Camera: To motor drive or not to motor drive

In the photographic community there are purists who would frown upon the use of a motor drive.

Depending on the day, I am not one of them, usually. It’s a touchy subject, and it, to me, really is a case by case basis.

When I got my hands on my first professional camera, it shot eight frames per second and, being digital, I wasn’t wasting film, so my attitude was “let the shutter fly” and I edited it down later.

During a newspaper internship, one of the photographers posed a question to me, “why are you shooting 8fps of a mosquito truck?”

I learned a lot that summer.

He was absolutely correct, shooting some subjects with a high burst rate it rather pointless. It takes up more memory and creates more time when you sit down to edit.

There is a time and a place for the use of the “machine gun method.”

Wildlife or sporting events, to me, are two examples I would use a motor drive to photograph. If I’ve got a base runner coming into home or a bird in flight I want as many shots as I can to get “the shot.”

I agree, it is harder to get an action shot with a slower motor drive or no motor drive. I’ve been there and gotten shots without it.

For a month, I was shooting the Rebel when I was covering sports. When I got a nice action shot I did in fact feel that it was a nicer shot because I had to put more work into it.

The fact is I do not shoot for myself when working for VeroNews. I shoot for the reader.

I am not paid to be a purist. I am in this profession to give the viewer the best work possible and that means having the best tools available to me.

So, if you want to be a purist, great, I commend you.

If you want to use a motor drive to add a little cushion when you’re shooting a fast moving shot, all the more power to you.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment