Newbie Question about Blurry Photos

dkangelis

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I am an amateur photographer who is aspiring to get great results with my digital camera. I own a Digital Rebel XT (I love this camera) with standard zoom lens. The problem is--it is very difficult to get perfectly clear shots without using a tripod and a static subject. At first I thought my hand was too shaky--but I didn't remember having had this much trouble with my 35mm camera. Even when I dialed my ISO to 800+--I had issues. My other concern with blurry or soft photos was "not enough light". However, I have the same problems in outdoor/daylight pictures. I understand the basic ideas of F-Stops and Shutter Speeds (even though I think this is where my problem lies). I feel like I can't just shoot a picture like I did with my 35mm. I love digital--it just seems to be not as flexible. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?
 

ksmattfish

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If you are getting good results using a tripod with a still subject, then it's definately something with your subject or with your handholding technique. Are you sure you are using good handholding shutter speeds? Something like 1/125th or faster. Maybe you just need some time to get used to holding the new camera?
 

JonK

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The rule of thumb for handheld shots is to not use a lower shutter speed than the reciprocal of your lens focal length - ie. if you are using a 50mm lens you should try not to handhold using speeds less than 1/60 or 1/30 sec. as these are closest to the reciprocal of the lens (50)....another example would be 300mm lens; use speeds of not lower than 1/250 or you risk camera shake causing blurry photos.
If you're using a zoom you have to be especially careful to watch your speeds as you zoom in and out changing your focal length.
 

Big Mike

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Also, your camera has 7 auto focus points. If you have multi-point focus enabled, the camera may be focusing on something other than what you think it is focusing on.

I have a similar camera and I almost always use only the centre focus point.
 

nymtber

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Big Mike said:
Also, your camera has 7 auto focus points. If you have multi-point focus enabled, the camera may be focusing on something other than what you think it is focusing on.

I have a similar camera and I almost always use only the centre focus point.

that would be my advice too. the camera has the ability for the user to select focusing point, there is a reason they make it that way ;) you could always manual focus, but that gets tedious to some. I find even my canon A2 35mm wont focus on what i want it to unles I choose the focusing point...otherwise your better off using an old point and shoot lol :D
 

darich

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JonK said:
The rule of thumb for handheld shots is to not use a lower shutter speed than the reciprocal of your lens focal length - ie. if you are using a 50mm lens you should try not to handhold using speeds less than 1/60 or 1/30 sec. as these are closest to the reciprocal of the lens (50)....another example would be 300mm lens; use speeds of not lower than 1/250 or you risk camera shake causing blurry photos.
If you're using a zoom you have to be especially careful to watch your speeds as you zoom in and out changing your focal length.

Further to what JonK has said re the focal distance - remember that the Rebel XT has a magnification factor of 1.6. which means if your lens is at 55mm it's not really 55mm - it's really 88mm. So in that case 1/60 wouldn't be enough. You'd probably have to go to 1/100.
 

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