View Full Version : Blurry images

06-29-2005, 01:46 PM
Before I shell out money for a new camera, I want to see if I’m doing something wrong. If not, I have some questions about what I am looking for. I have a posting in the “Which camera should I buy” forum, but it hasn’t gotten much of a response.

I have a Nikon 3100. I haven’t gotten many clear pictures that involve people, vehicles, or animals (except a sleeping tiger at the zoo!) This is especially evident with indoor flash photos. My landscapes are great (if I say so myself).

I have years of experience with film, mostly 35mm with many different cameras, starting with a fully manual Minolta in 1975. But I just can’t get the hang of digital. I’ve played with all variations in settings, from fully AUTO, to various pre-set options, to some manual settings. I can’t seem to get consistent results—or rather I consistently get blurry results.

Do I have the wrong camera? If so, what features am I looking for? Or am I doing something wrong?


06-29-2005, 02:15 PM
Based on the shot you showed, and inferred from your description, it seems that the shutter speed is too slow. You can see movement in that shot of the girl on the right. From your description your problems are always when there is something moving.

You need to manually set a faster shutter speed (shutter priority if possible) and see if you can't freeze the action better. The motion suggests that you are shooting at 1/125 or slower. A faster speed may be underexposed, but it'll show you whether the shutter speed is the problem. A higher ISO setting may also work to improve the shot and exposure.

In automatic, your camera is probably choosing an Aperture and Shutter Speed in the middle of the possible range. A lot of digital cameras don't do too well on indoor shots. If you're shooting outdoors and getting the same problem, I'm not sure if it is too dark, or perhaps another underlying issue.


06-29-2005, 03:05 PM
Yes, it's definitely the girl's fault ;) . Your hand is quite steady by the looks of the background.

Eric has some good advice: faster shutter speeds and higher ISO's are the way to go for indoor shots. If the camera is really limited in those terms, you could try slight underexposure like -1/3 or -2/3 EV and then brighten it up in post-processing (but only as a last-ditch salvage effort).

06-29-2005, 03:16 PM
Thanks. I guess I thought that by using a pre-select setting that I would get a realistic shutter speed. With my film camera, I often use the "auto" setting for this sort of point-and-shoot picture. Sounds like the auto-setting with a flash can't handle a well-lit classroom setting like this. With this digital camera, even outdoors I get the same blurry results with the auto setting. I guess I am forced into manually setting a shutter speed. Sigh!
Diane. :mad:

06-29-2005, 04:00 PM
My Canon A520 automatically defaults to 1/60 second shutter speed when using the flash. I find that's often too slow for flash photos when the subjects are moving (like kids), so I switch to shutter priority mode and set the shutter speed much faster (say 1/1000 of a second) and if the shot is underexposed, I boost the ISO. You might try that and see if it helps.