Drive mode means, how fast or slow the camera fires when you press the shutter release button. This may be single shot, continuos which may further be slow or fast.
All professional cameras have more than one drive mode. If you select single shooting, the camera fires one shot each time the shutter release button is fully depressed. If continuous shooting mode is set, the shutter keeps firing for as long as you depress the shutter release button.
At the time of film, continuous shooting was used sparingly – it could get through a full cassette of 36 frames in just a few seconds. But digital cameras have given continuous shooting a new lease of life. You can take as many pictures as you want without worrying about the cost.
Why would you want to shoot a number of frames in rapid succession? One reason is to show an action unfolding in a sequence of images. This can give more meaning to an event than a single picture might show. A sequence of images can also be used for research into the movement of animals or the performance of athletes.
Often, the continuous shooting mode is used to try to capture the defining moment of an action – cricket bat hitting the ball, for example. Unfortunately, this is not always successful. Even shooting at three or four frames per second does not guarantee that you will obtain the picture you want.
Talking about Canon EOS cameras here, in terms of continuous shooting, these can be divided into four groups.
First, there are the cameras that are permanently in continuous mode in many of their shooting modes. These cameras have a relatively slow shooting speed – typically around 1 frame per second (fps). This slow speed means that it is quite easy to take single shots – you just remove your finger from the shutter release as soon as the exposure is made. To shoot a sequence of frames you keep the shutter button pressed. Cameras in this category tend to be the earlier, less expensive entry-level models.
The second group features the majority of EOS cameras. Here, there are two separate shooting modes – single and continuous, and you can choose between them for most of the shooting modes.
The third group of cameras also has separate single and continuous shooting modes, but adding a Power Booster accessory can increase the speed of the continuous mode. This group only contains EOS film cameras.
The fourth group has separate single and continuous shooting modes, but the continuous mode has high-speed and low-speed options. This feature is only found on EOS digital cameras.
single drive is well suitable for static everyday photography. You can of course shoot faster or slower as per your requirement.It depends on how fast you can manually release the shutter.
Continuos shooting mode on the other hand lets you shoot several frames per second. Depending upon the camera model, this could be faster or slower but its always quite fast compared to what you can achieve with single shot shooting mode.