How to Set the Drive Mode on Your Canon Camera (6D, T7i)


If you aren't sure what Drive Mode is, let me fill you in. It's not actually a "mode," per se. It's more of which type of shooting mode you'd like to set your camera to. Single shooting, high speed continuous, low speed continuous, 10 second timer, 2 second timer or self timer continuous.

Since I work with Canon cameras a lot, I'll tell you how to access these settings for a few of those cameras. On my Canon 6D, while in Live View, I can push the button that's on top of the camera that says AF-Drive. When I do that, a new menu will appear not only in the small screen on top of the camera, but also on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. To change which type of shooting I'd like, I can use the dial that's on the top of the camera or the wheel that's on the back of the camera to flip through the different settings. When I've settled on one, I'll press the SET button to accept the changes.

For the Canon T7i (and T2i, T3i, T4i, T5i and T6i), things are pretty much the same. The only difference is that I'll press the left arrow button that's on the back of the camera while in regular viewing mode or the Q button if in Live View mode to access those same options. Again, I'll use the dial or the arrow buttons to find the drive mode I like and I'll go ahead and press the SET button to accept the changes.

Now, you may be asking yourself why anyone would want to use a shooting mode other than Single Shooting. So much photography revolves around landscape, people, night photography and the like. Why would we need to change our drive mode to either High Speed Continuous or, say, a 2 second timer? The answer has to do with the conditions of the scene as well as the clarity of your photos.

Let's say you're taking photos of your sleeping cat. Okay, you probably don't need to set your camera to the High Speed Continuous drive mode for that. You don't need to burst through eight photos of something that's not really moving. Let's now say that you're taking photos of a surfer who's surfing a huge wave. Yeah, I'd say you want to capture photos rapidly of something like that. There's tons of change in these types of scenes and it's rare that you'll get the money shot by taking just one. That's what burst mode is all about. Taking many, many photos and then sifting through all the bad ones to find the golden nugget.

Now, why would you want to use a timer setting? Most of the time, photographers use a 2 second timer to reduce camera shake. They can use a remote shutter button for this, but if they don't have one on them, they'll simply set the timer, press the shutter button, remove their hand from the camera, wait two seconds for the camera to take the picture and that's it. By removing their hand from the camera, they'll be drastically reducing the shake that's caused by touching a camera while it's taking a photo.

As for the 10 second timer, I think we all know what that's for. It's so you, as the photographer, can press the shutter button and then run over to be in the picture. That's pretty easy. It's really all about control and flexibility. Control of your camera and the scene as well as the flexibility to do what you want.

Here's a quick tip for you. If you don't know what type of scene you'll encounter, whether it be a high speed action scene or a sleepy slow scene, you can always keep your camera set to High Speed Continuous shooting mode, just to be sure you'll get the shot you're after. By keeping this setting active, you'll have the ability to take just one single photo by pressing and letting go of the shutter button or to take multiple photos by pressing and holding down the shutter button. Continuous doesn't mean continuous all the time. By pressing and letting go of the shutter button, the camera will only take one single photo. But, you'll also have the option of taking more if you want.

I hope this information helped you in some way. If you have any questions for me or about the topic I wrote about above, please let me know down below. Thank you!