Has your phone suddenly started taking blurry pictures? A blurry photo doesn’t necessarily mean that your phone is buggy. Something as simple as a misplaced phone cover can frustrate you and make you think you’ve bought a faulty phone.
We live in a world of memory capturing and sharing, and camera quality is usually one of the first things people look for when getting a phone. Capturing a crisp photo can be the highlight of your day, but it can be very frustrating when your phone starts producing bad photos out of nowhere.
There are people who are passionate about photography and invest in high-quality cameras, but even expensive cameras may act up from time to time. This article will cover the common reasons why your camera is blurry and what you can do to fix them.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Is My Camera Blurry?
- 2 Why Is My Phone Camera Blurry?
- 3 Final Thoughts
Why Is My Camera Blurry?
If you have invested in a good-quality camera, then it may come as a surprise to you that you’re suddenly taking blurry pictures. These are some of the most common reasons why your camera isn’t taking sharp images anymore.
Your Camera Lens Is Dirty
This should be the first thing to look out for. An open lens is exposed to dust, dirt, lint, and grease stains. The best way to prevent this is to clean the lens with a microfiber cloth frequently. You should also clean your viewfinder and adjust the diopter. The diopter focuses on a viewfinder’s image.
You’re Taking Pictures With an Unsteady Hand
Did you know that photographers have an official stance? Your camera may not be the problem because having an unsteady hand will cause shaky photos. To get stable photos:
- Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
- One of your legs should be positioned slightly forward, and this should be your anchor for when you have to move your body.
- Hold your camera lens with your left hand, and then use your right hand to control the shutter button.
- Hold your camera to your face and use the viewfinder. Your camera will be steadier that way.
You Need a Tripod
A tripod’s primary purpose is to keep the camera steady. So if your camera keeps shaking, then it may be time to invest in a tripod. If you can’t lug a tripod around, consider using a monopod.
Wrong Shutter Speed
Shutter speed represents how fast the shutter of the camera closes. A faster shutter speed allows you to take photos in quick succession, suitable for a moving subject. The faster your shutter speed is, the less likely you are to take shaky photos.
It’s hard for most professional photographers to handle slow shutter speeds, and the most common threshold is 1/60th second. A slow shutter speed is usually the leading cause of blurry photos.
To test how slow you can go, gradually reduce your shutter speed and take a photo every time you do to check how stable you can be. Another factor to consider is image stabilization. If your camera has this feature, then you can handle a slower shutter speed.
Aperture in photography refers to the opening in a lens that allows light into the camera. You can adjust the aperture to determine how sharp a picture will be. Aperture works with two other factors – shutter speed and ISO – to ensure high-quality images.
Aperture determines the depth of an image with distance. When you set the distance, an image will be sharp at that point, and the rest of the photo will be blurry.
When you use a wide aperture, the depth of field becomes shallow, causing the image to have a tiny area that’s crisp while the rest will be blurry. Going for a narrower aperture setting will cause most of the image to be clear.
A narrow aperture goes together with a slower shutter speed to allow light to illuminate your images.
Your ISO Is Too High
The ISO is one aspect of the exposure trifecta, along with aperture and shutter speed. Raising the ISO will cause a noisy image, and this may look okay from afar, but close inspection will show less sharp details.
ISO works well with fast shutter speed, but you need to find the perfect balance for crisp, more detailed images. It’s all about trial and error to set the correct ISO, keep adjusting it, and take test photos until you reach the sweet spot.
Focusing on the wrong area will cause your area of interest to be blurry, especially when using a wide aperture. Try using the camera’s auto AF-area mode to prevent this because it automatically adjusts your camera’s focus.
You can also manually adjust the AF-area mode by choosing its single-point version. When doing this manually, your camera will have focus points mapped for you, and you can pick one point to focus on.
Sometimes your camera may have a problem cooperating, especially when it comes to the manual focus. It may want to refocus each time you take a shot, which is why most photographers prefer the auto AF-area mode or back-button focusing.
With back-button focusing, the shutter release and focus are separate so they don’t interfere with the autofocus system.
If you choose to use manual focus, you may need a tripod for stability. Manual focus is an excellent choice for landscapes and when you’re trying to hyperfocus on one object.
There are three autofocus modes: one-shot, continuous focus, and autofocus. With one shot, you’re giving your camera one point to focus on, and this won’t change unless you refocus it.
For continuous focus, the camera will track a subject as it moves, and with autofocus, your camera toggles between both depending on the subject. Knowing the difference will allow you to take sharper images.
Use a Remote or Timer to Ensure Steady Photos
If you want sharp images, then avoid interrupting your camera. A camera is touch-sensitive, and something as small as pressing the shutter button may result in a shaky image.
A remote lets you control your camera without having to touch your camera in action. A self-timer also works the same way.
Why Is My Phone Camera Blurry?
You May Have Covered Your Phone’s Lens
This is one of the most common reasons your phone camera is blurry. The first thing you should check before going to a phone technician is whether or not your phone case is covering the camera.
Your phone’s case or cover may overlap and cover your phone’s camera or flash, causing it to take blurry photos. If this is the problem, take a few new pictures to test it and make sure you can now take clear images.
Dirty Camera Lens
A dirty camera lens can also cause blurry images. Your fingers have natural grease that can stick to your phone, especially if you touch the camera and flash lenses and then place your phone somewhere where it comes into contact with lint or dust.
This doesn’t mean that you are dirty or doing it intentionally. For instance, placing your phone in and out of your pocket may cause these grease stains.
You can wipe your phone with alcohol-based wet wipes, dry it with a microfiber cloth, and retry taking the photos. Alcohol is good at removing grease stains and will result in a cleaner, non-streaky screen and lens. Microfiber cloths are readily available in stores.
Glass gets foggy in areas with high humidity. The protective outer covering of your phone camera is made of glass and will most likely fog up, causing you to take blurry images. This is inevitable, so wipe your phone when you’re about to take a picture.
There may be an issue with your camera app. You have probably heard of the common IT troubleshooting method of switching off a device and then switching it back on. The weird thing is that it almost always works. So close the camera app and reopen it, then test your camera.
You can also switch between photo modes to see whether the camera will remember to focus. Sometimes you may realize that one photo mode is actually clearer than another.
Restart Your Phone
If restarting your camera doesn’t work, it might be time to look at other options. Sometimes phones get overwhelmed, especially if they’ve been in use for an extended period.
It may be that some of the apps have crashed, causing your camera to malfunction. Restarting your phone gives it enough time to perform software repairs.
To restart your phone, press and hold the power button until your phone gives you the option to either switch off or restart. Choose “Restart” and wait for it to go through the start-up process. Start the camera and test it for blurriness issues after your phone’s operations start working again.
Both professional and amateur photographers want to capture every moment perfectly. We have covered why your camera is blurry, what may be producing bad pictures, and the steps to fix it. If you have been struggling with blurry images from your phone or camera, these are general ideas on what to look out for. Hopefully, these suggestions and adjustments can help you take crisp photos again.