I have a Nikon D5300. When I try to take a photo (I reset all settings to factory settings) and hold down the button to focus or just a quick snap, there is a long delay in the camera finishing to take the photo, if that makes sense. The photo turns out incredibly blurry and if I move my camera from the point I'm focusing on before it finishes, the photo turns out like I've moved the camera before it took the photo. I know that sounds redundant, but I'm not quite sure how else to explain it. I am in my apartment with a normal amount of lighting (all the lights are on). Is there something I'm missing?

  • "normal amount of [indoor] lighting" probably looks bright to human eyes (because we have fantastic ability to adapt), but not particularly bright to the camera, compared to an outdoors sunlit scene for example. It sounds like the camera is using a slow shutter speed to compensate for the low light levels. What result do you get when you use flash? – osullic Feb 2 '18 at 8:43
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    Also, what mode is the camera in? – osullic Feb 2 '18 at 8:45
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    Please post one of your photos, along with the shutter speed, aperture and ISO that you/the camera chose for the photo - you can see these details from any reasonable photo viewer. – Philip Kendall Feb 2 '18 at 9:24

The amount of time the camera sensor remains open to light is governed by the Shutter speed that you have selected. To be able to adjust the shutter speed of your camera, you need to put it in either Shutter Priority Mode (S on the mode dial) or Manual Mode (M on the mode dial). If the photo is getting a lot blurry even with very little movement, it's likely that your shutter speed is set very low; something like 1second or below. Try increasing it to 1/50 or more. If you have a long lens (a zoom lens like 70-200mm), you might need to increase your shutter speed even more to get sharper results.

Keep in mind though that increasing your shutter speed will reduce the amount of light coming into the sensor and you will have to bump up the Aperture (go towards a lower number like f5.6, f4.5, f3.5 ) to compensate.


You probably have set your camera in Aperture priority mode, and selected a very small aperture. This lets the automatic select a long exposure time to ensure a proper exposure.

Change the aperture to a more "sane" value, or select another mode, like "P" (full-auto) or "S" (where you set the shutter time and the camera determines the aperture for you).

  • I see no real evidence the camera is in aperture priority. – Philip Kendall Feb 2 '18 at 13:42

It really sounds like the camera is using a long shutter-speed.

First, check the Mode-Dial. It is is not set to Auto or P, then the exposure depends on the parameters you have dialed. Move the dial to P and see if it solves your problem. If it does, good but you may want to learn about the Exposure Triangle if you want to take control of your camera and be more creative.

If automatic exposure still gives you a dark image, then you may have dialed Exposure Compensation up. That will give you a blurry but very bright image. To reset it, press the +/- button while turning the dial until the EC indicator is at 0.

The important thing to know is that even though you did not choose a slow-shutter speed (which is what you can do in S and M modes), the camera can still chose a slow one if you select too small aperture (which you can do in A mode). Finally, there is also ISO. In Auto mode, it is set automatically by default but in other modes it is fixed by default, although you can make it Auto or better, simply raise it to the needed level. In any case, the camera reports what shutter-speed will be used in the status line of viewfinder, so if you see 60 or a larger number (meaning 1/60s or a faster shutter-speed) than there should be little blur. If you see the number followed by a quote such as 8', then that is an eight second exposure which is way too long.

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