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Best Digital Cameras Review
Burst Rate: The Speed of a Digital Camera

Best Digital Cameras Review

Digital Cameras with High Resolution
Storing Images on Best Digital Cameras
Best Lens Features on Digital Cameras
Digital Photo Software
Digital Camera Sensitivity / ISO Equivalent
Burst Rates --you are here
Digital Camera Battery Usage
Burst Rate
This specification refers to how fast a camera can capture images. Slow burst rates are often a common problem in digital SLRs (Glossary: SLR), but even more so in the compact point and shoot digital cameras. Simply put, a slow burst rate can make you miss the shot.

Burst rate becomes especially crucial in sports and fashion photography where a fast recycle time is essential. Since a digital camera has to actually write an image file every time you take a picture, you usually have between 4-8 seconds of dead time between shots.

When Digitally Photographing Surfing and other Sports Photography, Burst Rate Becomes Essential
A Split Second of Surfing
Shot with a Digital SLR
©Jim Miotke
This delay happens more in compact point and shoot digital cameras than in the digital SLR cameras. For many photographers - especially professional photojournalists and sports photographers - this fact makes it worth the extra money to buy a digital SLR. For example, the shot above of the surfer would probably have been missed with a less expensive point and shoot digital camera.

Some cameras overcome this problem to a certain degree by adding RAM to the camera which acts as a buffer. In this way, you can take several shots before having to wait 10-20 seconds while the images write.

If you are going to be shooting fast-moving subjects, pay especially close attention to this spec. Be sure you get a camera with as fast of a burst rate as you can.

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