shutter lag blues

Before my frontside ollie disaster disaster, I was trying to take some action photos at the skatepark with my digital camera. The results were disappointing, because of shutter lag making it almost impossible to catch the action. I’ve had the camera for about a year – it’s a Pentax optio 330 gs, and I bought it because my first ancient HP digital camera had excessive shutter lag, making it virtually impossible to use at times. When I got the pentax, the improvement was massive, but this is the first time i’ve tried any action photography with it.

I’ve read that the best way to get round this is to not use the flash and to set up your shot beforehand by half depressing the button so that the autofocus has already taken place in the area the action is going to occur. Using no flash means daylight only or incredibly blurred shots. You can also use "continuous mode" to take pictures in quick succession, but I was unimpressed with the results of this, particularly with a sport like skateboarding where timing is everything to get the optimal shot.

I guess now it is starting to sink in why high end digital SLR’s are still so expensive. In the meantime I might dust off my old olympus 35mm compact for my next trip to the skatepark.

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