the shot is taken.
When using the wireless remote, aim the transmitter at one of the two remote-control sensors. One is located on the front of the camera, as shown on the left in this figure; the other is found on the back, as shown on the right in the figure.
Normally, the camera cancels out of the remote control modes if it doesn’t receive a signal from the remote after about 1 minute. You can adjust this timing by using the Remote On Duration option, located on the Setup menu. The maximum delay time is 15 minutes; keep in mind that a shorter delay time saves battery life.
After the delay time expires, the camera resets itself to either Single Frame, Quiet Shutter, or Continuous mode, depending on which mode you last used. The Release mode is also reset to one of those modes if you turn off the camera.
As with self-timer shooting, it’s a good idea to cover the viewfinder when you’re using these modes, to prevent exposure problems that can be caused by light entering the camera through the viewfinder.
These Release modes are not meant to be used with a wired remote control. Select one of the other Release mode settings, and then press the shutter-release button on the remote to trigger the shutter. Wired or wireless, see your remote’s operating guide for more details on using the unit.