Drive settings determine what happens when you press the shutter button. With most cameras you will be able to select a one shot mode, a continuous mode and one or two self timer modes.
When the shutter button is pressed, only one photo will be taken. This is good for scenes that are more or less static like landscapes for example. If using a continuous setting for these types of photographs you will most likely end up with a series of photos that look exactly the same, eating up space on your memory card and wasting time in post production.
Continuous or Burst
When the shutter button is pressed the camera will continuously take shots until the button is released. This is useful for scenes with a lot of movement like sports or live performances.
The rate at which a camera will shoot is effected by several factors. A camera will have a maximum number of shots per second that it is capable of but this can be slowed down by other settings and hardware. Shooting larger Raw files, or with high ISO values can place more demand on the cameras processor and will slow down the rate of shots per second. If you are using slow shutter speeds this will also force the camera to slow down its frame rate. A flash requires time in between firing to recharge so will slow down the camera and different types of memory cards have different speeds at which they can record data, possibly slowing down the cameras maximum number of shots per second.
Some cameras will have a high speed and a low speed continuous option. Cameras will also have a maximum number of shots they can take before the processor needs to stop and process all of the data. This will vary from camera to camera.
The self timer mode will give you a few seconds between when the shutter button is pressed and the camera takes the picture. This is handy for getting yourself into a shot after you've pressed the shutter button and when using long exposures. If you are taking a long exposure, any movement of the camera will cause the image to blur even when on a tripod. Using the timer mode will allow you to remove your hands from the camera (when on a tripod) before it takes the shot thus preventing any movement of the camera.
Many cameras will have a couple of options for the self timer, allowing you to select how long the delay is between pressing the shutter button and the photo being taken.
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