Is your camera blurry, and you are not sure why? Read on if you want to learn the reasons behind your blurry camera and ways to fix them.
When I think about my days as an amateur photographer, I always dwell on the hazy pictures I took. “Why is my camera blurry?” is one of the questions I often ask during my early photography stint. I know how frustrating it can be, especially if you look forward to capturing amazing photos.
Fortunately, there are several methods to fix a blurry camera, regardless of whether it is a DSLR or your phone.
But before I get into that, I would first like to discuss the reasons why your camera is blurry.
Let us dive right into it!
Reasons Why Your Camera is Blurry
There are many reasons why a camera is blurry.
It can be a one-time circumstance caused by tiny components in your lens. These elements move around, but they get stuck sometimes. The result is hazy or out-of-focus photos.
A blurry camera can also be due to a dirty lens. Fortunately, the fix for this problem is relatively easy.
Another common reason behind a blurry camera is physical or liquid damage inside the device. It usually occurs if you accidentally drop or soak the camera. It can affect the overall image quality.
You can also get blurry photos if you are not using the proper shooting modes. For instance, you have the macro shooting mode on, but you plan to take portrait photos. You will find it impossible to focus on the subject’s face unless you get very close to them.
Fortunately, whatever the reason for your blurry camera might be, you can try several fixes to eliminate the problem. Continue reading for the next section.
How to Fix a Blurry DSLR Camera?
Below are some tips on how to fix a blurry DSLR camera and get amazing photos.
Shoot Using a Faster Shutter Speed
Blurry photos can be a result of incorrect shutter speed use.
Use a faster shutter speed to minimize camera shake, especially when shooting handheld.
It is difficult to hold a camera steady at slow shutter speeds. Most photographers shoot handheld at around 1/60th second.
However, it is still up to you how fast or slow you set your shutter speed. I recommend taking several photos of the same scene with different exposure times. After that, check each photo to determine the slowest shutter speed you can use before noticing any blur or camera shake.
The rule of thumb is to set the shutter speed to your lens’ focal length. For instance, fix the exposure time to 1/200th second if you own a 200mm lens. Use at least 1/50th second for a lens with a 20mm focal length.
Choose a Narrower Aperture
The aperture simply refers to how open or closed your lens is when the camera takes a photo. The wider your aperture (a lower f-stop or f-number), the more open the lens is. A wide or large aperture also means that only a small part of your image will be sharp. It results in a blurry background, which is ideal for portraits.
However, it might offer hazy images if you are photographing landscapes. Thus, it is best to use a narrower aperture to keep every element in the frame sharp.
Choose an aperture of around f/8 or f/16 to unblur some areas in your photos.
However, avoid using very narrow apertures because they require shooting at a slower shutter speed.
Keep Your Camera Steady
Ensure your camera is steady if you want to minimize blur and capture the sharpest images.
It is best to use a tripod to eliminate the camera shake. Invest in a high-quality one to withstand the weight of your camera and lens. Avoid cheap tripods because they can easily shake or fall when exposed to vibrations.
If you do not have money to buy a tripod, you can still shoot handheld. Just make sure that you are supporting the camera. Do this by holding the lens with your non-dominant hand. Next, tuck your elbows into your sides. Then, hold your breath or exhale slowly to minimize vibration.
You can also place the camera on a solid surface. Or steady yourself and the camera by leaning against the wall.
Consider Shooting in Burst Mode
You can also shoot in burst mode to prevent blurry photos.
Doing so can increase the chances of getting a sharp image. Using the burst mode also allows you to choose the perfect frame in the sequence. For instance, you will usually find that the first and last burst shots are blurry due to the movement of pressing the shutter button. However, you can pick the middle shots as they tend to be sharper and of higher quality.
Use Manual Focus
While you can rely on autofocus today, nothing can still beat the human eye. Use manual focus if you want to ensure that your focus is razor-sharp.
This focusing mode is ideal if you use a tripod and take a photo of a non-moving subject. Switch to the live view mode and zoom in around five to 10 times to find the exact focus spot. Then, focus manually before pressing the shutter button. Make small adjustments as you move the camera to guarantee the best sharpness.
Clean Your Camera Lens
If you still have blurry photos after following the tips above, it is best to check the lens. You might find dirt, dust, and fingerprints on the lens surface.
Make it a habit to clean your lens glass regularly. Wipe off any debris on the surface with a microfiber cloth. You can also use a soft-bristled brush or an air blower to get rid of stubborn dust.
After cleaning the camera lens, you can expect to get clearer and sharper photos than before.
How to Fix a Blurry Phone Camera?
A blurry phone camera is usually due to software issues or hardware damage. However, the issue can also be caused by the use of phone accessories.
The following are some tips on how to fix a phone camera that is blurry.
Wipe Off the Camera Lens
A dirty camera lens is one of the most common reasons behind blurry photos. Whether it is dirt or fingerprints on the lens, these marks lead to a blurry or distorted image. They can also prevent your autofocus from working properly.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to clean a dirty phone lens.
You can use any microfiber cloth for camera lenses or eyeglasses to wipe the dust off the glass. Avoid spraying alcohol or any cleaning agent on the Android or iPhone’s camera lens because they might further worsen the problem. Only consider rinsing the lens with clean water if you own a water-resistant phone.
Remove Your Phone Case
While most phone cases have exact cutouts for the camera, some third party accessories can have extra material. This can partially block the widest-angle camera on your phone, resulting in blurry photos. It can also affect the autofocus of some phones, especially if it uses special sensors.
If you suspect your phone case is the culprit behind hazy images, consider removing it. Then, shoot a few subjects and review the photos. Consider buying a new case with better cutouts if you have confirmed that your existing case is the problem.
Use the Correct Shooting Mode
Taking photos with your phone allows you to use many different shooting modes. Although you are free to experiment with each mode, you might also activate it accidentally and not realize it right away. For instance, you can easily access special modes such as Macro and Portrait with a swipe on your phone screen.
You might find it impossible to focus on the subject in a normal shot if these shooting modes are turned on. In particular, using the macro mode requires you to get close to the subject to ensure focus. Shooting far away from the subject gives you blurry images.
Tap to Focus
Most phone cameras have excellent autofocus. However, there are some instances when this feature does not work properly. You can easily fix this by tapping on the area where you want to focus on. You might also want to consider tapping on the back of your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone to fix the rear camera.
Restart Your Phone
You can try closing and re-opening the camera app if it does not focus on anything.
If you own an iPhone, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring the app carousel. Swipe right or left until you see the iPhone camera app running in the background. After, swipe upwards to close the application.
Android phone users can press the Android system button on the left with three vertical lines. Doing so can open the app carousel. Swipe until you encounter the camera app, and press the close button to exit.
If you still encounter the problem, restart your phone completely to eliminate minor software errors. Then, open the camera and try shooting photos again.
Repair Your Camera
Have you tried all the tips on this list but to no avail? It might be time to bring your phone camera to a professional. Allow them to look into your camera since the unit itself might be malfunctioning. Depending on their advice, you may need to replace the camera or the whole phone.
Having a blurry camera can be frustrating, especially if you want to take great photos of your family and friends. There are many different reasons why you are taking blurry pictures. Fortunately, you can also try several methods to fix it and get sharp results.