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I am doing this project in which I have to take multiple shots of a scene in burst mode. The image is not moving.

So, if I am taking photos in burst mode, will the image quality of the latter images gets affected anyhow?

  • I've taken thousands of shots of sporting events in burst mode. The only issue I've ever had is loss of focus due to a rapidly moving subject and me not following precisely enough to keep the center focus point on my subject. (I've found that when shooting a field full of players, auto focus selection doesn't necessarily pick out the player I want...) – FreeMan Mar 18 '16 at 13:12
  • A lot depends on the specific camera and settings selected. Can you please provide such details? – Michael C Mar 19 '16 at 3:26
  • Complete scenario would be taking photos of a white sheet from a distance of 150-200 mm with high end phones eg: iphone 6 or galaxy s6. – Ankit Kumar Mar 19 '16 at 3:33
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This depends on the specific camera model. Different cameras have burst modes that work in different ways, which may affect the image quality.

Many cameras have options for the burst rate, ie high, medium, low. Typically the lower speed is just the same as taking standard photos in series. So the quality is just the same as a single photo.

But the faster burst rates may have limitations. For many cameras, the fastest burst rate is at a lower resolution, and often more compressed, so a clearly a lower quality image. Also it probably won't allow shooting in RAW format, only JPEG.

Often the focus will be fixed at the start of the burst, it won't change in following shots. This would be fine if the camera and subject are stationary, but if not, they could move out of focus.

Some mirrorless cameras will use an electronic shutter for faster bursts. This can cause strange effects for moving subjects, or under fluorescent lighting.

To find out how your camera works for burst mode, you can read the manual, or just try taking some test shots at different speeds.

  • To find out how your camera works for burst mode, you can read the manual, or just try taking some test shots at different speeds. +1 – FreeMan Mar 18 '16 at 13:11
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There are two ways in which burst affects quality in mentioned conditions:

  • the sensor may heat and thus the thermal noise will increase. However, you won't ever notice it unless you make bursts with VERY high ISO or with very long exposure - this is not limited to burst recording and may occur with long exposures as well
  • in exceptional cases when aperture is mechanically coupled to the body (like in most Nikkor and Pentax objectives) and is not fixed tightly the camera may randomly give under- or overexposure because the actual aperture stop does not match the stop which is expected by camera - not exactly limited to burst recording but burst recording may make it worse.

Most if not all cameras have very reliable machanics and burst recording is nothing worse than just repeating any usual operation more frequently. I have not seen any evidence of camera malfunction caused by burst recording.

Mirror caused vibration is not limited to burst modes and thus is irrelevant to the question. Some cameras limit some functions in burst recording mode but it is all described in the manual.

  • Ok. So if I am taking photos of a white sheet from an approx distance of 150mm, will that noise be visible on the white sheet? I am taking a high end phone eg iphone 6. – Ankit Kumar Mar 19 '16 at 3:40
  • @ankit-kumar: no, this won't be in any way visible. The noise may be visible in shadows only. Plus, the iPhone applies aggressive noise reduction. – Euri Pinhollow Mar 19 '16 at 6:01
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So, if I am taking photos in burst mode, will the image quality of the latter images gets affected anyhow?

One could argue that the mirror flapping up and down could have an adverse affect on the image, but for that to be a problem you'd need to be using a fairly long exposure and have the camera mounted on a tripod that's less than sturdy. If that's a concern, you might want to lock the mirror up or give the camera a second or two to settle between shots.

For the most part burst mode won't affect the photos. The camera doesn't reduce the resolution in burst mode or anything like that.

  • Some cameras do reduce resolution to allow faster frame rates in burst mode. – Michael C Mar 19 '16 at 3:24

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