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Thread: Steady hands

  1. #1

    Default Steady hands

    I was told by a friend that he prefers turning off the LCD & using optical view finder 'cos this way he can keep the camera near his face & his arms are also near his body. Less shaky hands he claims.

    Problem is my cam doesn't have optical viewfinder. So what's the best method? Extending my arms all the way? But with arms outstreched, surely my arms will shake even more right? Esp if I'm taking many shots. Arms outstreched for so long, confirm tired & will shake.

    Or is it better to keep my arms close to my body, keep camera close to my face & then squint as I peek into the 2.5" LCD? Might be hard to see 'cos the LCD is so close to my face, but I figured since my arms are nearer my bod, may be less shaky?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    if u hav a heavy cam taking pics w/ arms extended all d way u will more likely 2 get blurr pics.

    try practising depressing d shutter w/ less effort would help. (jus another way of looking at d problem) if u find d cam quivering while d shutter is press, den u may like 2 practise on it. w/ practise u may even shoot confidently w/ jus 1 hand.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by wheek
    I was told by a friend that he prefers turning off the LCD & using optical view finder 'cos this way he can keep the camera near his face & his arms are also near his body. Less shaky hands he claims.

    Problem is my cam doesn't have optical viewfinder. So what's the best method? Extending my arms all the way? But with arms outstreched, surely my arms will shake even more right? Esp if I'm taking many shots. Arms outstreched for so long, confirm tired & will shake.

    Or is it better to keep my arms close to my body, keep camera close to my face & then squint as I peek into the 2.5" LCD? Might be hard to see 'cos the LCD is so close to my face, but I figured since my arms are nearer my bod, may be less shaky?

    Thanks in advance.
    Do more exercise.. it helps.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Urm, ok. LOL.

    But for the record, its the Panasonic TZ-1. Not big or heavy by any means. Guess the outstreched arms technique is just not gonna cut it after all.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Steady hands

    compose the shot at arms length (not fully outstretched), leaning slightly backward and with one feet slightly ahead of the other. keeping the camera stationary, move forward till your elbows touch your body and shoot.

    sounds complicated, but in practice is much simpler and faster.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by vkashi
    compose the shot at arms length (not fully outstretched), leaning slightly backward and with one feet slightly ahead of the other. keeping the camera stationary, move forward till your elbows touch your body and shoot.

    sounds complicated, but in practice is much simpler and faster.
    Will give that a try. Thanks.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Steady hands

    consider get a tripod/monopod? (even the cheapest tripod is better than none)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    First try to use the highest possible shutter speed. If not possible, then next best thing is to look for a wall, lamp post or other stable object to lean on or some low pedestal like drinking fountains, road railings etc to support your hands on. Just look around you, I'm sure you will be able to find something suitable most of the time. Its what I do when I don't have my tripod. And thats even when using the view finder.

    Forgot to add one thing - If you are out in a field and cannot even find a tree, another method is to half kneel and use the other knee as a support. Those who went through NS will know this shooting position.
    Last edited by MDZ2; 4th May 2006 at 10:58 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    If your LCD screen can turn, you can try hip level and keep the cam close to your body. remember to keep you elbow close to your body to reduce shake. also to note that at wide angle, the picture will be more steady; but shake will increase with zoom in and dim light. Generally the shutter speed need to be 1/focal length for hand hold. eg zoom to 100mm need 1/100 to be steady (estimated) more steady hand can go lower than that and still steady.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Interesting tips. Thanks all!

    LCD can't turn, so no hip shots for me. Half knee sounds like good idea but if the subject is on an elevated place like a stage, then can't liao.

    As for high shutter speed, doesn't that result in graininess? How high can I go without getting too much grain?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by wheek
    As for high shutter speed, doesn't that result in graininess? How high can I go without getting too much grain?
    High shutter speed do NOT result in graininess.
    High shutter speed is a good advise. It eliminates handshake, or even subject movement.
    Depending on your camera, most cameras have no trouble going up to 1/2000s.
    I personally feel that handshake is no longer a problem with shutter speeds of 1/160 or higher - without anti-shake.
    But of course, this also depends on the focal length used.
    Last edited by michhy; 4th May 2006 at 04:37 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by wheek
    Interesting tips. Thanks all!

    LCD can't turn, so no hip shots for me. Half knee sounds like good idea but if the subject is on an elevated place like a stage, then can't liao.

    As for high shutter speed, doesn't that result in graininess? How high can I go without getting too much grain?
    If taking pics on stage, which usually is not well lit, even SLR will have difficulty with handheld shots without flash. Worst still if there are people around jostling for elbow room. For this type of shot, your best bet is a powerful flash or ,if your camera does not support external flash, a flash zoom attachment (can DIY) to increase range.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Just like in shooting, solid stance, hold breath at the moment you click the shutter button and most important of all, gradually squeeze the button with the minimum force required- do not snap/jerk your finger down.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    I remember in the good old film days. We should press the shutter release button with right hand's pointing finger in arc, left hand hold the camera and lens in the bottom. Left hand as close as possible to your shoulder. Hold your breath, press slowly and only pointing finger in arc that moving. It works!

    I try with my D70s, I can't arc my pointing finger nicely to press the shutter release button. So I just press it slowly (but hold my breath) and pray .

    Don't forget: before hunting, don't drink coffee, since coffee can increase your heart beat rate...

    Regards,
    Arto.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Great tips. Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    It helps if you are born with shorter arms .........

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenten
    It helps if you are born with shorter arms .........
    But it is better than longer arms.... "panjang tangan" alias thief in Indonesian language.... .

    Regards,
    Arto.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    is that a colloquial slang? i assume you're an indonesian

    Heh, i'm learning bahasa indon... and in my limited vocabulary, thief is just pencuri.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Tofu_man
    is that a colloquial slang? i assume you're an indonesian

    Heh, i'm learning bahasa indon... and in my limited vocabulary, thief is just pencuri.
    Yes, it is colloquial slang.

    "Panjang tangan" is more used to make a fun, but the meaning is a thief.
    Another one is "ringan tangan" or lighter hand. It is something like to say helpfull man/woman.

    Regards,
    Arto.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Steady hands

    Quote Originally Posted by Verywierd
    Just like in shooting, solid stance, hold breath at the moment you click the shutter button and most important of all, gradually squeeze the button with the minimum force required- do not snap/jerk your finger down.

    Good advice!! I will try tat the next time. Juz went out with a group of frens and its my virgin shoot out of home, was like $%#$% with my shaky hands. Think low shutter speed added to the problem. Thanks alot for posting the advice here anyway!

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