I have an EOS M50 Mark 2, and have only been working with it for about a month, but I've been trying to study and understand all the bells and whistles. It's definitely been a learning curve as I'm not a photographer by trade.
My issue is that no matter how I set the aperture or ISO, or if I turn the dial to Av or Tv, i get the same issue: a blurry foreground/background and sharp middle.
For example, if I'm taking a picture of a pen, the points furthest away from me and/or nearest to the lens, will be blurry while only the "focus point" (whatever is within the green, blue, or white = boxes) is in good focus. I've tried watching videos, tried reading forum posts (though none seem to have my exact issue) but nothing is helping me understand what the issue is or what settings I need in order to fix it. I tried the Aperture-Priority AE Mode (Av) manual instructions but the changes did absolutely nothing. Distant/near elements are still coming out blurred.
I'd like to be able to have entire pictures sharp. No blurriness, not even in the background or foreground. Most of the pictures I take are close-up product shots, so I need absolute clarity on every point no matter how far or close it is to the camera.
Would anyone be able to give me a detailed (as in, pretend you are talking to a 4 year old) explanation of what I should do? It would be much appreciated!
What is blurry - between foreground and background is defined by Depth of Field. That is influenced by three things:
The closer the subject the shallower the DoF
The longer the lens focal length the shallower the DoF
The smaller the f/stop value, the shallower the DoF.
Logically the corollary of these will give you a deeper DoF. So, if your images lack a deeper DoF - as your description suggests, it is likely one or more of the factors I mentioned.
So, since you are taking images of objects close up, that will tend to give you a shallower DoF. To compensate for that you should be using a lens with a shorter focal length and also a high f/stop value.
Much depends on how big are the objects you are shooting, and how close can can, or need to get to them.
Since you are using an M-series camera, I would first suggest considering EF-M lenses with a short focal length. Two such lenses come to mind:
The EF-M 28mm macro lens. Specially designed for close-up work, it is very sharp and and has a built-in ring flash system that will provide illumination of objects very close to the lens. A ring flash has a light around the circumference of the lens, facing to the subject and can provide a soft, even light that reduces (if not eliminates) shadows. To get an idea of this lens see This article and a review on You Tube Here and another descriptive video Here
The EF-M 11-22mm zoom lens. It will give you more choices for focal a shorter length, and has excellent optics - I have one.
The thing is how these lenses are used with your camera. Since you will be using a narrower f/stop value (I would suggest exploring in the region of f/8 for lots of things sharp), the camera will not be receiving much light, so you will need to have a slow shutter speed to compensate. That would mean having the camera mounted on a tripod or other steadying device to avoid camera shake and making sure the subject is as well lit as possible.
Particularly with the 11-22 zoom lens (that does not have a ring flash) you might consider getting a Canon flash with a tilt/shift head that can be elevated and rotated. You can then get the flash to shoot up and back to reflect of a white card and provide a strong, but diffused light onto the subject.
I would suggest checking out some videos for different solutions: on You Tube
Other options to be able to be further away from your subject would involve lenses of a longer focal length - the most likely candidates would be the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM macro and the EF 100 f/2.8 USM macro. Both of these lenses are designed for use on Canon DSLRs, so you need to get an adapter to connect them to your M50II camera - that's the EF-EFM adapter. With that connection the lenses should perform as they normally would.
Thanks so much for that detailed information! I'll use what I can to try and find a solution.
Unfortunately because this isn't my camera and I have no purchasing power, I'm limited to the lens that came with the camera and have to work within those means.
I'll look more into depth of field an f/stop values.
It's not possible to have everything in focus. You can come as close as possible though in some limited situations. As Trevor points out, the quantity that will be within focus can increase if you:
Too complex to outline here, but you can also look up hyperfocal distances.
Thanks for the information and honesty with the pros and cons.
As mentioned above I don't have the ability to use multiple lenses, so have to work with what came with the camera as is. I'll play around with the aperture (i always forget that small in this case is higher numbers) and depth of field and f/stop as suggested by the other commenter.
Hopefully I can get something that works for me.
"It's not possible to have everything in focus. "
That is the correct answer. However multiply lenses is not. Multiple images is. The lens you have will work. You need to take several shots at various focus points and stack them together in a post editor like Photoshop. These several shots require no special settings but smaller aperture is probably best say f8. SS is also not important but a solid rest for the camera is necessary. ISO in a nice middle range 200 to 400. These are very simple run of the mill settings it is the multiple shots that will make or break a job like this. All camera gear has its limitations, you have found one but there is a solution.
I'm not sure what lens you're using, but odds are it's a zoom lens. As someone suggested above, keeping your subject at a greater distance from the lens will increase the DoF and let you keep more of it in focus. Zooming out will also help. While both of those may leave your subject smaller in the frame than you'd like it to be, you have the option of cropping the image later to get the finished photo you want. The M50's 24mp image resolution is really overkill for most photos (4mp is adequate to get a very good 8x10 print), so you have a lot of headroom to crop and still retain plenty of detail in most cases.