When we first start taking photographs, combatting camera shake can seem to be a battle we’ll never win. It can rear its ugly, image-wrecking head in all sorts of situations; when the light is low when you’re using a telephoto lens, or simply when you’re trying to take a picture quickly. As you know, the obvious solution is to dig out your tripod, but there are occasions when the practicalities of lugging a tripod are too restrictive. The good news is that your images don’t have to suffer as a result, as the following ideas demonstrate.
Use the Camera Remote App
This may sound somewhat obvious, but the best way to avoid camera shake is to not touch the camera at all when taking photographs. Most camera makers now have a WiFi or Bluetooth connection allowing you to use your smartphone as a controller. For the Fujifilm cameras, get a free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app, which gives you the greatest level of control. Once installed on your smartphone, the app communicates wirelessly with your X Series camera and enables you to control all manner of camera functions including ISO, shutter speed, Film Simulation mode, and even focusing point.
The remote shooting option can only be used through the Wi-Fi functionality on your camera, even if you have a model with Bluetooth connectivity. If you have a Bluetooth-compatible model, you’ll have to initially pair the camera; simply download the app and follow the on-screen instructions. Once paired, and with your camera on a suitably stable surface, do the following:
- Press the wireless communication Fn button on your camera. This button will vary according to the model, so check your instruction manual to confirm which is assigned by default.
- On your smart device, select the camera from your Wi-Fi settings.
- Startup the FUJIFILM Camera Remote app (it will take a few seconds to connect to the camera).
- Select ‘Live view shooting’ on the app and wait a few seconds for the live view to open on your smart device. You can now control the camera hands-free on your phone!
Switch on the Self-Timer
This is similar to using the Camera Remote app in that you take pictures without touching the camera, but in this case you have to set the camera up first, rather than being able to do it remotely. Once your camera is in position and the functions are set, you can access the self-timer function by choosing SHOOTING MENU > SELF-TIMER. You’ll then be given the choice of either a two- or ten-second timer, which indicates the length of delay before the shutter fires — two seconds should be adequate for most situations. The self-timer feature stays active until you switch it off again, or the camera is turned off.
Both of these methods of camera shake reduction rely on you having the camera on a solid surface, but what can you actually use? Try these for size:
- A bench, chair, or table
- A rolled-up jacket
- A small “sandbag” or similar
- A Platypod — the compact tripod system
- A camera bag
- Leaning against a tree or lamppost
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Header image Mio Monasch
Content and images: Sklyum®