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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! 



The indoor photos look a bit soft but the outdooe shots show some decent detail. From what I've read so far (& keep in mind I have no interest in buying a 6D so I'm not reading that much) it's recommended that you rely on the single center AF point in low light. I've also seen mention that it does support micro adjustment for lenses, which may be needed. I know that I could see a difference on my 7D / 24-105 L when I went through the process. Here's another thread re the 6D & about 1/2 way down the first page you'll see mention of the MA being do able at both ends of the zooms, which wasn't the case with the 7D.


Micro Adjustment is the carefull matching of the AF to individual lenses. It cancels out the minor differences in manufacturing tollerance variations between the lens mount to sensor distance through fine tuning of the AF system's electronics.


You may also want to try some different settings for the in camera sharpening (for jpg's). There is a set of menu items that allow you to make changes to sharpening, contrast, saturation etc. Don't be afraid to bump each up a step or 2 & see what they do to your images. Keep notes & back them down to the starting point if you don't like what you see. It's all in the fine tuning

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

Thanks cicopo for continuing to help me figure this issue out.


You mentioned another thread about microadjustments but didn't link to it. I found this article so I'll read more and see if that's something that I need to do.


The center AF point makes sense for low light. I'll try that and see how it goes. Thanks for the tip.

My bad, forgot to add the link.


Also agree that anything over ISO 3200 might get a bit noisy & as the noise creeps in the detail goes away, but you should still be able to get decent images these days at 6400 if your exposure is on the money, so IF you need to shoot at 6400 try a few shots with slight changes to the Tv or Av..

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


I just returned from Costa Rica and was disappointed with a lot of my pictures not being sharp.  I googled my problem and was led to this forum.  Brad's problem is exactly what I experienced.  I was using the 24-105L and I rented a 70-200 2.8L.  I used center point focus 99% of the time.  I was with a photography workshop and we were photographing horses.  9 of 11 members of the workshop were using Nikons.  I looked at a lot of their pics and they were dead on for sharpness.  I have an indicator on on my back screen that shows where the focus point is.  The focus point was exactly accurate on 99% of my photos, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.  I shot at all iso s from 100-6400 ; mostly in TV.  We shot morning, mid day and evening.  I'm stumped.  I took 6000 pics and probably less than 100 were extremely sharp out of the camera.  Help anyone!!! I wonder how Brad did on his trip to Japan -- I see his post was Dec. 2012.

Hey MR a couple things were the horses moving? What focus mode are you using? I mainly shoot landscapes using a tripod but when shooting sports I use a higher iso and Ai servo focus. Are any of these examples you are speaking about posted anywhere?

I was shooting in A1 Servo; center point focus.  I was with a group of photographers at a workshop, and many of them shoot with all point foccus .. I had more trouble  with that.  Yes, a good amount of the time the horses were moving, and I was at the 200 mm point of the lense.  I noticed one of the photographers who was getting consistently sharp photos was using a 300mm fixed lense -- a huge, heavy lense.   Where would be a good place to post photos for review?  or can you give me pointer how to post here?  Thank you!

I know you said you tried different ISO but can you give me an idea of your shutter speeds? And whether you were handheld or monopod/tripod? Not sure how to post pics on here myself lol

I brought a monopod but didn't use it : (     We did some shots in the afternoon -- around 2 -- in a pasture with some up & down hills.. the horses were driven by riders to run so we could photograph.  There I was probably shooting the long lense ..if I remember right, I tried from 1/300 to 1/1000 shutter & iso s from 400 - 1200 ?  I was trying everything!  some evenings we had some arena shots where horses ran & would jump over a jump.  I would use 1/1000 shutter & higher iso bc it was getting dark -- probably 1200-2000.  I am a novice / hobbyist but I have shot a LOT of pics in different situations -- lot of grandchild, so again, moving subject.  I did have some photos of birds that were sitting still that were sharp.  I have the best luck with the 24-105L & non-moving .

Well it sounds like your shutter speed was fine... I shoot lots of hockey games with the iso as high as 10000 because I use a 70-200 f4L Focus most of the time is on Ai servo which I don't think shows a focus point as long as you hold the shutter button half way it will stay focused. Maybe it was your aperture choice that made the images blurry?
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