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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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.

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


Just read all the howto.

@butchdon wrote:

I'm late to this thread, since I just bought a 6d two weeks ago. Shot a wedding a couple of days later. Most of my images were shot with the 24-105. MOST were OK, some a little soft, a few were gross. Like the ones of the groom with his family. There was only one I could salvage after using some "focus" sharpening plugins. 


So I try to do the Micro adjust. The 105 end adjusted fine. The mid range and lower had a very wide AF acceptance window. So I did some shooting outside and found that the AF point would flash red, but when I looked at the images in LR they were quite soft. 


So I put on my 70-200 f2.8 II IS, and 100 f2.8 11 IS Macro and they were tack sharp. I was having issues with the focus when mounted on my 5d classic and hoped it was the camera, so I bought the 6d while there was a $300 rebate.


I'm not sure if sending the 24-105 to Canon CPS will fix the AF. It does not always fail. I think since I am semi-retired if I need a WA lens, I can rent  24-70 2.8L Mk II for $35/day.


So I would suspect the 24-105 lens. You almost have to de-focus, re-focus, shoot, and repeat if the image is really import. I'm going to practive focusing manually to see if my acceptance rate improves.

If you are presenting yourself as a professional wedding photographer, you are underequipped. I've never used (or even seen) a 6D, but from its published specs it appears to have an AF system that is at best mediocre by today's standards. Most professionals wouldn't use it for an important event like a wedding.


If, OTOH, you are just a serious ameteur doing a fovor for a friend, the secret is to take more shots, For simple stastical reasons you should get more keepers. All, or virtually all, professional event photographers take way more shots than they're going to need. It's cheap insurance, since it costs you nothing but the work of reviewing and editing a larger number of images.


The 24-105 is a fine lens. Many of us in this forum own it, and you rarely see any of us complain. It's possible that you have a lemon, but other explanations are more likely.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

BobtheFat, in one sequence I took 4 shots and all were soft. Some more than others. I also have a 5d, and have had some soft images with that as well. I have rented other L lenses and placed them on the 5d and the 20d and did not have this issue at the few weddings we shot. At this point I think I have a bad copy that is past it's warranty period and w ill have Canon look at it.


BTW, if the 24-105 is such a fine lens why is the web full of complaints, even with people using way better bodies than mine? As I mentioned I have NOT had this problem with my 70-200 2.8L IS II, the 100 2.8L IS II, or other L lenses I've rented.




Hello there.  I agree with your post.  I have a 6D and find that the out of camera JPEG images are quite soft.  Much softer than my previous Canon camera which is a 70D.  Now for the fix, the Canon 6D takes amazing photographs but you just need to do the following.  

1st, always shoot in RAW format.  Even if you simply save from RAW to JPEG later it captures sharper picutres if you convert from RAW to JPEG in post.

2nd, to fix your issue if you want to shoot in JPEG as I sometimes do is all in the picture styles area.  By default the sharpness is set WAY to low.  I manually set my sharpness to 5 or so to get a truly tack sharp image when I'm looking for that.  I hope this helps you out.  I love my Canon 6D but was quite disapointed with the JPEGS until I figured out how to tweak the picture styles.  Good luck and enjoy your great camera.


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