Do your pictures ever look a bit off-balance? One possible cause can be a crooked tripod. Fortunately more and more cameras are adding a tool for leveling the camera called a virtual horizon. It functions similarly to an electronic level.


In this image, the camera looked straight. But checking the virtual horizon, I could tell the camera was slightly titled. Turning this option on varies by camera, but it usually involves using a pre-assigned button or accessing a menu item.

The line across the center is yellow. This indicates that the camera is not level. The displayed information is not recorded into the photo or EXIF data. It is merely offered to help the photographer get a better shut and guide adjustments to the tripod legs or ball head.


Adjusting the height of a tripod leg I leveled the camera to get a better shot. By slowly raising one leg, I can get the camera perfectly level. This method is best for panning shots or panoramas. You may also be able to adjust your ball head for a quick fix.


The virtual horizon graphic shows a green line when the camera’s position is aligned with the horizon. This tool is invaluable for shooting landscapes and architecture as it ensures straight lines and minimizes perspective issues.

Note: This is just one way to level a camera.