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Pictures seem soft with AF on new T6S

StanNH
Rising Star

I just got a refurbished T6S kit, with two lenses, from Canon.  Everything looks new and works fine.  However .... I am finding that many of my first "practice" shots are just slightly out of focus using any of the AF modes.  The weather here has been awful, so these are indoor shots.  I've tried all AF modes, as well as 19 point, center, and single point focusing.  I've gotten some perfect shots using the built in flash, with perfect focus.  Manual focus is, of course, fine.

 

Aside from the two kit lenses, I have also tried a variety of other Canon and Sigma lenses I have.  Identical results with all.  IS makes no difference.  I have been shooting primarily in P mode, which does not enable the pop-up flash for pre-focusing, so that may be part of the problem in a lower light environment.  I have tried a variety of settings in AV and TV mode as well, using  different shutter speeds and f stops.

 

I don't recall having similar AF issues with my Canon 40d, nor with my Sony HX40V or even my iPhone, under similar conditions so this has me puzzled.  Canon suggested doing a camera and custom setting reset, but I haven't really changed much since getting the camera a few days ago ... and I noticed the soft focus immediately.

 

Since I can get really sharp focus on some shots, and not others, I'd really like to figure this out and not have to send it back for service at such an early point.  Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION


@StanNH wrote:

I just got a refurbished T6S kit, with two lenses, from Canon.  Everything looks new and works fine.  However .... I am finding that many of my first "practice" shots are just slightly out of focus using any of the AF modes.  The weather here has been awful, so these are indoor shots.  I've tried all AF modes, as well as 19 point, center, and single point focusing.  I've gotten some perfect shots using the built in flash, with perfect focus.  Manual focus is, of course, fine.

 

Aside from the two kit lenses, I have also tried a variety of other Canon and Sigma lenses I have.  Identical results with all.  IS makes no difference.  I have been shooting primarily in P mode, which does not enable the pop-up flash for pre-focusing, so that may be part of the problem in a lower light environment.  I have tried a variety of settings in AV and TV mode as well, using  different shutter speeds and f stops.

 

I don't recall having similar AF issues with my Canon 40d, nor with my Sony HX40V or even my iPhone, under similar conditions so this has me puzzled.  Canon suggested doing a camera and custom setting reset, but I haven't really changed much since getting the camera a few days ago ... and I noticed the soft focus immediately.

 

Since I can get really sharp focus on some shots, and not others, I'd really like to figure this out and not have to send it back for service at such an early point.  Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.


If everything is blurry, and if the problem goes away if you put the camera on a tripod, then it's likely that your shutter speed is too slow. The fact that your flash pictures are in focus would reinforce that diagnosis.

 

If random parts of the picture are sometimes in focus, then the light level may be too low to autofocus properly. Try the camera outdoors, where the light is almost certain to be better, as soon as you can.

 

If some part of the picture is always in focus, but not the part that the camera tells you it used to obtain focus, and especially if it's always a bit too close or a bit too far away, then you may need the focus adjusted. You can do that yourself on some cameras, but unfortunately not on any Rebel. So if that's the problem, you'll probably have to have it serviced. And the service center will need to see both the camera and the lens.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

View solution in original post

15 REPLIES 15

Just push the lightning bolt button on the side of the lens mount.

I've been reviewing lots of the pictures I thought were too soft, including indoor and outdoor shots.  The soft shots all were taken at the higher end of the "zoom" capacity of the lenses used.  In all those shots, the lens was wide open, making for a tight FOV.  Also, I could find no part of the image which was in focus, so the issue was not really the AF itself.  Also, I was using auto ISO as my default setting, and I was surprised at how high some of those ISO values were. On a few shots, where I was trying the 19 point focus, the camera did pick a focus point that was not what I wanted, but that did not happen using the single point focus.

 

So, my conclusion is that indeed camera shake is the main culprit here, exacerbated by very high ISO values selected by auto ISO in low light conditions.  The IS on the various lenses used did not entirely compensate for camera shake with these conditions.  I don't remember ever having these issues with my 40d using some of the same lenses, so maybe the heavier body was just a more stable platform.  I also found that with some modest post processing I can sharpen the images considerably with no obvious degradation of the image quality.  There seems to be no way of adjusting image sharpness, or even color saturation, in the camera itself.

 

With the newer sensor, improved resolution, and more advanced AF system, I really did expect to see some improvement in the image quality compared to my 10mp 40d.  The T6S does seem to tolerate cropping considerably better than the lower resolution 40d, but I haven't seen much else that this camera does better.  It's still early, and I still haven't had it out in bright, sunny conditions, so I'll reserve judgement.  

"I was using auto ISO as my default setting, and I was surprised at how high some of those ISO values were.  On a few shots, where I was trying the 19 point focus, the camera did pick a focus point that was not what I wanted, but that did not happen using the single point focus."

 

When I let the camera pick the focus point, my camera is very good at not focusing on what I want.  The camera will tend to pick what it determines to be the closest object when it is in that mode.  When you see multiple AF points lighting up when half press the shutter, that's showing all of the points that can achieve focus.  BUT, the camera will only use one of them to focus the shot when you activate the shutter.  Again, it will use the AF point that it determines is closest to the camera.

 

As for the Auto ISO, it is a good mode to use when you are shooting under widely varying light conditions.  There could be a setting in your camera's menus that would set an upper limit on high Auto ISO can actually go.

 

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"So, my conclusion is that indeed camera shake is the main culprit here, exacerbated by very high ISO values selected by auto ISO in low light conditions. "

 

If you have a tripod, try reshooting that first low light shot you posted in Av mode.  Set the ISO to 100.  The camera should determine a shutter speed.  If you do not have a release cable, use the 2/10 second shutter to minimize camera shake from your hand touching the camera.

 

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"With the newer sensor, improved resolution, and more advanced AF system, I really did expect to see some improvement in the image quality compared to my 10mp 40d."

 

I'm sure that you will see a dramatic improvement in your photos when you're shooting in better light, at ISO 100, and not wide open.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Use of auto-ISO can result in slow shutter speeds, which will exaggerate camera shake, especially at the long end of a telephoto lens.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:

Use of auto-ISO can result in slow shutter speeds, which will exaggerate camera shake, especially at the long end of a telephoto lens.


That can happen when you use Auto ISO in AV or Tv modes. You might as well be shooting in a Green [A] mode.

 

i only use Auto ISO when shooting in M, manual, mode.  I try to only allow the camera to have automatic control of at most only one leg of the exposure triangle at a time.

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

Again, thank you all for the comments and sharing your own experiences.

 

i have just started adjusting the Picture Style settings in the menu.  I have found I can improve the sharpness and saturation so it gives me image quality more like what I'm used to.  I should also note I have, at this point, been shooting in jpeg.  

 

I am currently just using my Canon 50 mm 1.8 lens, so I have a standard base for comparison as I change Picture Style settings.

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