View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography

Enjoying the sun (Carl Schurz Park, NYC)

1/1600 . f/5.6 . ISO 320 . 250 mm

Sports mode is useful not just for sports.  Anytime you want to freeze action, or you are unsure about whether something will move, you can quickly switch to sports mode.

It’s useful to understand exactly what “sports mode”  actually does if you decide to use it on your camera. The reason why I like it a lot is because it quickly changes three key settings at once.

  1. It changes your autofocus to AI Servo.  AI Servo will continually adjust the focus of your lens while your finger is half-pressing the shutter button.  It is *very* useful for moving objects.
  2. It changes your autofocus to use all your focal points at once.  Usually I use the single, center focus point to focus my shots so that I have full control.  The issue with moving objects is that you usually aren’t fast enough to make sure the focus is on the center point.
  3. It forces your shutter speed to be very fast, so as to freeze the action.  Usually this will also force the aperture to open to its widest.

Photosnobs will sometimes call the scene presets “dummy modes.”  Well if they can help me snag a shot, then I’m happy to be a dummy.

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