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Shutter button delay question


Hi, I just bought a Canon T5i and I have to hold the shutter button (yes, I know there's probably a better name for it) down for a few second and then the picture is taken.  The delay is not on, it's on single shot.  It works fine without the lens.  I have two lens an 18-55mm and a 55-250mm, this happens with both lens.  Is the camera broke, or is this operator erros?




Likely you. The idea is to hold it down half way to let the AF do it's part of the job & then you press the rest of the way. If you do the full press all at once the AF needs to find & focus before letting the shutter open & close. If that's not it re check that you are not in 2 sec timer mode.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."


 If I understood correctly, this happens in One Shot mode?  Do you hear a beep from the camera, just before the shutter fires?

The shutter button, as it is called, has two "click" positions as you press it.  When you lightly press it halfway, you should feel the first click position, and button should more or less stop moving.  The half press to the first click position causes the camera to auto focus, assuming you have AF enabled in the camera and lens.

When the camera focuses in One Shot mode, you should hear a confirmation beep from the camera, and see an AF point(s) light up in the viewfinder.  That is the default behavior, which can be disabled in the menus.

After the camera focus, pressing the shutter button all the way down should fire the shutter.  If you simply press the shutter button all the way down, instead of halfway, the camera can, may, and will pause to acquire AF on a subject, and then fire the shutter.

If you are shooting in dim light, or another scenario that challenges the camera's ability to focus, the camera may take a second or two, to lock focus on a subject, if at all.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


@BengalBrad wrote:

Hi, I just bought a Canon T5i and I have to hold the shutter button (yes, I know there's probably a better name for it) 


It is called a "shutter button" or sometimes "shutter release" - no tricky name to worry about.


But your issue sounds like what cicopop and wadizzle have aleady guessed... your camera is likely using "focus priority" mode and it's delaying the shot so it can focus.


If you remove the lens, or flip the switch on the lens to manual focus mode (the AF/MF swtich on the lens barrel) then it will likely take a shot instantly.  Of course in manual focus mode it wont focus (so you might get a blurry shot).


The reason for this has to do with the difference between two different behaviors that the camera can use.  One is called "release priority" and the other is "focus priority".


In "release priority" mode, the camera IMMEDIATELY takes a shot when you press the shutter button completely (not a half-press ... a full-press).   It will do this EVEN IF the camera did not have a chance to focus.  Hence the name "release" priority -- meaning when you press the shutter release, it will prioritize taking the shot over all other operations and that includes focusing.


But most of the time you don't want "release" priority.  You want "focus priority" -- because you probably don't want blurry shots.    In this mode the the camera prioritizes FOCUS over the shutter release meaning it will take the shot AFTER it is able to lock focus.  This can cause a delay ... especially in poor lighting conditions where it takes the camera longer to focus.  In extremely poor lighting it may not take the shot at all because it may not ever be able to lock focus.


How do you set these behaviors?


They're actually behaviors associated with two different focus drive modes.  


In most normal photography, the camera to subject distance isn't constantly changing.  In action & sports photography it often is constantly changing.


So for non-action photography, the mode you should use is "One Shot" AF.  In this mode the camera activates the auto-focus system (assuming lens is in the 'AF' position) and the camera will work to focus the subject.  Once the subject is focused, it will STOP FOCUSING.  At this point the camera is ready to take the shot and if the shutter button were fully-pressed it will finally take the shot.  But if the subject or camera moves such that it's no longer in focus... the camera will NOT re-focus.  In other words it wakes up the focus system, works until it achieves focus, and then stops focusing until you take the shot.  


If you mash the button to take a shot without waiting for focus... remember that it is using "focus priority" so it is still going to focus before it will take the shot (and this will cause a noticeable delay).


If you're shooting action photography then you wont be happy with a focus system that stops focusing as soon as it achieves focus on the subject... because the subject distance may be changing.  In this system the camera WILL take the shot as soon as you fully press the shutter.  But the focus system never stops focusing.  


To use this behavior, select "AI Servo" AF mode.  In this mode the camera will begin focusing when you half-press the shutter... and if the subject is getting closer or farther the camera will just keep updating and tweaking focus.  It never stops focusing in this mode.  When you see that decisive moment when you want to snag the shot... fully-press the shutter button and it'll take it (with zero delay).


Kit lenses are designed to be affordable but they are not top-performing lenses.  If you look at the lenses that pro sports & action photographers use, they're typically using Canon's "L" series lenses (and they have a few favorites).  There are several reasons for this, but I'll share just two:


1)  Many of these lenses allow for much more light to pass through the lens (they have a bigger aperture opening).  It turns out you can focus faster when your lens collects more light (you can also use a faster shutter speed -- which is another key reason they select these lenses).  In bright mid-day light, this wont be an issue.  But in poor lighting conditions you'll notice the difference.


2)  These lenses use Canon's USM focus motors.  There are a couple of variations but all of the lenses designed for action photography have very fast, snappy, responsive focus motors.  They will easily keep up with the action.   Some of the entry lenses have slow focus motors.  So while those slower lenses do their best... their best may not be fast enough for some situations.


This is a "you get what you pay for" situation -- you can't reasonably expect a $200 lens to perform like a $2000 lens.



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da