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Not great images with new 6D. Please take a look and give me your thoughts

Brad
Enthusiast

I'm going on a 2 week trip to Japan in 3 days so I'm hoping to figure this out before I leave.

I got my new 6d with 24-105 L lens kit, and also the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. It doesn't seem like any of the photos are that sharp without a very high contrast shot in full sunlight. Indoor shots or those with lower contrast (tree bark, leaves, something in the shade, etc.) seem pretty unsharp to me. I'm not sure if the AF just can't get a precise focus, or if the sensor just can't get good detail unless those conditions are met.

This is my first DSLR, although I've had film SLRs for 30+ years before that, and digital point and shoots for the last decade or so. I'm not sure if my expectations were too high or if there's something wrong with the camera, lenses, AF, or IS systems, or if I'm doing something wrong.

Some photos are below. I shot them all above the 1/focal length rule and some 2x or 3x or more above that, so in theory that would eliminate the camera shake issue, and also in theory the IS system should give you 2-3 stops so it doesn't seem to me that camera shake should be the issue. (I've also taken tripod shots and had the same issue so I don't think it's camera shake.)

All are large fine jpegs (20mb) straight from the camera, blown up to 100%.


santa1 Indoors daylight, no interior lights on, 24mm focal length, 1/30, ISO 1000

santa1.JPG


santa2 Indoors daylight, with interior lights on, 105mm focal length, 1/125, ISO 6400

santa2.JPG


santa3 Indoors daylight, with interior lights on, 300mm focal length, 1/320, ISO 10000

santa3.JPG


santa4 Indoors daylight, with interior lights on, 300mm focal length, 1/640, ISO 20000

santa4.JPG

 

 

wall1 outdoors, 105mm focal length, 1/500, ISO 100

wall1.JPG


wall2 outdoors, 270mm focal length, 1/500, ISO 100

wall2.JPG


treebark1 outdoors, 70mm focal length, 1/125, ISO 25600

treebark1.JPG


treebark2 outdoors, 300mm focal length, 1/320, ISO 25600

treebark2.JPG


license1 outdoors, 300mm focal length, 1/320, ISO 25600

license1.JPG


leaves1 outdoors, 70mm focal length, 1/320, ISO 25600

leaves1.JPG


leaves2 outdoors, 300mm focal length, 1/320, ISO 500
leaves2.JPG

 

truck, 105mm focal length, 1/250, ISO 100

truck.JPG

 

 

Other than the truck badge and maybe the wall photos (high contrast, full sunlight), most of them don't seem that sharp to me. What do you guys think? Most people are raving about how good the low light performance is on the 6d but I'm just not seeing it, not even in moderate light.

Here's a link to where someone compares a few different cameras one of them being the 6d. My images are not as sharp as them as far as I can tell.
http://www.etherpilot.com/photo/test/misc/6d_5d3_d600_colfix.jpg

Any thoughts or suggestions you can give are greatly appreciated! Thanks! 

53 REPLIES 53

I just downloaded the manual to see if the 6D has one of the custom settings my recently sold  7D &  my 1D4 have that I think is VERY useful & thankfully it has it. Assuming the on line manual is the same as the printed one this is from page 306, and relates to C Fn 1-6 Safety Shift. I recommend setting it to 2 which gives the camera permission to raise the ISO as needed when your selected settings won't work for the specific shot, BUT they will go back to what you have decided on for the next shot IF it will be correctly exposed. It's a great feature & one I put to use many times since learning about it.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."


@cicopo wrote:

I just downloaded the manual to see if the 6D has one of the custom settings my recently sold  7D &  my 1D4 have that I think is VERY useful & thankfully it has it. Assuming the on line manual is the same as the printed one this is from page 306, and relates to C Fn 1-6 Safety Shift. I recommend setting it to 2 which gives the camera permission to raise the ISO as needed when your selected settings won't work for the specific shot, BUT they will go back to what you have decided on for the next shot IF it will be correctly exposed. It's a great feature & one I put to use many times since learning about it.


That's a great  tip. Thanks! I hadn't gotten into those custom settings yet.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/eos6d/

 

It's the 6D group on Flickr. Now I think to be fair to yourself don't post 100% crops but there's more than a fair amount of very good shots there. Remember that you've bought a very good camera though it is an entry level and Canon's first entry into this levle of FF. Check your meter. Check your picture style. Adjust it if needed. Check the light/shade conditions. Is the subject moving or still? 

Look at the EXIF data from shots online u like and learn what they mean and adapt to the conditions. Just enjoy the process. I'm sure u'll like your results soon enuff!!


@RoadRunner wrote:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/eos6d/

 

It's the 6D group on Flickr. Now I think to be fair to yourself don't post 100% crops but there's more than a fair amount of very good shots there. Remember that you've bought a very good camera though it is an entry level and Canon's first entry into this levle of FF. Check your meter. Check your picture style. Adjust it if needed. Check the light/shade conditions. Is the subject moving or still? 

Look at the EXIF data from shots online u like and learn what they mean and adapt to the conditions. Just enjoy the process. I'm sure u'll like your results soon enuff!!


Roadrunner...I'm not questioning whether or not the 6d in general takes good photos, I know that it does. What I'm saying is that my particular camera doesn't seem to be giving as good of results as I think it should. As I mentioned before, I've been shooting SLR for over 30 years so I'm pretty confident in my ability to take a good photo.  Not saying I'm perfect by any means, but I think the sharpness of my photos should be better than most of them are. That's why I'm asking for more opinions. I'm not sure if it's my computer monitor or if it's the camera or if it's my imagination. Just looking for input from folks who know more about how photos should look from this camera.

 

Thanks for the link to the flickr group. I'll check it out.

wow... as far as I can see HRD function is pretty nice. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nfirebaughphoto/8377011422/

Thanks for checking out my HDR and yes I must say the Canon 6D seems to do HDR pretty well, I actually haven't used the in camera HDR function.  And I'm still using a Promote system to control the camera since I just recently upgraded from a T2i so I've gotten use to the remote... but it's a great camera. That pic was taken at ISO 50 using a 17-40mm F4L by the way.

If you plan on simply using jpeg shots, one thing you can try is adjusting the default Shooting Style Mode settings. I would increase the sharpness setting of your shooting style. By defualt in the standard style mode, I belive the sharpness setting is at 3 by default.  You can increase this sharpness setting up to 7 if you prefer. Of course when you shoot Raw none of this matters because you will be doing post processing of the images. But if you plan to simply use jpeg, adjusting the default settings of the camera picture styles will give you a sharper jpeg picture. There several different picture styles and you can use and even create custom picture styles as well. Also increasing the contrast a bit will give you a clearer picture on jpegs. I played with these setting and for my Standard pic style, I increased my sharpness to  +6 and contrast to +2. I think canon by defualt keeps the level low because most people use post editing software to correct the pictures.  Here's a link to give you a better ideal of how adjusting the settings of the picture styles can help.

http://digital-photography-school.com/using-canons-picture-styles

 

dbjsblack. Thanks for the link. I'll check that out. I had increased the sharpness and a few other settings and overall I think I'm becoming more satisfied with the results of my 6d.

I have been experimenting with ISO max settings and trying to find the highest one that still give good results. It seems like 3200 is generally pretty good and 6400 is often too.

 

One thing that I'm finding a bit annoying about the "auto" setting on the camera is how even if you have a higher max ISO set, when you get into a lower light situation it more often than not just reduces the shutter speed to a point where I'm sure you're getting some camera shake going on. There seems to be some missing logic in the brain about when it should raise the ISO instead of reducing the shutter speed, but I guess that's a whole other discussion.

 

I'm sure that 70-300 does have some limitations and the f5.6 at the long end is one of them. I really wanted to get a better longer lens but you know, I just dropped $3k on the camera/lens kit and accessories and didn't really want to drop another $1.2k+ on the longer lens right at this moment so I figured I'd get that cheaper lens now since it has generally very good reviews (some say nearly L series IQ), use it for a while, sell it later if I don't like it, and then find a cheaper better lens on ebay a little later.

 

I've heard that a lot of people use lightroom but I've never tried it. I've got the whole adobe CS3 suite (including photoshop) but I guess that's a few years out of date now and not sure if it would work. I've heard none of the products support the 6D yet anyway (can't read the raw files). I'm not sure if eventually they'll release it for CS3 or if it's too old by now. Good tip on the 30 day trial of lightroom. Raw is a whole new world for me and I imagine I'll stick with using the jpegs for 90% of shots unless there's one I really want that's too crappy in jpeg and I need to get into raw to tweak it.

I definitely plan on shooting raw+jpeg and will have my laptop to offload my cards.

 

I think I'm getting a better handle on the camera/lenses and how they act in different situations which is maybe really what the bottom line is all about. I just wanted to make sure that the camera is working properly and that these results are about what I should be expecting. I'll try to go out tomorrow and take a few more shots and see if I do any better. I may post some here again if i have any questions.

 

Thanks for helping me to sort this all out! This is a good forum!

jfo
Rising Star

@Brad wrote:

 

One thing that I'm finding a bit annoying about the "auto" setting on the camera is how even if you have a higher max ISO set, when you get into a lower light situation it more often than not just reduces the shutter speed to a point where I'm sure you're getting some camera shake going on. There seems to be some missing logic in the brain about when it should raise the ISO instead of reducing the shutter speed, but I guess that's a whole other discussion.


Not sure the specifics on the 6D and for the fully-automatic shooting mode, but I was just flipping through my 5D3 menu, and there was a place to set minimum shutter speed.  Perhaps there's that on you 6D also?

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