Burst or Continuous Shooting mode is the digital camera's ability to take several shots immediately one after another, similar to a film SLR camera with a motorwind. The speed (number of frames per second or fps) and total number of frames differs greatly between camera types and models. The fps is a function of the shutter release and image processing systems of the camera. The number of frames that can be taken is defined by the size of the buffer where images are stored before they are processed (in case of a before image processing buffer) and written to the storage card.
The number of frames per second (fps) and total number of frames that can be shot in burst mode is continuously improving and is of course higher as you move from consumer and prosumer digital compacts to prosumer and professional digital SLRs. Digital compacts typically allow 1 to 3 fps with bursts of up to about 10 images while digital SLRs have fps of up to 7 or more and can shoot dozens of frames in JPEG and RAW. Some even allow an initial burst of higher fps followed by a slower but continuous fps until the storage card is full.
This article is written by Vincent Bockaert,
author of The 123 of digital imaging Interactive Learning Suite
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