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How to Take Sharp Photos with the Nikon D7100

How to Take Sharp Photos with the Nikon D7100

The Nikon D7100 is a 24.1-megapixel digital single-lens reflex camera that replaced the Nikon D7000, fitting between the company’s entry-level and professional DSLR models. Despite the capabilities of the Nikon D7100, you may have noticed that your images are coming out blurry, leaving you wondering what the issue is. How do you take sharper photos with it?  

We used to have the same image quality issues when shooting with our own D7100. More often than not, finding and adjusting the correct setting in the extensive list offered in the D7100 will make your images crystal clear. To help guide you through this process, we have created a comprehensive guide on taking sharp photos with the Nikon D7100.

Set the ISO Sensitivity to 100

The ISO is the light gathering ability of a camera. It controls the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the sensor, meaning that more “noise” is introduced, which can potentially cause blurry images.

For most Nikon cameras, the factory set the ISO at 200. This is probably a little high for someone just getting a feel for their camera. A better ISO sensitivity value for your Nikon D7100, at least initially, would be the lowest base ISO value of 100. This will block as much noise as possible, creating rich, clear photos as you get a feel for your D7100.

Select the Aperture Priority Shooting Mode

When using the Nikon D7100, the best shooting mode is aperture-priority, as the camera automatically chooses the proper exposure under this setting. To get your D7100 in aperture-priority mode, locate the dial on the top-left portion of the camera and turn it to “A.”

Once set to aperture-priority mode, there are a couple of sub-settings in which you may be interested exploring.

  • For low light scenarios, consider opening the aperture as wide as possible (corresponds to the smallest f-number) to allow for the capture of the most light.
  • When changing environments, consider exploring the U1/U2 settings in the setup menu.

Use Matrix Metering to Choose Shutter Speed

Matrix metering should be the default metering on your Nikon camera. However, you will want to check this setting, as matrix metering will assess the whole image scene to estimate the correct shutter speed. This will determine how long the camera sensor is exposed to light and will be responsible for the appearance of motion in the photo.

If your images are still appearing too blurry, fine-tune the shutter speed on your D7100 by pointing your camera at the subject you want to photograph and half-pressing the shutter. This will reveal the shutter speed on the viewfinder.

If the shutter speed is below 1/100, this indicates that you do not have enough light in the setting. Try adjusting the lighting and shooting again. If the shutter speed is above 1/100, your images should be clear unless you are trying to capture significant motion, in which a shutter speed of up to 1/500 may be necessary.

Hold the Camera Steady

It is always best to use a tripod for beginners to shoot clear images with a new camera. This is because when hand-holding your camera, even the slightest fidgets or breaths can cause the image to blur, especially when shooting images with longer shutter speeds.

However, holding your new D7100 in your hand is definitely more exciting, making you feel more attuned to the image-capturing process. Therefore, to capture clear images when shooting by hand, use the following pieces of advice:

  • Get into the proper stance, with one leg slightly ahead of the other and weight balanced evenly between your two legs.
  • Do a test run to view the setting before shooting. The longer you hold the camera ready to shoot, the more likely your arms are to tire, leading to a twitch.
  • When you are satisfied that you have the setting how you want it, hold the image steadily in the viewfinder, exhale completely, and firmly press the shutter release.

Use Vibration Reduction Features

If you have all of the light and sensitivity features adjusted to the correct setting and are sure you are holding steady during the shot, but your images are still coming out blurry, it may be worthwhile to use the camera’s vibration reduction features.

When shooting landscapes with your D7100, one effective way to reduce vibrations is by using exposure delay mode. This handy feature of the D7100 lifts the camera mirror (a common source of vibration) and waits a specified amount of time before opening up the shutter to introduce light. This can help create clearer images through the elimination of the dreaded “mirror slap.”


The Nikon D7100 is the company’s flagship “prosumer” DSLR camera, bridging the gap between entry-level and professional models. While the D7100 has many wonderful features for taking stunning photos, users sometimes report blurry images, which are usually the result of improperly configured settings. Based on our similar experiences, the helpful tips listed above can help guarantee sharp images with the Nikon D7100.