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Issues With EOS 70D (sharpness and focus)?

trichomechaser
Apprentice

I've been shooting on the same 70D for quite a few years now, and while I was very happy with it in the initial years, I'm starting to see issues with image quality and focus, and wondering if this is something anyone else had run into and whether I should start considering having to replace it (not an easy prospect).

I started noticing issues with birding where a large number of shots would come out not focusing correctly and just looking a bit soft. Figuring this was a lens issue I had my girlfriend test it on her much cheaper 600D and found that the results were much better in general to what I was getting from my 70D.

One of the most noticeable aspects was a seeming lack of contrast and chromatic aberration as well (not lens-related since it occurs only on my body and not the 600D I'm testing)

I then started seeing the same image issues in controlled tests where I have both cameras using the same camera settings and the same light and subject/distance.

Below is a sample of both cameras using the same exact conditions, the 600D seems to be close to the 70D on sharpness but the contrast is noticeably better, specifically when one looks at the measurement lines coming down vertically, you can see my 70D has a softness and dullness to the darker tones as well (assuming it's not monitor related)...

Settings: On A Tripod with 2 second timer, 0.3 second exposure, ISO 200, F5.6 using a Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro

70d vs 600d.jpg

 

And then an additional image to show what I mean in a more real world setting. This bird was shot using ISO 800, f5.6 and 1/200 second exposure (handheld, but still) with a Canon 400mm 5.6 and shows a lack of definition in the features and eye which is easily noticeable. One will also see that none of the foliage around the bird looks any better, so I don't think it's a front/back focusing issue.

IMG_0698.jpg

7 REPLIES 7

Waddizzle
Legend

The most significant difference that I see between the ruler shots seems to be White Balance.  The two bodies probably have different metering systems, no doubt.  I repeat the test with a custom white balance calibration, and shoot RAW.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

rs-eos
Authority

I'm not seeing the issues with sharpness.

 

Also, were you really at 1/200 second for the bird shot? That seems to be too slow especially for handheld with a 400mm focal length.  That could be the reason for any softness.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

trichomechaser
Apprentice

1/200 is borderline, but I consistently managed to get sharp photos in the past using 1/200th handheld. 

Here is another example, this is shot at 1/800th exposure. You can also see a general softness or misfocus. When I compare my images from 2 years ago of similar subjects, with the ones from recent, I feel like I can see the difference on a few lenses as well, though these particular examples are with a Canon 400mm 5.6 L

 

soft.jpg


@trichomechaser wrote:

1/200 is borderline, but I consistently managed to get sharp photos in the past using 1/200th handheld. 

Here is another example, this is shot at 1/800th exposure. You can also see a general softness or misfocus. When I compare my images from 2 years ago of similar subjects, with the ones from recent, I feel like I can see the difference on a few lenses as well, though these particular examples are with a Canon 400mm 5.6 L

 

 


I agree.  The image is soft.  Looks like you missed focus to me, which isn't a major crime.  

 

I have never known a digital camera to start producing soft mages.  The image sensor will either work the way it should, or it won't.  When it doesn't work the way it should, you start getting pink images and whatnot, but never "soft images."  Nope.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Apologies for the delayed reply in this, I've been doing more testing to try and get some better comparisons. 

I actually stopped shooting with my 70D and just resorted to using the 600D because regardless of what the subject is, the image is just always better. There is definitely something not so right with the 70D.

In order to do a better control, I placed the 70D and 600D on a tripod, using a timed shutter release and manual focus. Both were using the same Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro lens.

I set both cameras to 1/8th of a second shutter speed, ISO 200, F8 and 0-step exposure bias.

The results are pretty much what I've been noticing from my field experience, in that the 70D slightly overexposes but it also lacks the clarity that I get on the 600D. The 70D should be outperforming the 600D but it's the opposite way around. 

I have the same results with different lenses as well. 

This first image is a standard shot from a few feet away between the two cameras.

comparison.jpg

Below is a crop on the above to better show the sharpness issues:

closeup adjusted.jpg

I use full magnification through live-view when setting the manual focus to ensure there were no focusing issues.

Again, these results are always the same and I have yet to take a shot with the 70D that surpasses the quality of the 600D. I also find that when there are more weights (or reflections) in the image, the 70D struggles even more so and I see a lot of blur around the highlighted points of the image.

I think you are mistaken on several points.  Just because one camera coats more than another does not mean sharper photos.  Both cameras are capable of sharp photos. The 70D has a slightly better sensor but they are both the same size. The 600D has slightly larger pixels which may give it a slight advantage at higher ISO but perhaps not.

 

The top ruler is the better shot, IMHO. The bird on the fence post is OOF, simple error. Here is what I would do.  Reset your 70D to factory default.  Shoot Raw and do lens correction in post. And, stop looking for problems. I know once you think you see something it is hard to get it out of your mind because you now look very much more critically at the result.

 

Small things like was mentioned above, WB for instance, can make things look out of whack when they aren't. I think shooting Raw format and lens correction will improve all your work. Remember you can add the correct or desired amount of sharpness in Raw. Try it.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Here is your image with lens correction. If I had the Raw it would be very much better but you can be proud of this shot.  It is very good. I also set the WB and added some unsharp mask.

 

IMG_0698.jpg

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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