If you purchased your camera with the Vibration Reduction (VR) lens or if you have the kit lens, you already own a great tool to squeeze two stops of exposure out of your camera when shooting without a tripod. Typically, the average person can hand-hold his camera down to about 1/60 of a second before blurriness results due to hand shake. Even if you have pipes as big as Mr. T’s you need to use this feature. As the length of the lens is increased (or zoomed), the ability to hand-hold at slow shutter speeds (1/60 and slower) and still get sharp images is further reduced (Figure 8.3).
Hands off to sharper images
Whether you are shooting with a tripod or even resting your camera on a wall, you can increase the sharpness of your pictures by taking your hands out of the equation. Whenever you use your finger to depress the shutter release button, you are increasing the chances that there will be a little bit of shake in your image. To eliminate this possibility, try setting your camera up to use the Self-timer or Exposure Delay mode (Figure 8.4).
- To turn on the Self-timer simply press the release dial lock and rotate the release dial to Self-timer (A).
- Press the Menu button to find the Custom Setting menu. Highlight and select C Timers/AE Lock, then press OK (B).
- Select C3 Self-timer and click OK. I generally choose 2S (2 seconds) to cut down on time between exposures (C).