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Leaving my 50d...

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Annems
38 posts
<10
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 02:12:37 AM by Annems
Hi guys,



Have had a canon 50d for soon two years, and never got on well with it. The images often felt soft, and very bland. So when it fell on the ground this summer, i thought better cut my losses and move on instead of trying to fix it.



I know that razor sharp images are a mixture between body and lens. I also know i dont have the budget for the best zooms and lenses. For best resutls, i usually kept the 50mm on my 50d, which gave me nice enough portraits. But i always felt that my images were never sharp enough if i looked at them in 200%.



My question in this forum is: where to go next? The logical thing for me would be a 60d, it is within my budget, and get a 50 mm lens again (yes it got smashed as well). But am just sooo worried to start again with the soft focusing problems and would like to ask if anyone has experience of the 60d, and could give me some feedback. Or do you think i should look for another model?



Any views appreciated!

Cheers

Anne


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Costa007
412 posts
84
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 04:47:29 AM by Costa007 - member is an admin
I would say that sharpness is rather a lens issue. Have you tried to shoot the same image using different apertures? What about post-processing? I know that Lightroom has a default 25 sharpness, if this setting is set to 0 in some applications (potoshop) the image might look soft. Contrast also "increases" the sharpness.

Why would you check the images at 200%? 100% is enough :)
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Diavata
530 posts
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 05:20:46 AM by Diavata
I don't own a 50D but from what I read, it's supposed to be much better then my 40D when it comes to sharpeness and I have no issues with my camera at all. The images are tack sharp (provided the focus and technique are both good, of course) so I think you might want to check on calibrating your camera.



I had my 40D in repair at some point and when I got it back, I had a serious back focus issue. Long story short, I sent it back to repair, they calibrated it together with the lenses I use and the issue was fixed.

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Afagundes
3241 posts
<10
Message edited at 09/14/2011, 06:38:20 AM by Afagundes
I had a 50d and moved to a 5d, of course it's way better, but you can have razor sharp images with the 50d and probably with the 60d (or the 7d as well).



Here are somethings I learned the hard way:



You shouldn't use an aperture smaller than f11 with an APS-C camera, like the 40d,50d,60d,7d,....

If you need to do so, diffraction shows up and the image gets soft, what can you do in that case? Increase sharpness trying not to increase the noise and decrease the resolution.



The other thing you need to do if you are using adobe camera RAW is add some masking, otherwise you will see noise in the sky.



If you upgrade to a 60d you will find yourself more often decreasing the resolution to achieve the sharpness you want, but that's not a bad thing, it's because 18mpixels in an APS-C body is almost at the optical limit so if you want all the resolution you will need to be close to the sweet spot of the lens and with high quality glass.

If you decrease the resolution you will get to the same place as with your 50d or Diavata's 40d.

So why upgrade? Well, the sensor is an evolution and if you compare the images of the 50d and the 40d with the same resolution, that is, 10mpixels, 50d images are way better.



With the 60d I don't know, because I never owned one of them. I didn't like the plastic look of the 60d body, though, and I think the display movement makes it fragile, so in your case I would stick to the 50d or move to a 7d or 5d if you can afford.
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Afagundes
3241 posts
<10
Message edited at 09/14/2011, 06:46:07 AM by Afagundes
Other sharpness tips:



If handheld in an APS-C use a speed 60% faster than usual, I mean, with your 50mm, use at least 1/80 instead of the usual 1/50 rule.



I was looking at your portfolio and it seems like you moved from a 300D, even though the grip of the 50D is great, its much heavier, you will have to adapt and improve your skills, you will find many videos on the internet giving tips on how to hold your camera more still.



If the subjects are moving its really a tryal and error situation, some people take a blast of three images so that one of them turns out fine, I see that you like to take images of children, maybe thats a good idea for you to try.



Last, there is microlens adjustment, this is important specially if you use wide open aperture (f2.0 or smaller). I never did it, but some folks say that some lens-camera systems are quite out of focus and the images look soft.



Its not easy to have high resolution images razor sharp, but its worth the try, allways check your images right on site at 100%, the display of the 50D is quite accurate on that and you will know if its razor sharp or not, at the begining you will get a little picky, but in the end its worthwile and you will improve your workflow enough so you dont need to be that picky anymore because you already know when you did something wrong.



I hope this helps.
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Digikhmer
1729 posts
68
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 06:48:27 AM by Digikhmer

Originally posted by Diavata:
Quoted Message: I don`t own a 50D but from what I read, it`s supposed to be much better then my 40D when it comes to sharpness and I have no issues with my camera at all. The images are tack sharp (provided the focus and technique are both good, of course) so I think you might want to check on calibrating your camera. I had my 40D in repair at some point and when I got it back, I had a serious back focus issue. Long story short, I sent it back to repair, they calibrated it together with the lenses I use and the issue was fixed.




I have the same camera and a reverse situation. I have an 17-55mm IS F2.8 USM broken and got repaired. The difference is huge between before the failure and after the lens repair. Now the picture is sharp and crisp although, to make it short as well, I had to sent the lens 3 times for repair to the Canon Service.



Now, I start to consider to upgrade my camera to 60D or higher depending of the available budget at the end of this year.
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Afagundes
3241 posts
<10
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 06:52:20 AM by Afagundes

Originally posted by Diavata:
Quoted Message: I don`t own a 50D but from what I read, it`s supposed to be much better then my 40D when it comes to sharpeness and I have no issues with my camera at all. The images are tack sharp (provided the focus and technique are both good, of course) so I think you might want to check on calibrating your camera. I had my 40D in repair at some point and when I got it back, I had a serious back focus issue. Long story short, I sent it back to repair, they calibrated it together with the lenses I use and the issue was fixed.




Diavata, I had both cameras, the 50D has a higher resolution, if you decrease it to the level of the 40D its better, but not that much of a diference, the 40D is a great camera.



You should upgrade if you want a faster camera, a more rugged body and more resolution, otherwise stick to the 40d and invest in better lenses.



The only real complain I had about the 40D was that the display at 100% was soft, the images were a compressed version of the original, I dont know if Canon fixed this with a new firmware at the time, but it was hard to tell if the image was razor sharp by looking at the display. When you downloaded them at the computer you could tell (but than it might be too late). The 50D didnt had this problem, you could tell by looking at the display if the images were razor sharp or if you would need to take it again.
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Wisconsinart
1457 posts
80
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 08:19:55 AM by Wisconsinart
The blame is usually with the photographer and/or lens and not the camera.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15

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Diavata
530 posts
Message posted at 09/14/2011, 13:43:38 PM by Diavata

Originally posted by Afagundes:
Quoted Message: Diavata, I had both cameras, the 50D has a higher resolution, if you decrease it to the level of the 40D its better, but not that much of a diference, the 40D is a great camera.You should upgrade if you want a faster camera, a more rugged body and more resolution, otherwise stick to the 40d and invest in better lenses.The only real complain I had about the 40D was that the display at 100% was soft, the images were a compressed version of the original, I dont know if Canon fixed this with a new firmware at the time, but it was hard to tell if the image was razor sharp by looking at the display. When you downloaded them at the computer you could tell (but than it might be too late). The 50D didnt had this problem, you could tell by looking at the display if the images were razor sharp or if you would need to take it again.




Not sure if you think I'm the OP, but I'm not interested in upgrading as I agree... the 40D is a great camera. The only thing I do not like is the orange colorcast it produces. I immediately noticed the difference when I got a loan camera when my 40D was in repair and after searching the web, I found some topics of people compairing the 40 to the 60D with the same result.

But I'm going off topic now ;-)
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Lauriey
355 posts
81
Message posted at 09/15/2011, 05:53:32 AM by Lauriey
This is a great article about 'soft lens' http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths



Also, slow shutter speeds can cause soft images, or you can use too wide of an aperture for the image, so sometimes it can be the photographers fault.



I'm a nikon girl so I cannot comment on those cameras.. but good luck with whatever you chose!
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Afagundes
3241 posts
<10
Message posted at 09/15/2011, 06:33:24 AM by Afagundes

Originally posted by Diavata:
Quoted Message: Not sure if you think I`m the OP, but I`m not interested in upgrading ...




It seemed to me you were considering an upgrade to a 50D because of what you said, "Its supposed to be a much better than my 40D", sorry, my mistake. I know you are not the OP and that I am off topic now...
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Diavata
530 posts
Message posted at 09/15/2011, 11:33:28 AM by Diavata

Originally posted by Afagundes:
Quoted Message: It seemed to me you were considering an upgrade to a 50D because of what you said, "Its supposed to be a much better than my 40D", sorry, my mistake. I know you are not the OP and that I am off topic now...




No problem at all (I probably did not expressed myself very well, so thanks for the given advice :) )
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Annems
38 posts
<10
Message posted at 09/18/2011, 01:47:22 AM by Annems
Thank you all for your good advice.



I think i expressed myself a bit unclear by introducing the word sharpness. A better word is softness. Very, very often my images feel very soft. And the camera has been for microadjustment once, but in my opinion this didnt help much. I have adjusted for sharpness in the camera, this helped a bit more, but i still feel unconvinced...



Anyways, camers smashed, cannot be fixed, and has to be replaced. So still hoping for some good advice where to go next! And to avoid the softness!! I will keep the zoom i have 17 - 85, but also need to buy a new 50 mm.



So at this stage, prio one is to get a new body, and if anyone has some experience out there on the ones now on the market, i would be glad to hear about it! I have an opportunity to upgrade my gear, i would like to improve my stock photos, what should i look at?



Cheers

A.


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Nikitu
2892 posts
75
Message posted at 09/19/2011, 06:30:18 AM by Nikitu - member is an admin
I currently own the 550d from Canon and I find it very good for stock photography. I know that theoretically is a downgrade in terms of camera series (I had a 20d before it), but I really like how it behaves in terms of image quality, noise, dynamic. I use it with a 24-70mm L, or a 100mm macro, or with a 10-17mm tokina fish eye all of which are rather sharp lenses which return great colors as well.

I didn't feel the need to invest in a more expensive body because this one fits well with what I need from a camera.
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Martingraf
428 posts
74
Message posted at 09/19/2011, 06:50:23 AM by Martingraf
I'm also with the EOS550D - mainly because it was one of the best cameras in nearly every test for a low price- together with my 1.8/50 and 2.8/90 macro I can do most of the things I like taking photos of - my main mistake was, as many times already mentioned here, the underestimating of the camera shake - with the 1.8/50 I try to keep at 1/125 and shorter and with the 90mm macro in low distance even the 1/250 --- or of course tripod - I actually wouldn't want to go away from the 550 right now - I would rather invest in a 17-40 from Canon and the 2.8/200 perhaps.... I'm glad about Nikitu's statement because she proofs what counts - an average camera with good lenses and even more expertise - that's where I want to get to.

Canon and Sony (Minolta)

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BCritchley
3681 posts
80
Message posted at 09/19/2011, 07:12:05 AM by BCritchley - member is an admin
Depends on budget, I went from the 50D to the 5d MKII and do not regret a thing.



When you say softness, did you shoot in RAW on your 50D? RAW files tend to come out and look soft only then to allow you to add the adjustments yourself in post processing. I put on a Canon L 28-300 on my 50D and the improvement in image quality was instant. A 50D with L series lenses will give a quality higher than needed in stock. The 5D mkII takes you even further, a full frame senor, superior noise control and ability to shoot with a higher ISO. The 24-70 L mentioned by Nikitu is also a great sharp lens, lacking in Image Stabilisation but that's made up by quality and starting off at f/2.8. I went as high quality as I could afford to try and avoid always wanting better, now I'm more than happy with what I have.



One more thing to mention, If 5d MKII is a little over budget don't forget the newish 7D, super fast, new AF system, remains a cropped sensor so you still benefit from a 1.6x addition to your focal lengths. The one thing I learned about Canon's basic lenses like 17-85mm is that the best quality results are not found at either end of its range. Best results on suck lens for me came out at about 30-35mm on about f/8, this produced the sharpest results, less CA or distortions.
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Felixcasio
29 posts
<10
Message posted at 09/23/2011, 09:45:24 AM by Felixcasio
+1 on the micro lens adjustment. any cropped sensor camera producing images at that size might require microadjustment with the lenses. I'm using the 5dII and have to microadjust all my lenses a few points back or fourth. even the 85mm 1.2 which is a 2200 dollar lens needed microadjustment for avoid blurry images.
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