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VIP
Posts: 10,996
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

"I'm beyond being "not a fan of DxOMark".  I'll come right out and state directly that I don't believe they are competent."

 

I totally agree. 100% but in this case it does demonstarte there is a real physical difference between the two lenses. Not simply the just the two different cameras.  Plus all the other differing conditions that are non-comparable in this discussion.

And, again you are absolutely correct, in saying a single spec a camera does not make, or lens for that matter.

 

All I am trying to get across is he is not likely to ever see the same performance from a 6D with the 24-105mm f4 vs a 5D Mk III with the 24-70mm f2.8.  However, that is not to say the results that can be had are not truly very good.  Better than most.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"I'm beyond being "not a fan of DxOMark".  I'll come right out and state directly that I don't believe they are competent."

 

I totally agree. 100% but in this case...


You agree 100%, but in this case... 

 

Heh.  In otherwords, you'll use DxOMark when it supports your case, but otherwise you disagree with their ratings? 

 

Your 6D to 5d3 comparison is equally biased.  Sure it's a better camera, and should be if you pay 60% more.  But for the case in question here there should be essentially no difference between the two cameras.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

[ Edited ]

RE: "The 6D has a lesser AF system, it has two Creative modes, it has one memory card slot and a few other smaller differences. Other than that they have essentially the same shutter, sensor, color control, resolution plus ISO range."

 

The reason I bought the 6d instead of the 5dm3 was because the IQ should, in theory, be the same given they use the same processor. The faster FPS and faster AF and more AF points of the 5dm3 didn't really matter to me and I can't think of a situation in shooting with the camera for the past 2 years where I missed those features. Also the lower weight was a factor--I do a lot of fairly tough hikes (such as to the bottom of the grand canyon, top of yosemite falls, etc.) with my camera and the reduced weight of the 6d is a plus. The wifi feature is pretty cool too (although a bit of a PITA to use) so you can quickly upload a few vacation photos to facebook, etc. every once in a while, directly from the camera which is much easier than downloading to your computer and then uploading. In short, the 6d was the perfect camera for me.

 

And yes it's true that I think the 6d in general takes great photos and I'm generally pretty happy with them. The issue is that mysterious quality that I have seen in hundreds of my friend's photos that I like better than mine in comparison. Maybe that's just a quality of his 24-70 2.8, which I will test and find out. I will also try and do the microadjustments on my 24-105.

 

 

I actually just ran across this post after reading the links  TCampbell posted.

"I’m frequently asked “Canon 24-105 f/4L IS, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, or Canon 24-70 f/4 IS ?”

There isn’t a right answer; they’re all great. The advantages of the Canon 24-105 f/4L IS are smaller size, greater range, image stabilization, and lower cost. The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 has less distortion and wider apertures. The 24-70 f/4 IS has less distortion and the very nice macro feature.

My choice is the 24-70 f/2.8 for portraits and architectural shooting and the 24-105 for walking around or taking on vacation, but that’s just me. If the macro feature is useful to you, the 24-70 f/4 IS may be a better choice. "

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/telephoto/canon-24-105mm-f4l-is

 

 

VIP
Posts: 10,996
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

Brad,

You have listed all the features that drew you to the 6D.  Everybodies needs are different and aren't we glad there are so many choices?  However, no mater how Mr Campbel and I generally feel abour DxOMark, it shows the 24-70mm f2.8 is going to bring more P-Mpix to the party than your lens.  Regardless of which camera it is bolted to.  It may just be the difference that will push you into the, I think my images are great, too, colum.  I sincerly hope so.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,805
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

I downloaded the two images, pulled them into Aperture, and turned on the focus points and looked at the EXIF data.  

 

I noticed a few things:

 

1)  According to the EXIF data in your images, the 6D was using AI Focus mode and the camera chose AI Servo.  

 

There are really two modes and the AI Focus is an auto-select mode.  One Shot is intended for stationary subjects (like this).  The camera will lock focus, but once it locks focus it switches off the focus system (it no longer attempts to re-tweak the focus).  AI Servo is intended for moving subjects (distance is changing).  It continuously re-focuses.

 

AI Focus is supposed to be an auto-select mode... it analyzes the subject distance for a moment to see if the subject is moving.  If it notices a change in focus distance, it switches to AI Servo.  If it does not detect movement, it uses One Shot focus.  The problem is (a) it can be fooled (as it was here... possibly the person holding the camera was not steady) and (b) there's a delay while the computer evalutes the focus scenario.  

 

It's best to put the camera into the mode you know it needs (One Shot for stationary subjects... AI Servo for moving subjects.)

 

Your friend's 5D III used One Shot AF (as it should have.)

 

2)  The 6D was using the full set of 11 AF points (AF Area Selection was set to "Auto Selection").  It locked focus on your right shoulder (the nearer shoulder).   That's what the AF system is supposed to do... it finds the AF point which can lock focus at the nearest focusing distance and uses that point.

 

The 5D III used expanded AF and was set to use the center point.  It locked focus on the face (actually the jaw) of the lady in the image... that's going to be closer to the faces of both people.

 

3)  The 6D used a slower shutter speed of about half that of the 5D III, but it should be fast enough to grab a sharp image (especially considering the lens has image stabilization).  

 

4)  It looks like you may have shot this using JPEG/medium resolution.  The number of pixels in the image is less than your camera is capable of using.  The 5D III image is full-size.  Did you down-size your image or are you not using the "L" size when shooting JPEG images?  Lower resulution means you'll need to enlarge more, which will tend to exaggerate any softness in the image.  (I only ever shoot full-size and almost exclusively in RAW.  Hard drives are cheap... I'm not worried about the space that the larger files occupy.)

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?


@Brad wrote:

The reason I bought the 6d instead of the 5dm3 was because the IQ should, in theory, be the same given they use the same processor. The faster FPS and faster AF and more AF points of the 5dm3 didn't really matter to me and I can't think of a situation in shooting with the camera for the past 2 years where I missed those features. Also the lower weight was a factor--I do a lot of fairly tough hikes (such as to the bottom of the grand canyon, top of yosemite falls, etc.) with my camera and the reduced weight of the 6d is a plus. The wifi feature is pretty cool too (although a bit of a PITA to use) so you can quickly upload a few vacation photos to facebook, etc. every once in a while, directly from the camera which is much easier than downloading to your computer and then uploading. In short, the 6d was the perfect camera for me.


It sounds to me like you did your research and made an informed decision.  I did the same, for many of the same reasons you did, and I'm happy with my decision.   eBiggs has some personal vendetta against the 6D, so take his advice with a grain of salt.   The IQ I get out of my 6D is spectacular, as good as anything else I see, and I rarely need an advanced AF system.   Paying more for a 5d3 would have had very, very little impact on my photography.   I'm glad Canon, heh, filled the gap.  Never understood why offering more options seems to irk some people.

 

The IQ is more or less the same.  In some rare instances, high ISO long exposure astro for example, it actually out performs the 5d3.  A very specific case, and the only reason that I bring it up is because people tend to speak in absolutely about one camera being better than another, and it rarely is.  There's no reason why, for a simple shot like that, your 6D can't do everything the 5d3 is doing.  The obvious difference is the lens, but still I suspect that the jpg shooting mode had even more of an impact.   Try using the same shooting mode as your friend, if they have it, or better yet go out and both of you shoot RAW.  Then use the same convertion on both and see the results.  I'd be curious to see the comparison, both with using the same 24-70, but also with the 24-105.  I don't think the difference will be that signficant.

Highlighted
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

TCampbell, these are all great points. Thanks!

 

Focus mode is something I had not considered. I have set it to one shot now and will test how that goes.

 

AF points is one I forget about a lot. I tend to keep it in auto-focus mode when I'm in a situation where I might ask strangers to take a photo of me since it's difficult enough to get someone to take a decent shot without having to try and teach them to center focus and recompose! I will try and make a conscious effort to keep it in center focus mode unless otherwise necessary.

 

I also moved up to Large Fine jpeg setting, and kept RAW at medium. (Even though I rarely do anything with my RAW images because I don't really know how to manipulate them well, I continue to take them just in case I ever need them and/or get around to learning how to use lightroom properly.) I have been keeping the resolution at medium fine and medium RAW as a space saving method on the SD cards, not on my computer HD. Even though I have over 100GB of SD cards, I have been in more than a few situations where I've been out in the wilderness for several days (obviously without a computer to download to) and I have filled up all of my cards. So going down to medium fine JPG and medium RAW lets me get a few hundred more shots on each SD card. And considering that I never blow up beyond 20x30 I figured the medium fine jpeg had enough pixels already, but I guess it's true that more pixels are better if you can get them!

 

Tomorrow I'm going on a 2 week road trip to Utah so I'm sure I will take at least several hundred or a couple thousand shots and I will see how these new settings do.

 

Even though I've been doing photography for over 30 years, the 6d is my first DSLR. I went from SLR film to digital point and shoots for a few years and just got the 6d 2 years ago so a LOT of things are different now with digitall vs the film that I came up on. Composition and depth of field and capturing the moment is generally what I'm concerned with and I'm sure it's obvious that the finer points and the technicals of the camera are not something that I've studied too much.

 

I appreciate the time you all have taken to give me some ideas for improvement!  

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?


@Skirball wrote:

It sounds to me like you did your research and made an informed decision.  I did the same, for many of the same reasons you did, and I'm happy with my decision.   eBiggs has some personal vendetta against the 6D, so take his advice with a grain of salt.   The IQ I get out of my 6D is spectacular, as good as anything else I see, and I rarely need an advanced AF system.   Paying more for a 5d3 would have had very, very little impact on my photography.   I'm glad Canon, heh, filled the gap.  Never understood why offering more options seems to irk some people.

 

The IQ is more or less the same.  In some rare instances, high ISO long exposure astro for example, it actually out performs the 5d3.  A very specific case, and the only reason that I bring it up is because people tend to speak in absolutely about one camera being better than another, and it rarely is.  There's no reason why, for a simple shot like that, your 6D can't do everything the 5d3 is doing.  The obvious difference is the lens, but still I suspect that the jpg shooting mode had even more of an impact.   Try using the same shooting mode as your friend, if they have it, or better yet go out and both of you shoot RAW.  Then use the same convertion on both and see the results.  I'd be curious to see the comparison, both with using the same 24-70, but also with the 24-105.  I don't think the difference will be that signficant.


Glad to hear that your 6d photos turn out great. As I said, my photos are pretty great too in general, so I'm starting to believe that it's more about the lens choice. I'll test out a few different lenses and see if they give me the image quality I'm looking for. Also as I said in my previous post, I will start shooting in large fine jpeg and see if that helps at all.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,805
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

Hi Brad! On the RAW thing... when you shoot landscapes, the scene tends to want a lot of dynamic range. JPEG is 8 bit... but RAW is 14 bit. This means the camera can grab more detail in the data... but mostly it can capture very subtle differences that a JPEG would flatten. The way JPEG saves space is by finding pixels with values which are so similar that your eye probably wouldn't notice the difference... and then it normalizes them to the same value so that compression works better. This means that if you've got some dark shadowy areas in your landscape (or bright highlights), JPEG will tend to flatten the pixel values to a tone very near black... when you brighten that up on your computer software, you just get a muddy gray, the detail doesn't recover. But if you use RAW, the subtle differences are retained (at a cost of a larger file size) but it actually recovers a surprising amount of detail as you adjust the image.

JPEG is great as a final output format. RAW is better for anything you may want to manipulate. Software such as Adobe Lightroom makes it pretty easy to manipulate your RAW images. Canon's DPP is great too... but DPP requires that you open your images one at a time... whereas Lightroom is much faster and easier to flip through your images (it opens the whole library... not just a single image at a time.)

Incidentally, the way I noticed the focus points is because Apple Aperture software (but don't buy that because Apple has already announced that they don't intend to continue development on it) has a mode which reads Canon's meta-data and will overlay the focus points and show you what the camera used. Canon's DPP has exactly that same feature. If you open the image in Canon DPP (Digital Photo Professional software... it was included with your camera) you can right click on your image and turn on the AF points and see the same overlay. It's a great way to find out what the camera picked as a focus point (as long you don't "focus and recompose the frame").

Don't be intimidated by RAW... it's no harder to adjust a RAW than it is to adjust a JPEG (actually it's easier because you don't have problems with detail recovery on RAW like you have with JPEG). Commercial apps like Lightroom use a camera "profile" and auto-apply the most common adjustments *just* because you imported the image. I mentioned I use Aperture... it auto applies roughly the same level of noise reduction, edge sharpening, etc. that would have been performed on a JPEG and this happens automatically at import time (but you can override it if you don't like what it wants to do.)
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: Compare photos - Is lack of sharpness because of camera or lens?

Thanks Tim. I got lightroom about 3 weeks ago and did some shadow, highlight, and color work on a few jpegs that I wanted to blow up and hang on the wall. It made an amazing difference.

 

I tried lightroom once with a couple of RAW images and they just looked terrible. I fiddled around a bit but obviously I didn't know what I was doing. When I get back from this trip I'll have to spend some time learning how to work with LR and RAW. 

 

Do you happen to know of any good books or instructions on how to work with RAW and LR? (Or even LR in general.)

 

 

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