03-10-2023 12:14 AM
I consider myself a amateur to intermediate (at best) photographer who learned on film (Canon A-1). My primary photography subjects are family portraits, landscape, and action/sports of my kids. I've had a EOS 60D for 10+ years and am contemplating upgrading to a different camera body for two main reasons: (1) full frame sensor and (2) sharper auto focusing.
The lens I primarily use is the Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM.
With such a high quality Canon lens, I've been disappointed at times with sharpness of portraits which I presume may be due to auto focusing limitations/compatability of the 60D, while using a tripod and timer to eliminate camera shake. I understand the importance of depth of field and shutter speed in portrait photography. Using AF and focusing on the eye, sharpness seems to vary more than it should with this lens.
Thus, I'm leaning towards upgrading to a full frame body so I can continue to progress in photography. I have begun researching the 6D Mark II and 5D Mark IV. Appreciate anyone's input on this and suggestions on a full frame camera body.
03-10-2023 03:58 AM
Not sure if I can help, but here goes...
I'm concerned that you've had focus problems taking portraits with your 24-70 lens. There may be a fault with the lens, it should focus fine. Many professional photographers make their living with this lens.
Are you shooting portraits with the lens wide open at f/2.8? A head and shoulders portrait at this wide aperture will have a very narrow range of acceptable focus. If you focus on the sitter's eye, then the tip of his nose might still be in focus but his ear won't be. This is probably fine, may be the effect you want, but if the sitter just sways forward or backward after you achieve focus, you could lose it.
If you stop the lens down, adjust the exposure setting, change the aperture to f/4 or f/5.6, and adjust the shutter speed or ISO to compensate and still get the right exposure, you are extending the area of acceptable focus, so that a small movement by the sitter is less likely to take them outside the plane of focus.
Forgive me if this is stuff you're already familiar with. However I don't think your 60D is the source of your image quality problems and I think it would be better to get to the bottom of the problem and solve it before thinking of upgrading your equipment.
An obsession with acquiring the latest gear is a common disease among photographers (I can feel myself going down with a nasty bout right now) but wiser heads than mine have said many times that great photos are made not by great gear but by great artists. If you feel you must upgrade your kit in order, as you say, to continue to progress in photography, then maybe you too should take to your bed until you recover...
Having said all of the above, it might be worth in your research to include some of the new mirrorless cameras. It's the way of the future; if you get the adapter you can continue to use your existing lenses and benefit from all the advantages of mirrorless. If you're wanting to go full frame then the R6 mk II which is my current body is a truly amazing camera, or at a lower price point the R8. The new R7 with a crop sensor like your 60D is a fantastic camera, though, and in my opinion a fantastic bargain too. The eye-tracking autofocus on these new cameras is amazing.
Hope some of this helps.
03-10-2023 11:45 AM
Appreciate your input.
I have achieved better portraits while shooting at a mid-range aperture around f/5.6 as you mentioned to expand the depth of field while trying to keep the shutter speed above 1/60 for portraits of my kids. However I still feel as though image sharpness varies more than it should at different settings. Are there any specific focusing tests I can do to rule out issues with the lens? I have not yet tried focusing in live view as deebatman316 suggested. I will do more experimenting to try to rule out any issues with the lens.
I am not dead set on upgrading to a newer camera body although I have read reviews about the newer/improved AF systems in the higher end cameras and was wondering if that would improve image consistency.
03-10-2023 10:05 AM
Will the lens focus correctly in live view. If it does the camera may need an AFMA (Autofocus Micro Adjustment). DSLR cameras are being replaced by mirrorless cameras. So id look into the R6, R8, R6 Mark II and the R5 for Full Frame cameras. Also what is your budget to spend on a camera or a kit.
03-10-2023 11:47 AM
Appreciate your input. I haven't tried focusing in live view but will do more testing to try to get to the bottom of this.
As for budget, I would consider up to $2500 but don't want to get carried away as i'm just an amateur/hobby photographer at the end of the day.
03-10-2023 10:09 AM - edited 03-10-2023 10:22 AM
If you're always using a timer, that could be the root issue. Since there would be a window of time where subjects could move after focus is acquired.
As Joey mentioned earlier, having more depth of field can minimize the issues.
03-10-2023 11:51 AM
Appreciate your input.
I've thought about the timer, especially with my kids as the photography subject. I've gotten mixed results when shooting freehand as well; some photos tack sharp, some ever so slightly off. I think at the end of the day, I need to do more experimenting to rule out any issues with the lens AF.
Are there any specific focusing tests you recommend other than what's been suggested in this thread?
03-10-2023 01:35 PM - edited 03-10-2023 01:40 PM
A full frame camera like 5D Mark IV would be great for portraits and landscape photography.
But a crop sensor camera like the 90D is often better for sports photography. The 1.6X multiplier effect allows you to work with smaller, lighter telephotos when shooting sports. Especially field sports that can require some pretty powerful telephotos... For example, my 300mm f/4 lens on a crop sensor camera weights about 5 lb. and is very easily hand held, while my 500mm f/4 on full frame is closer to 10 lb. and pretty much requires a tripod or at leeast a monopod. Yet both of those setups give roughly the same apparent reach.
90D is 32.5MP, too... which can be quite good for landscapes, as well. Granted, full frame 5DIV with 30MP may be even a tad better. And a 26MP 6D Mk II isn't far behind.
When it comes to portraits, if you're struggling with too shallow depth of field/focus accuracy on an APS-C camera now, it's going to get worse on full frame!
But some good news is that any of these newer cameras will have higher usable ISO than you 60D. There's been steady improvement in that respect. This will allow faster shutter speeds, which can help with sharper shots, but also will be necessary with the much higher resolution resolution of these cameras. That makes the camera more sensitive to shake blur as well as accentuating subject motion blur. In this respect, the full frame 5DIV would be the better choice... it probably allows about one stop higher ISO than the APS-C camera.
Regarding focus, most current Canon DSLRs have a feature that allows the user to fine tune the accuracy of focus with their specific lens to their specific camera. This can be done manually... or there is software that can help. At any rate, both 5DIV and 6DII have this feature. So does the 90D. In fact, it was on 50D, 70D and 80D too. For some reason Canon left it out of the 60D!
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2), EOS M5, some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
05/18/2023: New firmware updates are available.
EOS Rebel T100 - Version 1.1.0
EOS 5D Mark IV - Version 1.4.0
EOS 6D Mark II - Version 1.2.0
PowerShot Elph 360HS - Version 126.96.36.199
PowerShot SX420 IS - Version 188.8.131.52
PowerShot 620 HS - Version 184.108.40.206
PowerShot SX720 HS - Version 220.127.116.11
PowerShot G1X Mark III - Version 18.104.22.168
PowerShot G7X Mark II - Version 22.214.171.124
PowerShot G9X Mark II - Version 126.96.36.199
04/20/2023: New firmware version 1.4.1 is available for EOS R3
03/30/2023: New firmware updates are available.
EOS 1DX Mark III- Version 1.7.1
Speedlite EL-1 - Version 1.0.2
03/30/2023: Product Advisory for EF50 F1.2 L USM
03/30/2023: Product Advisory for EOS R10
2/07/2023: New product announcements!EOS R8 EOS R50RF-S55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STMRF24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STMRF15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM
Canon U.S.A Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited.