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MD_Cookie
02-05-2008, 10:46 AM
Hello All,

So I've just gotten a new camera and I'm wondering what I can do to get clearer pictures. I've never had a very "steady" hand, don't know why, perhaps too much sugar as a kid or something, and I was very careful to get a camera with Optical IS. However I find that with some of my shots that isn't even enough to help me get a clear picture. I know that with most shots I can use a tripod to solve this, but lugging a tripod around isn't really what I had in mind, and some shots a tripod would just get in the way.

I'm looking for some real basic info here, settings and such, or even how to hold the camera to ease my problem.

Any info will help.

Thanks!

Paradox
02-05-2008, 11:00 AM
Whatever the camera is - Look for an S/Tv (I think) symbol on the cameras mode dial. This mode allows you to control the cameras shutter speed manually - Blurred pictures result from too slow a shutter speed, mainly. So try to manually keep the shutter speed up - Bear in mind though the camera has to compensate in other ways, which could affect your image. There are other ways to solve this problem - But this is probably the simplest, since the camera handles all the other settings. Just try to keep the shutter speed to 1/30th or above and you should be fine.

TheWengler
02-05-2008, 11:38 AM
The general rule to avoid camera shake in a camera w/o IS is Shutter Speed = 1/35mm equivalent focal length. So, if you're shooting at 400mm w/o IS, you'd need a shutter speed of 1/400 sec. Say you do have IS with 2 stop efficiency. This means you can double that shutter speed twice. So you could shoot at 1/100 sec w/o camera shake.

As far as technique goes, use the viewfinder instead of the LCD to compose your shot. When you shoot pull your elbows into your body to help steady the camera. When you push the shutter release take care to only move your finger and not your entire hand.

MD_Cookie
02-05-2008, 11:50 AM
Thanks for the suggestions! I've been using Program mode since I heard it was a good way to "learn" how to use the camera, I'll try some of the other settings.

erichlund
02-05-2008, 12:24 PM
It's too bad cameras don't have a kick. When I was taught to shoot, one of the things taught was that you should always be (slightly) surprised when, as you squeeze the trigger, the weapon actually fires. With a dSLR, you have the mirror action, but with your S5IS, you may only get a sound, and even that you can probably turn off (but don't).

JLV
02-05-2008, 12:57 PM
If you don't want to use a tripod, you want to try what I call a tripod less tripod.

I use a 1/4 x 20 bolt inserted in the tripod socket on the camera. To that I have attached a one foot wire. (I am using fishing leader wire. I think twisted picture hanging wire would also work). To the loop I made at the outer end of the
wire, I attach a shock cord. I step on the end of the cord and pull up. The pressure helps steady the hand.

This will give you much of the steadiness of a monopod. Yet it is easier to carry.

erichlund
02-05-2008, 01:26 PM
If you don't want to use a tripod, you want to try what I call a tripod less tripod.

I use a 1/4 x 20 bolt inserted in the tripod socket on the camera. To that I have attached a one foot wire. (I am using fishing leader wire. I think twisted picture hanging wire would also work). To the loop I made at the outer end of the
wire, I attach a shock cord. I step on the end of the cord and pull up. The pressure helps steady the hand.

This will give you much of the steadiness of a monopod. Yet it is easier to carry.

Of course, the first time you don't notice the cord dragging on the ground as you move to a different view and accidently pull the camera out of your unsuspecting hand to smash it on a concrete sidewalk... well, you get the idea.

Besides which, I'm not a believer in your hands getting steadier by adding stress. If you use enough tension, it could be a good isometric exercise to build muscle. :rolleyes:

I am a believer in using whatever is naturally available. Example: I was shooting the Panda's at the San Diego zoo. It was late in the day, the light was getting low, my arms were getting tired, and the 18-200VR was not getting enough out of the VR. However, there was a handy post holding up the shade cover over our heads (relatively unnecessary, at this point). I put it to good use by bracing my left hand against the post, with the camera firmly in this hand. This was enough stability to allow VR to do the rest.

mjsneddon
02-19-2008, 02:19 PM
About how you press the shutter release. This is rarely mentioned but is very important. My wife used to consistently get poor results when she would take pictures. I knew what her problem was when I noticed that I could be standing away from her quite a way and know exactly when she took the picture - I could clearly see her finger move! She was introducing movement in the camera every time she pushed the shutter release button.

Even though it was a bit like a husband teaching his wife to drive, she did (finally) allow me to give her some constructive criticism. She does much better now. (She even takes time now to frame her photos to some degree.)

Have a good day.

tim11
02-19-2008, 04:31 PM
Always use 2 hands and the viewfinder. I even hold my breath when pressing the shutter. And it's better still if you gently roll the finger on the shutter button instead of punching it in.
Increasing shutter speed only works when there is enough light.

I just noticed Mike mentioned the finger problem. I agree it's hardly mentioned.

sdcwonderer
02-20-2008, 03:44 AM
Always use 2 hands and the viewfinder. I even hold my breath when pressing the shutter. And it's better still if you gently roll the finger on the shutter button instead of punching it in.
Increasing shutter speed only works when there is enough light.

I just noticed Mike mentioned the finger problem. I agree it's hardly mentioned.

i completely agree with what your saying with the viewfinder it add another point of contact while holding the camera steady,this has my practice from day one,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i have no is on my camera and they come out just fine