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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique? : Problems with Images : Digital Image Problems

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Photography Question 
Sharon Barberee

member since: 4/15/2004
 

Attention, Digital Rebel Users: Blurry Pictures?


I would like to know from other Canon Digital Rebel users if they have experienced any problems with their photos being slightly blurry? I use a tripod and still can't seem to get really clear sharp photos.

4/10/2005 3:59:20 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com

member since: 2/9/2003
  Other than operator error? No. I love the camera!!
Bob

4/10/2005 4:29:07 PM

 
Dan Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  No, I have owned the Digital Rebel since Christmas and have taken 2000 pictures and not 1 complaint. What lens, ISO, filter, lighting are you using?

4/10/2005 7:31:03 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  In addition to "what lens/ISO/filter/lighting" ... How are you saving the files? RAW? JPG: Large-Fine, Large-Normal, Medium-Fine, Medium-Normal, Small-Fine, Small-Normal? If JPG, what Parameter settings are you using? Are you applying sharpening in post-processing?

4/11/2005 6:54:40 AM

 
Scott Teichman

member since: 3/1/2005
  Yes, I found the same thing. I found that I can take a number of shots in a row and some are in focus and some are soft. I save the files as Large-Fine jpg's and use Parameter 1 for processing and have 2 lenses. As far as ISO, filters etc, that really shouldn't make a difference here if some are good and some aren't. I think the camera may be focussing a little in front or behind where I want it to.

4/12/2005 6:50:25 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2004
  I've heard of issues with the EOS line focusing in front of or behind the subject when you reposition. I haven't had too many problems. My biggest problems with soft lenses have come from crappy lenses...specifically lower grade sigmas (not the EX line which I love).

Karma

4/12/2005 10:45:13 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/27/2004
  I've heard of issues with the EOS line focusing in front of or behind the subject when you reposition. I haven't had too many problems. My biggest problems with soft lenses have come from crappy lenses...specifically lower grade sigmas (not the EX line which I love).

Karma

4/12/2005 10:45:58 AM

 
Scott Teichman

member since: 3/1/2005
  It's not just us though Sharon. I have a friend with a Nikon D70 and he has the same complaint. It's probably a problem inherent in some of the low end (even Canon) AF lenses. Some people get good ones, others aren't so lucky.

4/12/2005 12:04:44 PM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/7/2005
  I had this problem too! Then I realized that the little button with + and - sign (dioptric adjustment) is actually a way to compromise the focus in order to be able to shoot without glasses. So, I just adjusted the dioptric (say that five times fast)thing and WA-LAH! It's perfect :).

4/12/2005 12:56:02 PM

 
Bobby  W. Curry

member since: 1/18/2004
  I have never had a problem with my Digital Rebel and I had it over a year now. I even shoot in raw format and never had a blur picture. What kind of len or lens are you using?

4/12/2005 12:57:47 PM

 
Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member
photosbyphotobug.com

member since: 3/25/2002
  I got the Digital Rebel when it first came out and have not had any problems with focusing...except for when I didn't focus right!! And, I've shot about 8,000 images with it, both on a tripod and handheld.

If the dioptric adjustment doesn't work, are you using autofocus or manually focusing? Autofocus may focus on a part of the scene or subject you may not want to focus on.

4/12/2005 1:15:07 PM

 
Subra Mallampalli

member since: 10/3/2004
  Blur can be a subjective thing. The sharpest of pictures can be blurred when blown up too much.

What is your image resolution, jpeg quality, and how are you viewing the image? On a computer, at what % are you viewing the image? On a print, what size is your picture (4x6, 8x10, etc)?

It might help if you could post a piture here.

Subra

4/12/2005 1:16:55 PM

 
Subra Mallampalli

member since: 10/3/2004
  Also, was the picture taken indoors or outdoors (wind can be a factor in both camera shake as well as subject shake).

Was the subject static or moving?

What was your exposure and shutter speed? There might not be enough depth of field to render your entire subject area sharp. The camera could also have been focussed elsewhere. Depending on your shutter speed, the effect of the slr mirror slamming up can cause shake (mitigated by using mirror lock). Try using the self-timer function to take the picture - the action of pressing the shutter trigger button could cause shake even on a tripod.

Finally, is the image a low contrast image or a high contrast image? How is the lighting? The human brain is wired to detect sharp edges faster, so a very sharp gray line will not be perceived as sharp as a less sharper black line.

The quality of the lens also plays a role in the contrast and brilliance of the picture.

There are just too many factors that could be at play here.

Subra

4/12/2005 1:29:37 PM

 
Karen  Talasco
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2003
  My father has this camera and it also doesn't focus right, no matter what lens, or settings on the camera. He uses the Canon lens that came with it. My 3.2MP Olympus takes much better, clearer photos than this Cannon. I took his and my camera out and did a comparison test. I have even used identical settings and the Olympus shots still come out better. He has sent it back to Canon once already and they replaced something on it, but it still does it. He's sending it back again.

4/12/2005 4:58:02 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Okay, let's look at the facts:

1. I have the Digital Rebel, and have taken thousands of pictures with it, so I know it is capable of taking sharp pictures.

2. I have also taken lots of pictures that didn't come out the way I wanted them too, so I know I'm capable of making mistakes.

3. Lots & lots of people have this camera, so if several or even a dozen people on this site are having problems, saying that they couldn't ALL be making the same mistakes is not necessarily true. It's a very popular and highly rated camera, so there are many, many users who apparently aren't having problems.

Instead of saying, "If you're having problems, they you must be doing this wrong," I'll list a few of the mistakes that I have made to result in blurry pictures.

SLOW SHUTTER SPEED -- This is probably the biggest. Even with the shortest, lightest lens, unless I'm REALLY careful, I can't handhold with a shutter speed much slower than 1/60 and get a sharp picture. I'm just not steady enough. If you're shooting indoors without a flash, you may end up with a shutter speed that is too slow for shaky hands or moving subjects.

AUTOFOCUS SELECTION -- I have taken many pictures where the subject was off-center, and I took the picture without realizing that the camera had selected an AF point that was not on my subject, but on something slightly behind or in front of it. If I take my time, press the shutter halfway, and pay attention to what AF spot blinks, then I'll know if the camera is focusing on what I want it to. Of course, this problem is more likely when you are using a large aperture and have little depth of field. I would bet that those of you who are getting blurry pictures have more trouble indoors than you do outside in decent light.

FLASH RECYCLE TIME -- If you are taking pictures quickly and using the flash, you are likely to snap a picture before the flash recycles, resulting in a slow shutter speed.

LENS ON MANUAL FOCUS -- There have been several times, especially when changing lenses, that I have inadvertantly switched the lens to MF. You may take a picture without realizing that the camera is not achieving AF. One way to help avoid this is to turn on the BEEP on the camera settings menu. This will make the camera beep when it achieves autofocus. You will get used to hearing the beep, and will notice if you don't.

I'm sure I can think of some of the other mistakes I've made (which may or may not help you realize yours). First I have to put the kids in bed.

Later,
Chris

4/12/2005 5:46:31 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com

member since: 2/9/2003
  Aaaannnddd, in the heat of the moment, forgetting which mode I'm in....and the flash pops up or that darn "not in focus" light starts blinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob ( who misses at times not having kids to put in bed)

4/12/2005 6:25:32 PM

 
Cheryl Hutton

member since: 1/26/2005
  YES! My co-worker and I were on the waiting list for the Rebel in Sept 03. When it came out we got them at two different Cord Camera shops the same week. We purchased two lenses and went crazy taking pictures. I hardly ever had a bad picture in any of the auto modes. Mostly family shots, lots of sports with kids and vacations. My friend came in one day and asked if I was having focus problems in the auto modes. I was not. She took hers to Cord in Indy and they said it was malfunctioning and they sent it in to canon. Canon did the repair under the 1 yr warranty. She had one month left on the warranty when it went out. In November 2004 (2 months after the warranty expired)mine started doing the same thing. I called and told canon the story. They said send it in and they would make good on it. Well, I should have got a name and department because 4 weeks later I recieved an invoice for the estimate charge and they wanted my credit card # prior to looking at it. I called again and was told they would go ahead and do the service but the service would not have a warranty and there would be no charge. Service done replaced shutter unit and repaired mirror box. THE SAME THINGS ON MY FRIENDS INVOICE!!! So there is something wrong with those first ones shipped and they don't want to admit it. It is working great again as it did the first 13 months!!
Cheryl H.

4/12/2005 8:02:57 PM

 
Scott Teichman

member since: 3/1/2005
  In my case it's either a shutter speed that's too slow or the camera itself. I use the auto focus with the beeper on, I have the auto focus point locked on the center and it's not the flash. When I shoot portraits, I usually use the exposure lock, focus on the persons' eyes and then recompose and the fact remains that one shot will be in focus and the next won't. To some extent I'm hoping it is me because I'd hate to lose my camera to Canon for a month.

4/13/2005 7:42:41 AM

 
Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member
photosbyphotobug.com

member since: 3/25/2002
  A friend of mine got the 20D and had a focusing problem. All her shots were out of focus. She found out that she need to have ALL the focus points active when using autofocus. She changed the settings and it's worked since. I made all my points active, and have no problem getting shots of my 2 year-old grandson on autofocus, even when he's moving.

4/13/2005 8:12:53 AM

 
Wayne Oliver

member since: 3/23/2004
 
 
 
Hope this can help, Most shoots taken
with DSLR need processing just like film.
Your 300d is set to factory settings, so the sharp setting is set to the middle balance. What you need to do is use PSP or
PS or PSE and use fILTER unsharp mask and you will see a change in your photo. Try using this as your setting, Amount 118 Raduis 4.0 Threshold 2
Keep your cam sharp set to default.
Here are two photos before and after.

4/13/2005 9:08:05 PM

 
Wayne Oliver

member since: 3/23/2004
 
 
 
photos

4/13/2005 9:11:43 PM

 
Karin Marocchi

member since: 2/17/2004
  When I first bought the camera (Oct 04) I was having the same problems - thought my eyesight was going! I always shot aperture priority on my film camera & was really thrown off by the "slow sync" feature. It operated completely different from what I was used to. I started using the auto focus until I learned the various settings. (I turned off the 7 point focus & just used the center focus). Also, as someone else mentioned, check the dioptric setting. After changing these two things I've been very happy with the results. I still can't get used to the aperture priority settings, but it's forced me to learn how to shoot using the manual settings. Good Luck.

4/15/2005 3:04:15 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Karin,
When you say you turned off the 7-point focus and just use the center focus, how exactly did you do that? I've been trying to figure out how to set that myself.

Chris

4/15/2005 4:25:35 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com

member since: 2/9/2003
  In anything but auto and the preprogrammed modes....just hit the top right-hand thumb button on the back of the camera and the focus button map shows on rear readout...roll the whatever button behind the picture-taker button to select the focus point....Gee, I love this technical jargon....Is that what you meant??..:-)
Bob

4/15/2005 4:59:52 PM

 
Karin Marocchi

member since: 2/17/2004
  Chris - here's my attempt at an explanation. Like Bob, I didn't know what to call the buttons - but I think I like his terminology better. It's also on page 62 of the manual

On the top right of the back panel, there's a button above the magnifier symbol. After pressing, look at the top left of your display, (where the shutter speed is indicated). As you rotate the dial it will change from all 7 points to any of the individual points. Just select the point you want to use.
Karin

4/18/2005 6:43:35 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Okay, I've done that before. When I read your post, I thought there might be a way to set this as a default, not just with each exposure.

It's no big deal, there are only certain cases where I would want to default to the center spot, for most cases, the 7-pont AF works fine.

4/18/2005 7:32:19 PM

 
Karin Marocchi

member since: 2/17/2004
  Chris - that does change it to the default. I changed that setting months ago & have never had to reset it.

4/19/2005 4:02:39 PM

 
Mellanie 

member since: 7/16/2004
  Karin's right....once you set it to the point you want it, it will stay there until you change it again.

4/19/2005 6:23:01 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  so, I was wondering, when you are using digital and you say that you are having problems with an image and you have to explain it, why not upload a photo? It would be a lot easier to diagnose a problem if we saw what you were seeing along with what the camera was set to, including shutter speed, aperture size, and ISO....Just a though though...

4/19/2005 8:23:52 PM

 
Philip Massey

member since: 4/22/2005
 
 
 
I have just got a 350d and seem to have similar problems. Please view the picture below.

Shutter 1/100 f.7.1

ISO 400 - Kit lens

4/23/2005 4:32:33 AM

 
Philip Massey

member since: 4/22/2005
 
 
  soft hand
soft hand
f7.1 1/100 ISO 400
© Philip Massey
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Try my gallery for the image - its called soft hand

4/23/2005 4:35:08 AM

 
Sharon Barberee

member since: 4/15/2004
  Zeese I did not realize there had been so many resposes to my question concerning blurry photos. My emails stopped letting me know someone had responded . I also, (FOR THOSE WHO WONDERED) tried to attach a photo for all of your critiques but unfornuately was unable to do so. I kept being redirected back to my gallery . They were there but somehow never made it to the Q&A section... Their are two photos in my gallery that were taken recently with this camera if you care to look. I would appreciate somemore suggestions as to what is up with this thing. The two shots are a black and white , color mix. Thanks to you all for your suggestions, I wish I had known their were so many of you !

4/27/2005 1:57:36 PM

 
Mellanie 

member since: 7/16/2004
 
 
 
Philip and sharon, I do believe if you use a photo editor and sharpen your images, you will see a big difference. Philip, here is your hand sharpened.

4/27/2005 2:23:13 PM

 
Philip Massey

member since: 4/22/2005
  thanks mellanie - what setting did u use (was it an unsharp mask).

I have been researching and have found that pics from all Dslr's need some sort of post processing (canon design there camera's that way) and now I have played around with it I am really happy with my camera.

I actually like the fact I control sharpness/contrast etc. Like developing a negative for yourself!!

Digital Relbel XT + Photoshop CS = Amazing images!

4/27/2005 5:59:38 PM

 
Mellanie 

member since: 7/16/2004
  Hey Philip, I was at work and just used the Kodak photo editor on my computer. But usually I use PS 7.0 unsharpen mask and just play with the sliders until my images look okay....just make sure not to oversharpen!

4/27/2005 6:15:43 PM

 
Aaron  Reyes
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2005
  Cynthia W.
i couldn't see the dioptric settings change the actual focus of your image unless you are manual focusing. it's not linked to your lens except visually so the lens will focus as it should despite these settings.
Karen T.
compairing your olympus to a dslr is not a fair test. the much larger cmos chip on the rebel makes a world of difference on the DOF. so the same settings are not really the same settings.
Scott T.
after getting the exposure lock from zooming in, do you re-focus after zooming out and then take the picture. if you are still holding down the shutter release half way after you zoom out, it holds the focus from the zoomed in shot and your first picture would be blurry, then the second one isn't because you released the shutter button and it was able to refocus at your new focal length.

i've heard that the rebel and rebel xt actually have the default on the in camera sharpening set higher that the 20d because it's more of a consumer camera and not pro. they assumed people that would buy the rebels wouldn't be post processing most of the time...maybe that was just the rebel and not the xt?
thanks
-aaron


8/26/2005 8:27:01 AM

 
Steve Fels

member since: 4/19/2005
  I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one having this problem. I was begining to think old age had finally caught up with me and it was me that was shaking while taking the shot....Ive only had the 350D for a few weeks now and have been very dissapointed with the auto focus. I usually shoot apeture-priority (largest apeture, fastest shutter speed)but still get less than acceptable results. I have 4 lenses and seem to get the same result with every one. Unless I can find a solution I'm tempted to throw it into the cupboard and go back to using the good old reliable Nikon 5700.
Steve

9/3/2005 12:57:14 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/13/2004
  I think anybody that's having a problem really needs to post an image of their pictures that are "out of focus." I still think more of it is the picture not being sharpened enough for one's tastes.

9/3/2005 2:39:46 PM

 
Joy Fender

member since: 11/6/2005
  Hope you all don't mind my jumping into the "game" so long after this post originally started! But I have to agree with Andrew *whole heartedly*. When I first got my 300D (in Dec '04), I was so frustrated during those first couple of months. My images were so soft and (what I believe) "blurred". I also had major issues with camera shake. My small hands and weak wrists were not up to the challenge of such a heavy camera, battery pack and lens!

After MUCH research on forums like this one, I learned the following:

* I have to use a higher shutter speed than 1/focal length. Period. When using my zooms (28-200 and 17-85 USM IS), I rarely let it go below 1/125 unless I use a tripod. This "rule" of mine gave me instance results.

* Post processing is my friend! I learned that using a DSLR means you almost ALWAYS have to boost the sharpness (via USM) if you stick with the standard parameter settings. And you should, IMHO. You can always add...you can't take away.

* Learning and accepting the capabilities and limitations of my lenses was also a huge help. There are certain shots I'm not going to be able to master with my current lenses. There is no one lens that can do it all.

There is of course always going to be that one-off camera that DOES have a issue that is a defect that needs fixing. That's the nature of the beast.

Joy

9/8/2005 12:35:57 PM

 
Fred Murray
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/26/2005
  Hi, I just joined yesterday and I have a Rebel XT since last June. I too noticed the pictures were not as sharp as other less expensive digital cameras. I went to Canon's FAQ list and found this....


The raw image data, emitted as an electronic signal from the CCD or CMOS image sensor of the digital cameras, may not have enough sharpness and original (natural) colors to be acceptable. As a general solution, the raw image data from the image sensor is electronically proceeded in various ways to make the image files. This process, "image processing," enables the electronic conversion of the contrast, sharpness (edge sharpness) and color parameters. The characteristics of each digital camera, by model or by manufacturers, are derived from this image correction process; how and how much each parameter is corrected in image processing of the camera.
In addition, a JPEG file is a compressed file of image data converted with this image processing.


When you increase the correction of sharpness (edge sharpness), the image becomes crisper and sharper.
On the other hand, there is also a negative effect; higher edge sharpness can be accompanied by a noise element called "edge noise." The best amount of correction depends on your taste or what the final output for the image is meant to be.
When the original image has had moderate corrections, it is possible to add greater correction to your image later. However, if you added a large correction to your original image, any quality that is lost due to edge noise will be lost forever. For example, once you have made a large correction of sharpness (edge sharpness) to your image, the edge noise element increases. It is impossible to eliminate the edge noise element later by correcting the image with any retouching software.


Canon digital SLR cameras are designed to perform moderate edge sharpness corrections of your original image. This is based on Canon's source-oriented policy, rich information of the original image should be recorded and kept for the later processing flexibility. Therefore, if you view the recorded image without any modifications, you may see that the image is not enough sharp nor have enough contrast. In this case, the image can be sharpened to your taste by processing with retouching software later.
Also, adjusting the sharpness (edge sharpness) is possible by changing the processing parameter of your camera before the image is recorded as a JPEG file. For further information about the processing parameter, please refer to your Camera User Guide.

Well, there you have it!

9/27/2005 9:04:56 PM

 

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