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Digital Photography/Video blur while Zoomin in/out


Whenever I zoom in or out while shooting with my new Nikon L820, the video gets blurred (while zooming in/out is in process).

I spoiled many good videos by zooming in/out while recording.

Is there any setting/technique to avoid this blurring while zooming in/out?

I understand that this is an entry-level camera, and if we canít do anything to avoid it, it is just fine. I am fine with it.

Thanks for taking time to answer my question.

My reply will be partially an answer, with some opinion thrown-in.  The problem of losing focus while zooming is a very common one.  You can help solve it by getting a lens that is parfocal, which means it will hold focus while zooming, at least to the point where the focus won't be bad enough to notice. Here's a link to a good discussion on parfocal lenses for Nikon:

And this link will take you to a good list of parfocal lenses. Please note that the list is a few years old, so some newer lenses may not be included.  As you can see, many of the listed lenses won't work on your Nikon, but the Sigma and Tamron lenses listed should have a version for Nikon:

If you don't want to get a new lens, here's a trick that will help you with your zoom focus problem.  If you know what your eventual zoomed-in target will be, zoom to that target and set the focus before starting your video, and then zoom back out to where you want to start, and begin shooting.  Try this using manual and auto-focus to see which works best for you. Remember that this is usually a compromise, but it's a good way to guarantee that your eventual zoomed-in target is in focus.

Now to the opinion part of the answer. You may have noticed that zooming while shooting video or film is very rarely used in TV and movie production. There are a few reasons for that.  First of all, it's a very distracting technique for the viewer, and should be avoided unless there's a very good reason to do it.  It's almost always better to shoot zoomed-out (or zoomed-in), and then stop recording and re-set the zoom and begin shooting again. That allows a less jarring flow to your shooting. Or, you can use the zoom while shooting and edit-out the actual zoom in post-processing.

Another reason is that holding exact focus while zooming is a very difficult technique, both for auto-focus and manual focusing. You'll notice that when it's done in TV or movie production, any zooming is done very slowly, so that it is hardly noticed by the viewer.

There is also a long philosophical reason why professionals avoid zooming that I will only touch on here.  It involves what's called the "fourth wall."  If you imagine the scene you are shooting as a theater stage, with a back wall and two side walls, you and your camera are the fourth wall. As such, you should always imagine you and your camera as simply being the observer of the action taking place, and only very rarely should you become part of the action. Zooming while shooting definitely makes you and your camera "part of the action", since whatever you zoom to becomes your choice, taking that choice away from the viewer. I hope that makes sense.  

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Chuck Lantz


I can answer questions dealing with the "how-to" of action sports photography, but I'm not an expert on types of specific digital equipment, though I can give general information on basic camera and lens types for that area of photography.


I've been shooting action sports for about 40 years, most heavily over the past 12 years. My work has been published widely both online and in print, including some calendar work and editorial work for the Associated Press. I specialize in photographing yacht racing, motor racing and surfing, mostly on the American West Coast.

Publications National edition America's Cup reporter. Volvo Ocean Race, Associated Press,,,,,

No degrees, but I studied under Dan Freeman, Master Printer at Gemini G.E.L., and I studied graphic art print-making at UC Santa Cruz and Cal State University, Long Beach. I taught art in the Mentally Gifted Minors program at Palos Verdes High School, and I was an art instructor for three years in the San Francisco unified school district under a California state-sponsored volunteer teaching program.

Past/Present Clients
Volvo Ocean Race,, Associated Press,,,,,

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