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When I use the NIGHT or NIGHT+PORTRAIT Scene modes my pictures are blurry. Why?
The NIGHT and NIGHT+PORTRAIT Scene modes use longer exposure times to make time exposures of city night scenes or holiday lights. The camera needs to be stabilized using a tripod, mini-tripod, or camera clamp to prevent camera shake during the long exposures. These devices screw into the tripod socket in the bottom of the camera. Another application is to use these devices for remote control and self-timer shots so the photographer can get in the shot.
If you are shopping for a tripod, it is best to go to a store where you can try different models and check them for features and durability. The height should at least reach your eye level. The tripod head should be able to flip to the side so that the camera can be vertically oriented. You might also consider a tripod with a ball head. A handy feature is a quick-release plate that screws into the tripod socket of the camera and enables releasing the camera from the tripod with a flick of a release lever. If you buy a tripod that uses quick-release plates, buy extra plates because if you have several cameras or lose the plate it may be difficult to find the same plate in the future. The best place to store a tripod is in your car. You are more likely to need it in the field than in the home.
When it comes to travel, a standard tripod is inconvenient. They take up space in luggage, carrying one around can be difficult and tiresome, and places such as theme parks prohibit their use. Alternatives are mini-tripods and camera clamps.
Mini-tripods (or minipods) are light and small enough to be carried in a pocket, small camera bag or purse. They usually have ball heads and telescoping legs. Some have bendable legs that can be wrapped around poles or branches. A minipod can be placed on a level surface and can also be braced against a vertical surface, such as a wall. When the minipod is braced against a wall, it is possible to make very long exposures, such as night shots or the interior of dark buildings such as cathedrals. View example of a minipod.
Camera clamps, like mini-tripods, are small and light and a good substitute for a
full-sized tripod. They can be clamped to poles, railings, trees, doors and partially rolled-down
car windows. They usually have ball heads. An important consideration when shopping for a camera
clamp is the size and span of the clamp’s jaws.
View example of a clamp.
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