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Blurry images with Canon M50m2 mirrorless



 Hi everyone, I was hoping to get some advice on image quality. I have recently switched from the basic level DSLR (cheapest on the market) to the mirrorless M50m2. I have also purchased an adapter so that I can use all my old lenses for the DSLR with the mirrorless.

I am seeing issues with getting crisp clear images, even when my subject is standing still and is close to me (see image attached). The settings used for this image were:

Lens: EF-S24mm, f 2.8 STM

Settings: ISO 25600, 24mm, -3 ev, f 22, 1/4000s 

Is the issue likely to be the settings used, my lens, or the mirrorless camera? 

Thanks so much in advance!



Hi and welcome to the forum:
To be honest your settings look completely wrong.

Lens: EF-S24mm, f 2.8 STM
Settings: ISO 25600, 24mm, -3 ev, f 22, 1/4000s 

First a Stop, or EV (Exposure Value) is a doubling or halving of the light reaching the recording medium (i.e. sensor). Using EV's allows you to trade values between shutter speed, aperture and ISO, using EV's as a sort of common currency.
In the case of shutter speed an EV doubles (to reduce light) or halves (to increase light) the numbers involved: 1sec, 1/2sec, 1/4sec, etc.   
The same is true of ISO, where the higher the number is, in rough terms, a measure of sensitivity of the sensor to light.  ISO 100 is half a sensitive as ISO 200 etc.  If you think of it like turning up the amplification on your stereo, the louder you get the more distortion.  Thus higher ISO values are more sensitive to light, but increase the risk of noise and reduction of dynamic range.
An f/stop is defined as the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the lens aperture. Since the amount of light coming in is an area which increases as a function of the square of the diameter, to cut a long story short, the numbers have a sequence that goes up or down by a factor of 1.4 to get EV values.  However, that number is denominator, which is why the stop number should be written as the bottom number of a fraction - e.g. f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8.  When the stop value gets greater the aperture area decreases, or to put it another way, the smaller the value of the f/stop, the bigger the aperture and its ability to let in light.

So how does this impact your settings...
So, simply put, conventional wisdom suggests that for the sensor in your camera, your minimum shutter speed is
1/ (focal length x 1.6), so even if we use a factor of 2 instead of 1.6 ,you would have a shutter speed in the range 1/50sec not 1/4000sec.  For argument's safety's sake lets say that you shoot at 1/250sec.   That is 16x slower than the shutter speed you used, which means that you paid for that in terms of ISO. You can save 4 stops (1/2 to the power of 4) to reduce your ISO, which is way, way too high for the conditions.  So, that would reduce your ISO from 25,600 to 12,800 to 6,400, to 3200 to 1600.  But that's not the end of it...

You should not be using a f/stop of f/22.  You will get diffraction errors that ALONE will make the image soft.  For the subject you are using, and considering your focal length, an f/stop of around f/6.3 is more than adequate. That's 4 more stops (f/22 - f/16 - f/11- f/8 - f/6.3) than can be  saved for your ISO.

As a rule of thumb, you want the lowest ISO value you can get. So, you started off with an ISO of 25,600 and gained 4 stops from reducing the shutter speed and another 4 from reducing your f/stop value, That allows you to reduce your ISO from ISO 25,600 - 12800 - 6400 - 3200 -1600 - 800 - 400 - 200 - 100.
This would give you settings of:
1/250sec, f/6.3, ISO-100.  The lower the ISO the less potential for digital noise.

With all due respect, you really need to get a solid understanding of the 'holy trinity' of exposure: Shutter speed, f/stop and ISO, and how each impacts the image and they interact.  A huge range of combinations of these will give you the correct exposure. but you will get wildly differing results in terms of what is sharp or not, depending on what these settings are.
As a general rule of thumb:
shoot at least 1/(lens focal length)
Shoot with the lowest ISO you can manage, or set it to AUTO
As regards f/stop: this is what decides what appears sharp and what does not.  Photography is a subtractive endeavor, so you seek to keep what is important sharp, and let what is not get get fuzzier.  This is related to Depth of Field - what appears sharp.

Depth of Field:
The closer the subject, the shallower the DoF
The longer the focal length, the shallower the DoF
The smaller the f/stop value, the shallower the DoF
Obviously, the opposite of these will increase your DoF and very often the three will play against each other, so that is where the art of selecting the right combination comes in.  That comes with study, experience and critical evaluation of images by others and ones that you take.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


I would have to agree with my colleague @Tronhard. Your settings aren't correct. Why did you choose those settings. F/22 will add a lot of diffraction and make the picture less sharp. Also the high ISO of ISO 25,600 will add a lot of noise to the picture. For the above picture I would've used 1/320th sec F/5.6 ISO 100. Or I could've used 1/200th sec F/8 ISO 100. Now @Tronhard's settings aren't wrong. There are different combinations of settings that will get you a correctly exposed picture. If you're are shooting in M (Manual Mode) switch to a different mode. Such as (Program Mode) or Av (Aperture Priority). When I was still shooting with an APS-C camera. I usually kept my F/stop around F/4-5.6 which had the right amount things in focus for me. You'll have to tweak your settings depending on the shooting conditions. When I switched to Full Frame F/4 didn't have enough depth of field. So I had to adjust my settings and stop the lens down further to F/5.6-8 to get the ideal amount of things in focus. Since an APS-C sensor is smaller it has more depth of field than a Full Frame sensor does. This is because a Full Frame is larger than an APS-C sensor.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D


You may also find that certain lenses provide more sharpness in the center of the image, but go a bit softer toward the outer edges. It may help to more closely group your subjects together in the center of your frame and give them a bit more "breathing room" around the top, bottom and sides. With this large of a group I'd try having about half of them sitting or crouching down in front with the rest crouching or standing behind.

And also remember the suggestions already offered before mine.


“ Lens: EF-S24mm, f 2.8 STM

Settings: ISO 25600, 24mm, -3 ev, f 22, 1/4000s  “

I had a copy of that lens on my T5.  It was not sharp.  I tried it on my T3i, and it was not sharp.  It was better on my M3, but it was still not tack sharp.  I figured I had a bad copy.  I know someone else who had similar issues with the same model.

The very narrow aperture setting of f/22 does not help.  Diffraction effects have undoubtedly softened the image.  The narrow aperture has forced the ISO to be raised to near the ceiling, which does not help, either.  Get familiar with a DOF, Depth of Field.  I frequently use a DOF calculator, table, or app.  You probably could have shot this at f/4 to f/5.6 and captured everyone within the DOF.  

Have you checked to see where your locked AF point is located, if any.  You can use the camera’s playback mode or the Canon DPP4 application.  Be aware that where a locked AF point is located can be misleading if you have camera movement after you lock focus.

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