Tips and Tricks

Shooting Charming Pet Photos with a Fixed-Focal-Length Lens: 50 mm

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Fast fixed-focal-length lenses shine indoors. The correct choice of shooting mode, shutter speed, and aperture can help you get better shots of your pets.

Fast Shutter Speeds Freeze Motion

Fast fixed-focal-length lenses can be used for charming indoor shots of active pets.

Shutter speed: 1/250 s
Shutter speed: 1/250 s

With a fixed-focal-length standard lens, a shutter speed of around 1/250 s–1/500 s can be used to freeze the motion of a subject like the cat shown in the sample photograph. Slightly faster speeds may be needed to prevent motion blur in darker settings or if the pet is hiding under a table. Waving a cat toy playfully above the lens rather than beside the camera to direct the cat’s gaze makes it easier to get a photo in which the subject is looking at the camera.

Stopping Aperture Up to Blur Backgrounds


To noticeably blur and soften backgrounds for a gentler shot, choose aperture-priority auto mode and open aperture up to f/1.8. Choose AF‑S (single-servo autofocus) and focus on the eye closest to the camera. Focusing on the eyelashes above the eye is easier than focusing directly on the eyeball.

Using the Vari-Angle Monitor for High- and Low-Angle Shots

The vari-angle monitor comes in handy when photographing cats in high places or sleeping on the floor.

A high-angle shot
A low-angle shot

Angle the monitor so that it is easy to see with few reflections and use it to frame and focus on your subject. Angling the camera up enhances the dignity of your pet, while photographing it from the same height brings the pet closer for a more affectionate effect.

Using the Monitor to Take a Selfie with Your Pet

To take a selfie with your pet, rotate the monitor to point in the same direction as the lens.

Touch-shutter photography with the vari-angle monitor

The camera will focus when you touch the monitor and take the picture when you remove your finger from the display. Frame the photograph so that it is not at an extremely high or low angle and touch the monitor to focus when you can see your eyes. Remove your finger from the monitor to release the shutter once you have your smile in place. For a photo in which both you and your pet are in focus, choose aperture-priority auto mode and an aperture of about f/5.6. We recommend raising exposure compensation by about +0.3 to 0.7 for a brighter shot that enhances your complexion.

One lens can be used for a variety of photographs. Have fun photographing a variety of different expressions and gestures and collecting them in a photobook or uploading them to social media.

Functions Used for Shooting Charming Pet Photos with a Fixed-Focal-Length Lens: 50 mm
View detailed information on the settings and procedures used.

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