Canon Community Canon Community

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-11-2014

5D MK III camera shake

Hi I have a 5D MK III but lately i am getting camera shake when using 60s F5 can anyone help..??

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: 5D MK III camera shake

Sure, use a faster shutter speed. 


1/60 is right on that borderline where you can get sharp images or blurry depending on how steady your hand is.   If you're using longer lens (100+ mm) then the shake is going to be even more pronouced.  The general rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed as least as fast as the reciprocal of the focal length.  So for a 60mm lens the minimum shutter speed would be 1/60.  But obviously, if you're getting shaky photos, then you need to give yourself more buffer.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: 5D MK III camera shake

Yes, with what lens? 


1/60th would not be fast enough for a lens longer than 60mm, generally speaking, per the rule of thumb detailed above.  A 200mm lens would need a shutter speed of at least 1/200, etc, etc,...  Image Stabilization may let you stretch that limit on lenses that have that feature, but then your own form may penalize you if you are not holding the camera as steady as you could with better form.  And switching over to a lens that has no IS may catch you off guard with the faster shutter it needs if you are used to having IS.


Play with a lazer pointer sometime.  You can make that beam steady as a rock if you are aiming at something right next to you.  But point it at the farthest wall in a big room like an office building and your tiny hand shakes get so magnified by the long distance that it is like you have the shakes.  Same prinicipal with hand shake and minimum shutter speed on a telephoto lens.




Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,854
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 5D MK III camera shake

There is a generic rule -- more of a guideline really -- that suggests a minimum shutter speed in order to avoid blur in the shot due to camera movement.  That guideline is based on the focal length of the lens.


The guideline suggests that on a 35mm film camera or full-frame sensor digital camera, the minimum shutter speed should be equal to or faster than the inverse of the focal length of the lens.  But there are caveats (I'll describe in a moment.)


For example... if you have a 50mm lens attached, then you would want a minimum shutter speed of 1/50th (or faster).  If you're using a 70-200mm zoom, but are using this lens at a 100mm focal length, then the minimum shutter speed should be 1/100th (nevermind that the lens "could" be used at 200mm... it only matters what focal length you're using for your current shot.)


One more nuance for those who don't have a 5D (or other full-frame body).  If you have a camera with a different sensor size (such as a Rebel series body -- those have "APS-C" size sensors) then you have to multiply that focal length by the crop factor.  The crop factor for all Canon APS-C cameras is 1.6.   That means if you're using a 100mm focal length lens, then you'd multiply that by 1.6 to arrive at 160... so 1/160th would be the new minimum shutter speed.


The guideline works because each focal length is providing an "angle of view".   


The horizontal angle of view on a full frame camera with a 50mm focal length lens is 39.6 degrees.  

The horizontal angle of view on a full frame camera with a 100mm focal length lens is 20.4 degrees.  

Notice it's not exactly half... but it is close.  


By using a faster shutter speed when you have longer focal lengths, you minimize the amount of movement that the camera can record while the shutter is open.  In our example of the 50mm and 100mm lens, we've halved the amount of time that the shutter is open and in doing so, we've neutralized the penalty for having a narrower angle of view.


Suppose you frame up a shot, but as you are shooting, your body moves 1 degree on the horizontal axis (that would be a lot by this is for illustrative purposes).  That 1 degree is about 1/40th of the width of the sensor when using the 50mm lens.  But when using the 100mm lens, that same 1 degree is about 1/20th of the width of the sensor.  The point is, that the same movement by YOU seems like twice as much movement to the sensor because the angle of view is narrower.  


Now for the caveats... 


All of this assumes that you are actually TRYING to hold the camera steady.  This means you've learned proper camera holding technique... you use an underhand grip with your left hand so that you "support" the camera's underside using the palm of your left hand.  Your elbows are tucked in toward your stomach and not out at your sides (as if your elbows are doing a "chicken wing" pose) so that your elbows brace your hands and camera.  Your feet are planted with a moderately broad stance to give you stability and your camera and center of gravity are over your feet and you are not "leaning".


Another reason for a good stance and balancing your center of gravity over your feet is to avoid forward/backward movement by you.  Suppose you're shooting a tight and close portrait shot of someone's face and you want to focus on that subject's eyes... if you are leaning, then your body may sway forward or backward.  If your body moves by so much as an inch after the camera has locked focus on the eyes, then the new point of focus may have just shifted to your subject's nose and not their eyes.


Also this is a "guideline" because some people are better at being steady than others.  Learning to be steady may take some practice.  


If you feel you are not as steady as the "average" person for whom the guideline was created, then pad the shutter speed value... mark it up by 50%... rather than using 1/100th... use 1/150th, etc.  


This video by Joe McNally may be helpful:


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
powered by Lithium

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement