If you sometimes get blurred photos from your camera but don’t know why, don’t blame the camera. Here are some tips to help you get sharper pictures every time.
Check your shutter speed, as it may be too slow. The most common reason why photos aren’t sharp is because of camera shake, with the entire image often suffering from a smear-like look. While you may think you can hold your camera still, if it’s not on a tripod, even the slightest movement can ruin a shot as you press the shutter button.
The general rule of thumb for shutter speed is to ensure it is greater than the focal length of your lens. For example, if you’re shooting with a 200mm equivalent lens, you shouldn’t shoot any slower than 1/250 sec or you risk camera shake ruining your shot.
Your camera’s image stabilization system, whether it’s in-camera or built into the lens, can be very useful. It allows you to shoot at shutter speeds much slower than usual. This is beneficial if you’re photographing a static subject. But if your subject is moving, the large reduction in shutter speed is going to introduce blur into your subject. To avoid this, make sure you’re using a shutter speed fast enough to freeze your subject. You may need to increase your camera’s ISO sensitivity to achieve the right result.
Check your lens aperture. If you’re shooting a landscape for example, where you’re trying to capture an image with a large depth of field, a small aperture is a must, as it increases the size of the area in focus.
The problem with small apertures though is an unavoidable payoff of the optical effect called ‘diffraction’. This causes fine detail to blur. If you shoot at apertures of f/16 or f/22, your shots can be visibly softer than those shot at wider apertures. This is because light is forced to bend as it passes on the edge of the aperture blades and prevents the light from focusing on the sensor, softening the image. To avoid this happening, shoot at a slightly wider aperture, such as f/11.