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EOS R5 Image quality and focus issues


I have results from my R5 that are disappointing at best. I've tried changing the settings using pros advice but still not as sharp as I'd expect. I'm using an EF 100-400 lens for BIF and have sent the lens to Canon for alignment, still no improvement. I bought the camera new and so far as I know it has never been damaged. IF, I get extremely close to my subject the image is a lot sharper. 

I shoot wildlife and BIF using back button AF. Raw files and shutter release (mechanical). I use a variety of focus point settings and of course servo mode. I'm to the point I'm going to send it back to canon unless I find a miricle cure. I'm at 1.7 firmware as well. Any  suggestions or similar complaints?



Mirrorless cameras track at all times even if you're not using certain focus points unlike a DSLR camera. What mount adapter are you using Canon or a 3rd party. Which version of the EF 100-400mm the original or the Mark II version. Can you please post some picture with the metadata intact in the forum. What settings are you using have you tried One Shot AF on a static subject just as a test instead of Servo AF. What is your shutter speed could you be seeing camera shake. Make sure IS is turned on unless on a tripod. 


Current Gear: 5D Mark IV, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L III USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM, EF 50 F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM, 430EX III-RT, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D, Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM & EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 16-35mm F/2.8L USM, EF 24-70mm F/2.8L USM, EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS III USM, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D


Not the first time I hear about R5 and a focus issue

There are more user reports at Dpreview.

I can't remember I have seen any about R6. My R6 has no focus issues.


IF, I get extremely close to my subject the image is a lot sharper.

If you are a long distance from your subject, then the camera could experience difficulty locking focus on your subject and not something else within the field of view.  It goes without saying that tight cropping does not always produce great images.

Also, it has been my experience with that lens using UV or CPL filters can have a significantly negative impact on the autofocusing.  If you feel that you need some sort of protective on your lens, then I recommend only using high quality Clear filters.  

I use Clear filters to keep my front lens element clean, not for protection against impacts.  There tends to be lots of dust, pollen, and other small airborne particles in the wild.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


" I'm at 1.7 firmware as well. "

It's not the FW. It is not a misaligned lens if Canon checked it out. It could be poor filters or even good filters if they interfere with the lens. Remove any filter and stop using them. Other than that keep in mind the lens doesn't know when it is in focus or not. The camera tells it. Further you tell the camera how this is to be done. I suspect that is the real issue.

"I get extremely close to my subject the image is a lot sharper."

All lenses lose resolution as distance increases. That's why closer subjects appear sharper.

" I've tried changing the settings using pros advice ..."

Well, IME, this can be both good and bad. "There are more user reports at Dpreview." I am not a review reader. You can't trust them.  They can be totally wrong or give incorrect info or be downright lies. You just can't trust the reviewer to be what they claim they are. Some guys make career out of reading reviews on the ole inner web. They must spend hours doing so. Then they reply to posts like this with what they have read without any real experience of their own to back it up with. How do you tell the difference? I don't know but don't put too much stock in too many reviews.

"...have you tried One Shot AF on a static subject just as a test ..."

This is a good idea if nothing more to prove to yourself that there isn't anything wrong with your camera/lens. Easy to set up. Try different distances, too. So, lets reset the camera to default setting. Menu>tools>clear all settings and clear all custom settings. You always have to start at the known beginning. Set the camera to P mode. Use Raw always never jpg. Set ISO around 200. Use One shot and just the center focus point. Never Ai-servo or any other auto focus mode. Use a good tripod, a good one not a cheapo. The other settings don't matter because you will u/l to your computer into DPP4.  If you don't already have it you can d/l it for free from Canon. Do the shots, u/l to DPP4 and examine them. You can/should apply Canon lens correction and any other tweaks you like.

How do they look?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

I sent the R5 to canon for sensor realignment on Tuesday and received it back on Sunday. Not bad service at all. Canon states that my sensor meets factory guidelines but they did clean and micro adjust auto focusing. I'm relieved to find out the issues are my own. As per the many suggestions I received here I removed the filter and am now riding bareback. Today is not the best day for photos with a storm coming and no light to speak of but I shot a few birds and welcome any comments. I'll post a copy of cropped and untouched. Am looking forward to sun and Eagles. Thanks again to everyone.213A6189-1.jpg213A6192-1.jpg213A6192-1-2.jpg213A6195-1.jpg213A6195-1-2.jpg213A6196-1.jpg213A6196-1-2.jpg

Incidentally, these were taken freehand using a single focus point with the 100-400 EF lens.

It's really great to hear you are up and running with such a simple fix. My friend with an EOS R just had the same issues for the same reason.


Please get back to us with an example image.

Also please answer the questions:

  • Which version of EF 100-400mm are you using?
  • What brand adapter are you using?
  • Is there a "protection" filter on the lens?
  • Have you tested the lens and camera with stationary subjects?
  • How are you determining the "images are soft"? Are you over-enlarging them on your computer screen?
  • Have you cleaned the camera sensor? A dirty sensor can make for "soft" images.

The R5 has a very sophisticated AF system that's quite different from DSLRs and there's a bit of a learning curve with those newer AF systems. BIF are one of the most difficult subjects. There are a lot of videos on YouTube showing how people are setting up their R5, R6, R7 and R3 (all of which are similar) for wildlife and birds. Many people set up the AF On button for one form of back button focusing and the * button (AE Lock) for another such as animal eye detection, so that they can use the first to get the focus close, then switch to the 2nd to really lock onto the subject. 

Are we getting anywhere with these questions and suggestions?


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2), EOS M5, some other cameras, various lenses & accessories

I'm using the R5 with a Canon 100-400 EF IS II USM, the adapter is Canon as well. There is a  Hoya UV filter on the lens. The static test is kind of inconclusive given that it seems to focus better at shorter distances. I have also used a Canon 70-300 lens with about the same issues. I am more than open to the idea that my own personal proficiency may well factor in and I am also aware that over crop will affect image quality.213A6119-1.jpg213A6120-1.jpg213A6121-1.jpg213A6150-1-2.jpg213A6154-1.jpg