New Photographer: Pictures Look Slightly Fuzzy

2 years 4 months ago #560322 by njbeethoven
Hey everyone, I'm new here. I just got my first camera for Christmas, a Canon EOS 80D. I've been shooting a lot since I got it, and have been trying to figure it out. I've noticed that the majority of my shots don't look super sharp however. When I zoom in on them on my computer,  the lines looks pretty soft. Is this to be expected with non-full frame cameras, or with the starter lenses? Or is this only on my computer? Or is this something wrong with my technique that can be fixed? I appreciate the help. Here are a couple sample images i


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2 years 4 months ago #560334 by garyrhook
There's not enough information here.

What were your exposure settings, specifically your shutter speed? Tripod, or handheld? ISO? What focal length are we talking about?

Example image? File format (JPG or RAW)?

What software are you using to examine the image? Have you processed the image (RAW), or are you looking at a JPG from out of the camera?

In other words, we'll need details of your steps, start to finish, and an example, in order to give you a good assessment.


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2 years 4 months ago #560341 by njbeethoven
My shutter speed in the example pictures of the road and power line was 1/400. All the example pictures were handheld. The power line and field picture was taken at f18 and ISO 800, while the road picture was taken at f10 and ISO 250. The archery picture attached here which looks fuzzy as well
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 80D
ISO: 1000
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/125 sec
Captured: Tue, 9 Jan 2018 5:11am
was ISO 1000, shutter speed of 1/125, and f5.6. 

All example pictures are in JPG (I haven't shot in RAW yet. I honestly don't know the difference, as I just began).

I'm uploading the JPG files to to the photos app on my MacBook. 

Does this information help? Sorry for my ignorance with this. Im still trying to figure all this out. 


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2 years 4 months ago #560343 by ThatNikonGuy
First off, congrats and welcome here!

What lens are you using?  What do you have your autofocus set at?  Have you tried taking photos on a tripod?  


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2 years 4 months ago #560352 by njbeethoven
All these were taken with the kit Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 that came with my camera. 

My autofocus is set to the 45 point autofocus and Al servo setting 

I have a really cheap tripod that came with the kit but I'm a little weary of putting my camera on it, and have mostly just taken pictures when I see something I like. The only ones I took on the tripod were my attempt to take a star picture 


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2 years 4 months ago #560355 by Scott Klubeck
Tripod is one of the best investments you'll make.  You might not think you are moving, but you are, and the soft lines is proof of that.  


Just my 2 cents.  


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2 years 4 months ago #560408 by effron
What is it you don't like in the posted pic? You shot at f/5.6, seems the archer's face is in pretty good focus. You had a bigger contrast issue in my opinion. I have one serious piece of advice....For now, never zoom more than 100% (pixel peep). That photo isn't bad for a handheld shot and challenging light....

Why so serious?
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2 years 4 months ago #560415 by njbeethoven
A lot of what I plan to shoot will be outdoor (hunting, fishing, hiking, etc,) photography which I don't think I'll have time to set up a tripod. I most definitely will be buying one soon, but how can I fix this problem without a tripod?

The picture just looked very fuzzy to me when I zoomed in, but I guess in low light and using f/5.6, I shouldn't expect the whole picture to be very sharp. What do you mean by don't zoom past 100% for now? Sorry for not knowing. Thanks for everyone's patience 


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2 years 4 months ago #560437 by Ruby Grace
Agree, considering this was handheld, it's a good shot.  If you shot in RAW, open up the image in Lightroom and you can bump up those shadows and darks a little, and sharpen a little from there. 

IMO good post skills are half the photo taking process these days. 

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mmL, 24-105mmL, 100-400mmL, 300mm f/4L IS, Sigma 12-24mm, 430EX, Extension tubes
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2 years 4 months ago #560441 by effron

njbeethoven wrote: . What do you mean by don't zoom past 100% for now? Sorry for not knowing. 


Don't pixel peep for sharpness, you'll never be happy and nobody will be viewing your photos at that magnification. Again, what was "fuzzy" that you didn't like? The grass, or distant trees? Shooting at f/5.6, you will have a lot of oof areas (out of focus), but as I said the subject's face was in focus, which should be your aim. Are you trying for front to back sharpness? Then the tripod and shooting at F11 to F16 (or so) and finding and focusing at the hyperfocal distance will be important....

Why so serious?
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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #560446 by Bryston3bsst
You have a very nice camera that has tremendous capabilities. It also has a fair learning curve, just for the piece of equipment. Add to that the learning curve for yourself and you have the perfect path to disappointment.

As mentioned, don't go looking at your pictures at 100%. Of course they don't look sharp, at that level they're not going to be. They're not meant to be. You look at images at 100% to correct problems, not to look for them.

I would suggest to you that you learn about the exposure triangle, how these items relate to each other and when you change one, understand how and why it effects the others. You have an image above that you said you shot at f18 and an ISO of 800. What you have done, which can decrease sharpness, is shot at a relatively high ISO with a very narrow aperture. Why increase the light sensitivity of the sensor by increasing the ISO and then decrease your aperture to reduce the amount of light that falls on the sensor?

Your picture of the archer.....ISO of 1000 and a shutter speed of 125th. You could, should, have gone to a lower ISO and a higher SS. Your subject too is quite dark. There are different metering scenarios on your camera that could have set you up for a better exposure of your subject, the archer, rather than the overly bright sky and bright white snow. Again, this is part of a fairly steep learning curve for your camera.

You don't need a tripod. Learning how to properly hold a camera and how and when to press the shutter release will get you a very good start. Tripods are for long exposures, something greater than a 60th or so....depending on how steady you can be. I have a tripod....I used it the other day for the first time in probably a year.

You don't need to shoot RAW, especially at this point. Set your camera to it's largest jpeg and concentrate on learning your camera and, perhaps most importantly, teaching yourself. One other thing I'll mention too, When you half press your shutter release for focus and then full press for release....learn to half press, wait for focus confirmation and then full press. I have watched many new shooters simply line up their shot, then, wham, go from not even touching the button to full press.

I thought that I read in one of your posts that you had your camera set to AI Servo. That is only for tracking and shooting moving subjects, birds in flight, wildlife, sports. Most of the time you should be set in One Shot. These are all covered in your manual.

Read, practice, study, experiment, practice. You're going to make a great number of bad images. That's fine. Every bad image you make is a step toward understanding exactly why it's bad and how you go about making it better.

Good luck to you.


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2 years 4 months ago #560479 by garyrhook
+1 on all of the above. You have a lot to learn, and it is not going to come instantly.

You say you're going to shoot outdoors. The upside is that there is usually a fair amount of light, diffuse if you're lucky. The downside is that the light can also be harsh, with glaring highlights and deep shadows. If you want to produce good images you'll need to learn how to handle all of that. It takes time.

What hasn't been mentioned is shutter speed. The rule of thumb is that the slowest shutter speed is one over your focal length. So, for 55mm you'd need 1/60s; at 200mm you'd need 1/200.

That's the best of all possible worlds. Reality says otherwise. I never shoot less than 1/160s using my short zoom (28-75) so you can see that my slowest SS is going to be twice the longer focal length, and even then, if there's camera movement, it will get recorded. So your 1/400s? Probably not good enough for a beginner. This leads to practicing taking good photos, period. Forget the challenging situations: go take photos of a building in different lighting conditions and different focal lengths. Learn to keep the camera steady, and to press the shutter button with shake.

Finally, as stated, learn about your exposure triangle. Your examples are of single people. You might not really need anything past f/6.3, but how much light you have will play into this. Certainly, as you go smaller for your aperture, you'll need more light, or you'll crank up the ISO value. If you are currently letting the camera make the decisions, you might want to move to aperture priority or shutter priority now.

Also: higher ISO means less definition. I.e. less sharpness. You can deal with that in post (hint). But learning what is and is not reasonable is also an immediate task for you.

Find someone (local) with some skills that will answer questions. That's your best bet. Look for a meetup or club. We can provide suggestions and insights, but a lot depends upon what kind of information you provide, and we're limited by the medium of the forum.

That said: welcome to your new obsession. It's a worth while craft to pursue.


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2 years 4 months ago #560494 by Prago
:agree:   

SWM into chainsaws and hockey masks seeks like-minded SWF. No weirdos, please
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2 years 4 months ago #560630 by Robert Chen
Nothing wrong with these photos at all, they look sharp.  Regarding the image below, I think you and your camera did a good job considering it was handheld.  

Nikon D300 24-70mm f2.8
70-200mm f2.8
50mm f1.4 & 50mm f1.8
105mm f2.8
2 SB800

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2 years 4 months ago #560671 by Hannah Williams
I think, there is nothing left to say but "I agree!"


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