Hand-held cameras can lead to blurry, out of focus shots sometimes - even under the best of circumstances. Luckily there are a few steps you can take to counteract camera shake.
1. When shooting camera in hand, as often as possible pull your elbows in to your body and exhale completely before depressing the shutter. When you’re working with a wide aperture or low shutter speed (or both), even a breath can introduce shake.
You can create your own tripod by resting your elbow on your knee while in a seated position. Again, bring that other elbow in for better support.
2. If you are going to use a long exposure (in the seconds), say for a night shot, there is no way that you can hand hold the camera for such a long time without moving it. The best thing to do here is to, first, place your camera on a sturdy tripod, then use a cable shutter release (which is a cable that connects to your camera’s shutter at one end and has a thumb-operated shutter at the other end) to take the picture.
3. Most digital cameras nowadays come with a feature called an Image Stabilizer. There are two types of image stabilizers: the first one, Optical Image Stabilization, is based on moving a lens element to compensate for camera shake; the other one, Sensor-shift Image Stabilization, moves the image sensor itself inside the camera to compensate for camera movement. Other types of image stabilization you may read about are all digital (or electronic) based and almost always decrease image quality in a compact digicam.
4. Make sure you are standing still until the picture is finished being taken. Depending on the shutter speed the camera is using, that fast movement of the camera may happen while the camera is still recording the picture.
5. The last and least practical of solutions is to of course, carry a tripod with you. This will guarantee stability and reduce any risk of camera shake. In a pinch, you can use a flat solid surface instead of a tripod, depending on where you are and what you are shooting.