How To Speed Up Your "Slow" Digital Camera

A common complaint about a low to mid range digital camera is the speed at which it captures images. Such complaints are the result of lag time: both the delay between pressing the shutter button and getting a single picture and the time between capturing consecutive images.

Certainly buying a higher end digital camera can significantly reduce either of these two delay issues. Recent news reports even indicate that Casio is in the process of developing a digital camera that will be capable of photographing 300 frames per second but that is obviously in the future at this point and may be out of the desired price range for many buyers. For the near term, and for the buyer on a budget, there are a couple of tips to help deal with a sluggish digital camera.

Reducing Lag

The lag time that occurs between pressing the shutter button and taking the picture is due in large part to the focusing functions that are being performed by the camera during this time.

Many digital camera owners have learned to work around this lag time. By simply pressing the button halfway down and holding it prior to taking the picture, the camera is able to complete much of the focusing prior to asking the camera to actual capture an image. Once the user is ready to take the shot, the button is depressed completely and, viola, the camera responds with almost no delay.  This technique obviously works only when the person taking photographs plans ahead and is prepared to take a shot prior to the proper moment.

Reducing Delay Between Shots

Unfortunately, users may still have to deal with the delay between taking one photo and the next which can result in missing many great shots. This delay is due to the fact that a digital camera requires time to write the image to memory and not all cameras and memory cards are as fast at writing as others.

Setting resolution lower can help to speed up a digital camera as there is less information to record. However, the drawback is clearly a loss in the quality of the image captured. However, there is another way of reducing the time between pictures without compromising the quality of the resulting photograph. Use of a memory card that has a faster write time can result in a significant decrease in the delay. This can become particularly important with a camera that has 5, 6, 8 or more pixels. Because of the increased amount of information to be recorded, a 2x or 4x memory card will not allow such a digital camera to operate very quickly.

For this technique to be effective in speeding up the performance of a digital camera however, it is also important to remember that the camera being used must support the faster read/write times offered by the memory card. Thus, knowing what the camera can accommodate will allow the user to determine if an 8x or 16x memory card would be the better choice.

A digital camera offers many benefits to users such as the ability to view shots immediately, edit shots for better quality photos, and to print photographs at home. The drawback of some digital cameras continues to be a more sluggish performance but there are certainly a few steps that users can take to alleviate any problems this may create.