Yet Another "OMG GOT MY 30D!" Thread (with problems)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Whiteapple, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Whiteapple macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    Haute Savoie,France
    #1
    First off, Merry Christmas.

    Next. I've just bought myself an EOS 30D, body only. I already had some lenses I did not use from an EOS 5 which are a telephoto 100-300mm and a 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 (without the mentioning of II. I hereby bring the assumption that it is the first series of this lense).
    However, I happen to find that camera very bizarre, compared to my former Sony DSC-V1, judging the sharpness of the pictures I take with both. The pictures with the Sony are sharp, wherever I select the focus. I suppose the f/2.8 is for something, but I wanted you guys who seem to know what you're talking about to take a look at what i've shot. It seems to me that it is "kinda" blurry. Which is very annoying. I tried many things, ISO, Flash (btw, I shoot in Manual, so no "yeh he's teh n00b, shoots in Auto mode" plz:eek: ), F set to mini for the length I want, and of course, shutter speed set at the correct speed.

    Well, I tried inside and outside (I have to admit, in very bad lightning conditions in both places. No sun, bad lights. I provide links towards High Res images so you can check EXIF properties, if you want:) )

    Result: Doesnt feel very "sharp", my Sony was sharper, with no fancy stuff (sharpness increase, etc.).

    I know the lense is kinda low stuff, and I wondered if the f/3.5 maxi was for something in there. Do you think the 70-200 Image Stabilizer AND f/2.8 would be a change?

    Btw, I shoot in Medium, HQ size. I figured if the absence of IS was the cause, then I would want less pixels. mmmkay.

    Anyways, thanks for your help in advance, I really need you to say "your lense is crap, go buy a better one", or explain from the EXIF what I do wrong. No tripod, but I really didnt move, and I mean a DSLR shouldnt have issues, I THINK.

    Here you go, samples:

    Inside, without flash.

    [​IMG]

    High res here



    Still without flash:

    [​IMG]

    High res here



    With flash. I find it blurry, even with correct focus in the viewfinder...

    [​IMG]

    High res here



    Outside. No flash. Is this sharp for this lense? Careful and steady focus, of course.

    [​IMG]

    High res here



    Inside. No flash.

    [​IMG]

    High res here



    Outside. No flash. Do I want an Image Stabilizer and f/2.8 (constant? yes plz!)? Am I nuts or perfectionist?

    [​IMG]

    High res here



    Please, give me your opinion. I love the camera, but the thing is, so far I've done better (sharper and better focused shots) with the DSC-V1.

    PLEASE PLEASE, I've spent so much cash! But if I need the 70-200 IS f/2.8, then I'll buy it.

    Thanks:eek:

    EDIT: These pictures look sharp in these sizes, but they dont fullscreen on my 23" ACD:p
     
  2. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    Raleigh, NC
    #2
    A couple of things:

    First, it's hard to come to any conclusions from the pictures you posted without more information on how they were shot. EXIF data is great but it doesn't give me all of the information I'd like to know. For example, were they shot handheld or with a tripod?

    Second off, you need to sharpen the pictures some. I can't speak for the 30d but on my d30 a little post processing sharpening is necessary. I prefer this to in camera sharpening as I have more control. Here's the last picture you posted with sharpening (perhaps too much sharpening):

    [​IMG]

    You mention in your post that the pictures were shot in manual mode. This might be the problem. If they were shot handheld the shutter speed is way to slow to prevent blur. I have shakey hands so at 1/25th of a second and 105mm there would be significant blur. Perhaps you have more stable hands or you used a tripod... like I said, it would be helpful to know.

    I'm going to assume you used a tripod. In that case the lack of sharpness can be attributed to the lens, but it's easily avoidable. All lenses are going to be less sharp at their maximum aperture. Step up the aperture a few stops and they should be significantly sharper.

    That more expensive lens will be sharper at the same aperture as your less expensive lens. This has nothing to do with IS (which will allow you to take pictures at slower shutter speeds without as much blur from your hands moving) but instead with the quality of the glass and the maximum aperture. Just as with your lens, that lens will not have its maximum sharpness at f 2.8.

    So here's my suggestions: Take a bunch more pictures. If you were shooting handheld use a tripod or speed up the shutter speed some. If you still aren't happy, and that wasn't the cause (as I suspect it wasn't) try shooting at higher apertures and see if that helps. Try post processing your images some as well. If your still not satisfied go to the camera shop and try out some more expensive lenses. I'd even suggest buying a 50 1.8... you can't get a sharper lens for the money.

    EDIT: Just reread your post and saw that you didn't use a tripod. Those are incredibly sharp images for that focal length shutter speed combination. I'm surprised they came out that well.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    You peppered your post with lots of "please don't call me teh n00b" kinds of comments, so I feel skittish to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway.

    Like the previous replier said, those photos are small... it's hard to tell how sharp a picture is unless you give us a 100% crop in the focal plane. But... they look very sharp to me. Do you understand the concepts of bokeh and depth of field, and how depth of field and aperture are related? I'm sorry... I'm trying to say that in the nicest way... I'm not sure if I'm completely misunderstanding you or not.

    When you shoot with a low f/stop value, you are going to get a shallow DoF. Meaning that only elements very near distance-wise to the actual focal plane are going to be anywhere near sharp, and there will be heavy bokeh of items outside the focal plane. This seems to me exactly what you've got. I don't see anything wildly out of expectations for these photos.

    BTW#2 -- I was won over by the Fred Miranda gang... Unsharpen Mask. If you don't want to fool with the settings, 200% with a 0.8 radius. Get used to doing it to every single picture. There's nothing illegitimate about it; it essentially replicates something that you would have done with a film camera if you were developing your own film anyway.

    BTW#3 -- if I *am* right, and it's the depth of focus that you are misinterpreting as a lack of sharpness, and you don't understand why this effect did not occur with your Sony, then find a DoF calculator and plug some values in and you will see why this is almost never an issue with point and shoot cameras.
     
  4. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #4
    Ok... I didn't even think that this might be the problem. You should probably explain what you mean by sharpness. That picture of the tire I posted is where you should be looking for sharpness. If you are confusing sharpness and focus then this is a whole different thing.

    If that's the case (and I apologize if it's not... I don't want to imply that you're a n00b, not that there's anything wrong with that) and you are concerned over the shallow DOF then you need to boost the aperture a bunch. Low aperture equals shallow DOF. You should also note that your sony has a much smaller image sensor then the 30d. At a given aperture a camera with a large sensor will have less DOF then a camera with a small sensor.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    If I'm wrong and you're right, I think the issue may be just looking at where the AF zones are... shots like that one are hard to get tack sharp with AF because you may not want the focal plane to be imaged where any of the AF points are... I personally would shoot something like that with manual focus.
     
  6. xrays macrumors member

    xrays

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    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #6
    First of all, you haven't really used great photos for showing examples of image quality, so it's difficult to say what's wrong. Your images are all taken at high ISO, close up, and with relatively small focal planes, which is going to be difficult for any camera without any IS or a tripod, or a flash.

    I'd suggest you walk outside and take some photos around your house (more complex scenes, not just single objects), and even use complete auto mode for this because your camera will adjust your settings to get the best image possible without blur (if possible).

    With the pic of the cat, you are close, which can be problematic, and you've shot at 1/100sec with a focal length of 105mm, which can easily reveal camera shake, especially with low light and hand held. Macro (or general closeup) photography is difficult any time.

    Your photos overall don't seem to indicate a problem with the camera, but more a problem with the photographic situation. You need more light, and you need a faster shutter speed, and you need to guarantee you're in focus.

    I've seen similar problems with my 20D and my 50mm f/1.8 lens when shooting slower than 1/100sec and lower than f/4. I'm not sure, but it's possible that your problems are mostly due to the wide aperture and close proximity, which produces a short depth of field.

    I wish I could help more, but I'd like to see more bright scene photographs to see what problems the lens may be introducing as opposed to the actual situation. Wait until you know your camera inside out before trying macro photography, and then make sure you have lots of light.

    Best of luck... You have a great camera there!

    x.
     
  7. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #7
    Thanks for your input:

    To Panoz: I have not used a tripod. I have set the aperture to the max value, for the focal length I had (I was constantly at 105mm) which was f/4.5.

    Maybe I could decrease the focal length, get closer to my objects? However, I do want the "blurs" corresponding to the DoF. So I would want max. aperture, I think. Besides, with the lack of light, I would not want to decrease shutter speed to compensate, because I do not have a tripod - yet. Am I right ?

    To mkrishnan: Thanks too. Yes I know some stuff about DoF. I DO want these "blurs", but not where I focus, where I want it to be sharper focusing. For me, it makes sense the difference between the "blurry" part and the "focused" part would be greater with greater apertures, where smaller apertures are used for landscapes. Right?...
    Maybe I misunderstood what you said, but thanks anyways. I was just asking if my pictures demonstrate adequate focusing (sharp enough?), where I want it to be. For example, on the logo in the centre of the wheel's axis ;)
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    Okay, thank you. Still...back to my recommendation. Go get a DoF calculator on the web and put your values in. When you're down in the f/1s and 2s, the focal plane on an SLR is *tiny*. I'm not sure you appreciate *how* tiny. I know I did this when I was shopping for lenses and I was stunned.

    But that point aside, can you please post a 100% crop in the focal plane of one of those images? Or else please link an actual full resolution image from the camera, and we can pop it into Photoshop and give you much more accurate impressions... at least based on our impressions of sharp (at least I find my 50 f/1.4 to be shockingly sharp when I nail a shot).
     
  9. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #9
    Like I said in the edit of my first post (sorry I didn't catch it as I was writing) those images are remarkably sharp for being handheld.

    Decreasing the focal length has two effects. First, the distance between the "in-focus" parts of the picture and the "out-of-focus" parts of the picture will be proportionally larger, meaning the blurry DOF affect will be magnified. That's good, if that's what you want. Second, your pictures will be less subject to handshake at lower focal lengths given the same shutter speed.

    Your 30d has a fantastic CMOS sensor that will produce very little noise at higher ISO settings... especially compared to your sony. Lowering the shutter speed to compensate for the lack of light is not an ideal solution. You will get a noise free blurry image. Boost the ISO some and you will have a slightly noisier, but much sharper image.
     
  10. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #10
    Yes, I WANT that shallow depth of field:eek:

    What I mean is, when looking at the Full Res pictures I linked as well, does the part focused look sharp enough, or do I need a lens with higher aperture?

    If so, then would f/2.8 be good?

    See for example, the guy above needed to sharpen the tire part. Post processing. I'd like to avoid that.
    If what I need is a tripod and/or shorter focal length, then OK:) But for now, I'd like the tire (agin, for example) to be sharper, in contrast with the blurry rest of the picture.

    Pfewww, hard to explain. :rolleyes:
     
  11. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #11
    This is very true. That 50 f/1.4 is absolutely incredible. I can't justify the money right now when I've got the 1.8, but I played around with my friends and it was easily the sharpest lens I've ever shot with.

    For the OP: I'd really suggest you start shooting in RAW... or at least full resolution JPGs with minimum compression. There's no sense potentially limiting one of your pictures just to save some space on a card. Memory is cheap these days and I'd shoot myself if I compromised a picture just to save a few dollars.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    Can I ask why you are dead set against using a USM action? There are even default actions that FM sells for a few dollars that basically automate the process for you. But honestly, using a camera and lenses that nice without being willing to do that kind of basic level of post-process is a bad call.
     
  13. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #13
    Some post processing is always going to be necessary with cameras like that. Remember that looking at 100% crops is only really useful at comparing shots and judging the quality of a camera... it gives very little information about the overall quality of the picture.

    If we are going to look at 100% crops then those pictures you posted are plenty sharp. It is probably possible to boost the in camera sharpening on the 30d... i'm not sure how though. I really wouldn't worry about it though. Like I said, those pictures are remarkably sharp and blur free for having been shot handheld.
     
  14. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #14
    Oh. Sharp for handheld? So I should be happy? Sony was sharper, handheld also. but not as shallow DoF. Maybe that's the source. The sensor?

    I link 100% crops.

    For the High Iso part, I happen to find the noise quite important, shooting another building from my window (handheld). Iso 640 and quite a lot of noise.

    100% crop

    [​IMG]

    what I mean by noisy. ISO 640 100% crop.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #15
    It's sharp for handheld at that shutter-speed focal-length combination. The general rule of thumb is that your exposure should be 1 / your focual length. So if you were shooting at 50mm you would want a 1/50 second exposure.

    Comparing generic hand held shots from your sony to those form your 30d isn't appropriate unless they were shot under the same focal length, exposure, and aperture.

    Finally... those can't be 100% crops. They are only 4.3 megapixels.


    As I said earlier, i'd refrain from looking at 100% crops. That noise would barely be visible in a print. Like I said, I'd much rather have a slightly noisy sharp image then a blurry grain free image.
     
  16. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #16
    Have you calibrated the lens to the body?

    I used to have this issue but got it fixed when I brought it to the service centres, it is free under warranty. Mine was suffering from "near focusing" or something like that I think. Managed to confirm it by printing out this chart (it is basically a line with many little perpendicular nicks along it), sticking it to the wall, and then standing parallel the wall such that one side of the chart is very very close to the lens, and focusing on the centre of the chart with your aperture wide open.

    What happened was the camera "thinks" the lens is focused at a certain focal length when in actual fact the lens elements aren't.

    Sorry that the description is so flaky, others may be more familar with the subject and fill in for me.

    Also the 28-105 is sub-par when you mate it to such a good body :D
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #17
    For noise I'd tend to agree... I don't think that shot is bad at all for ISO 640... although that ISO is very high. Are you really used to shooting at that kind of ISO outdoors in daylight?
     
  18. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a

    OwlsAndApples

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    #18
    The title of the thread made me laugh because I just got my D50! OMG OMG OMG OMG :D :D :D :D :rolleyes:
     
  19. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    #19
    Anything that is not a DSLR will more than likely be sharper. Most camera manufacturers know that buyers of P&S cameras don't want to deal with all of the post processing involved with professional photography, so they make the cameras to take sharper, more saturated pictures.

    Most pros prefer to do all of their own post processing, and over-sharpened images can be a problem, so they try to limit the in-camera processing as much as possible.

    Your 30D won't take pictures like the Sony DSC-V1. Even though it's a higher quality P&S, it's still essentially a P&S, and it's made to take good looking pictures right off the bat. The 30D will take more skill, and some post processing to get great images.

    With that being said, I hope you enjoy your new camera, and all works out well for you!
     
  20. electronbee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #20
    Something to remember about DOF...

    DOF on a P&S at, say, f/4, will NOT be the same as a 30D at f/4. Because the distance from the last element in the lens on a P&S is almost right on top of the sensor you get MAD depth of field compared to an actual SLR or DSLR at any focal length. Unless you take a P&S and go to the max optical zoom and have it wide open almost everything will be in focus with very little control over DOF. That is something I do not like about with a P&S as I was used to having that DOF control.

    Here is a very good DOF calculator for cameras.

    Also, like mentioned before, P&S camera almost always have more in-camera saturation and sharpness vice a DSLR. A lot of people do not like this and turn it down some as it can cause artifacts with the resultant JPG image in certain circumstances to the nature of compression.

    Another biggie would be the lens. You are using a mid to long tele zoom versus a wide to mid zoom. Totally different. Plus, the Sony lens was designed for a sensor while one you are using is desinged for film. And, oh, don't forget the 1.5x factor (or was it 1.6) of the 30D as it does NOT have a full-frame sensor. You are automatically multipling the focal length from 70-200mm to 105-300mm. This is like taking a picture, cropping out the center 60%, and enlarging it. The EXIF data will not reflect the multplier for a given lens.

    The thing to do is find a focal length that both cameras can do (factoring in the focal multiplier of the 30D), same subject, same lighting conditions, tripod mounted, same f/stop, exposure, same ISO, resolution, etc., and use the timer to release the shutter. Then compare the two images side by side.
     
  21. electronbee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #21
    Something to remember about DOF...

    DOF on a P&S at, say, f/4, will NOT be the same as a 30D at f/4. Because the distance from the last element in the lens on a P&S is almost right on top of the sensor and you get MAD depth of field compared to an actual SLR or DSLR at any focal length. Unless you take a P&S and go to the max optical zoom and have it wide open almost everything will be in focus with very little control over DOF. That is something I do not like about with a P&S as I was used to having that DOF control.

    Here is a very good DOF calculator for cameras.

    Also, like mentioned before, P&S camera almost always have more in-camera saturation and sharpness vice a DSLR. A lot of people do not like this and turn it down some as it can cause artifacts with the resultant JPG image in certain circumstances to the nature of compression.

    Another biggie would be the lens. You are using a mid to long tele zoom versus a wide to mid zoom. Totally different. Plus, the Sony lens was designed for a sensor while one you are using is desinged for film. And, oh, don't forget the 1.5x factor (or was it 1.6) of the 30D as it does NOT have a full-frame sensor. You are automatically multipling the focal length from 70-200mm to 105-300mm. This is like taking a picture, cropping out the center 60%, and enlarging it. The EXIF data will not reflect the multplier for a given lens.

    The thing to do is find a focal length that both cameras can do (factoring in the focal multiplier of the 30D), same subject, same lighting conditions, tripod mounted, same f/stop, exposure, same ISO, resolution, etc., and use the timer to release the shutter. Then compare the two images side by side.
     
  22. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #22
    That part is very interesting. Could you explain more?

    Problem is I did not buy in a photo-only shop. Some stuff like Best Buy. I doubt you would come up to the guy and say "hey, Sir, could you calibrate my lens to match my body, plz?" He would pretty much be like "err, WTF??"
     
  23. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #23
    So, basically, you're all saying, now I got a DSLR, I need to get involved in post-processing, and that it is normal that my shots do not look good straight out the camera?


    Fine by me.

    Nevertheless, could the issue of "cristal-bright" focusing be partly resolved by the purchase of an IS and EF-S (for digital I assume) and higher aperture lens?

    I'll just get into post processing:eek: The thing with the Sony is that I was used to take my pictures, and then directly print them. They were good enough (for what I wanted to use them for.p)
     
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #24
    I am, at least, yes. But I think you over-estimate the kind of post I'm suggesting you do. I really literally mean that you pass almost all photos through the same USM settings. People really honestly do just use an action for it. It's something that takes less than one minute, almost everyone who gets good results from a dSLR does it, and no one (who is not a moron) will ever accuse you of doing your artistry in photoshop rather than with a camera for doing this.

    The way it was explained to me was that applying a standard USM (like 2000% x 0.8 pixels) was sort of equivalent to a film sharpening technique that photographers have been using for decades.
     
  25. Whiteapple thread starter macrumors regular

    Whiteapple

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    #25
    Could you, by any chance, explain how you do that? I know about automated actions, but it stops there. As I haven't done post-processing before (or iPhoto if NEEDED), I really don't know how to do it. Could you please link some tutorial for beginners or something or PM me if you got too much spare time :p

    Thanks for your information, Sir. You really are helpful, and I actually learnt that a DSLR is not a Point and Shoot with mirror and longer lens, in addition to the "shutter noise" which is real and not coming out a 2mm speaker.

    I also realized how precise that stuff is, and no wonder Joe Blow s (even rich ones) continue to buy that AIO crap. So much easier.
    Oh well , work, work. Tripod. Photoshop.
     

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