The best way to hand hold your camera is usually the way pictured to the left. It's best to have one hand UNDER the lens to offer good support. The nice thing about this position is that you can pull your left and right elbows into your chest to offer even more handheld support.
Quick Exercise: Stop reading and grab your camera ... seriously, grab your camera if you can!
Try the position as you see pictured to the left. You don't have to kneel just position your left and right elbows approximately as demonstrated. Now, pull both elbows into your chest and notice how much more stable that feels. Now, try both elbows tucked in and lean against something solid like a wall. You'll notice that the handheld support seems even better.
A good rule of thumb for shooting handheld is to not shoot at a shutter speed slower than the focal length of your lens. For example, 28mm 1/30th of a second, 50mm 1/50th of a second, 200mm 1/200th of a second. However, rules were made to be broken and this is just a simple guideline to consider.
Finally, you might want to try a monopod for some of your shooting. Have you ever noticed the photographers shooting football? A monopod is just one pole (leg) that extends from the bottom of the camera or bottom of the lens if shooting with a heavy zoom. One of my favorite monopods is the SIRUI that is pictured to the right. It is around $100 on Amazon.com. However, it's a nice compact, yet very expandable, monopod. You can find a cheap one at that BIG BRAND discount store that I will keep nameless here ( initials WM ) back in the electronics section with the camera gear for under $20. It's not a bad starting monopod either for the money. A monopod will give you more support and is a lot more flexible than a tripod; however, tripods still serve their purpose and should be a part of your gear.
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