Q: Why do I have camera shutter lag and other delays when shooting photos?
Typically, beginner-level cameras suffer from two types of delays: Camera shutter lag and shot-to-shot delays.
When using auto-focus mode, your digital camera may need a fraction of a second to focus on the image. In low-light conditions, this delay, called camera shutter lag, can last a full second or more, which could cause you to miss a spontaneous photo or which could cause blurry photos, if you can't hold the camera steady during the shutter lag. When large zoom lenses are fully extended, shutter lag increases. Most point and shoot models allow you to pre-focus by pressing the shutter button halfway before taking the shot.
When using a flash, you may experience shutter lag, too, because the camera's focus-assist light needs to fire to allow the camera to focus before it fires the main flash.
Meanwhile, shot-to-shot delays occur when the camera must transfer the image to the memory card and clear the sensor before shooting another photo. You can overcome shot-to-shot delays by shooting in burst mode, where the camera snaps several photos at a preset image size within a couple of seconds.
Find more answers to common camera questions on the camera FAQ page.