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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Canon Rebel shots not as clear as cheaper Olympus
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07/13/2005 06:42:51 PM · #1
I find that I always need to use Photoshop Unsharp Mask to "sharpen" images taken with my Canon D.Rebel. Never had to do that with cheaper Olympus. Is there a setting that I'm missing on the Drebel? I am using various Canon lenses, but the images always have a "softness" to them...not crisp, no matter which lens, which ISO, which setting... until I fix them up in Photoshop. I am appreciative of any suggestions.

There are times when I just want to snap a bunch of photos onto the compact flash card and hand it off to someone...and I can't...the images are not crisp enough to use without processing.

Thanks for your thoughts and help.
07/13/2005 06:44:14 PM · #2
Do you need to sharpen after re-sizing the image, or always?

07/13/2005 06:46:11 PM · #3
If you're shooting jpegs (not raw), you could try bumping up the contrast and sharpness settings in your camera. That's what I do when I'm shooting sports (no time to shoot raw for sports). For everything else, I shoot raw and do the sharpening after the fact so that I get just the amount I want.
07/13/2005 06:47:09 PM · #4
What format do you shoot in? I'm sure youv'e heard this before but the in camera editting is usally beter in cheaper cameras due to the lack of post-processing usally done by that group of users.
07/13/2005 06:50:04 PM · #5
I use the "largest" jpeg format now.

I do mostly action shots.

Thanks.
07/13/2005 06:55:29 PM · #6
Digital SLR's are supposed to have post processing! Also, your lenses probably aren't very sharp either.
07/13/2005 07:03:50 PM · #7
Two things going on here:
1.) There's very much less in-camera processing on DSLRs vs. P&S digitals. They will look softer out-of-camera, but will take sharpening very well. If you prefere a sharper look out-of-camera, you can select for more in-camera sharpening. Refer to your manual.
2.) Looking at your three lenses, I'm asking... are you tending to shoot at widest aperture and particularly at the long end of the 75-300? None of these lenses are known for their sharpness, however all should be able to do good work. Be aware that they will, however, tend to be "soft" when shot wide open. The 75-300 tends to be quite soft in the 200-300mm range as well. If you have $75 to spare, pick up the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, and try shooting that at f/2.8 or smaller aperture (f/4, f/5.6, etc.). Should open your eyes to how sharp your pics can be.
07/13/2005 07:06:39 PM · #8
WOW...great advice. I knew I was asking in the right places.

THANKS everyone.
07/13/2005 07:14:51 PM · #9
P&S tend to automatically sharpen to a level that most of us are use to. When you shoot with a dSLR you will have more post-processing, but you have more control over the final product, especially in RAW.
07/13/2005 07:23:58 PM · #10
See the chart:

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This isn't just a canon thing but most dSLRs...

P&Sers are for users who want to print right out of camera...Composition, Exposure, WB needs to be spot on because what you shot is what we get.

You can use parms to set your dSLR up to emulate a P&S...but why?

07/13/2005 08:30:04 PM · #11
Hey Gale, your "JC" photo looks real sharp for me!
07/13/2005 10:21:09 PM · #12
Why do I need to emulate P&S? Because I've been asked to do photography at an upcoming horse event, at which all of us "volunteers" will be taking photos all over the grounds and downloading our image files directly to the master computer on site.... no opportunity to do any post-processing. I love the Rebel, now that I'm beginning to understand Photoshop...but I'm beginning to think that the Rebel ain't going to do the job for me for this "volunteer" P&S job.... but they want at least a 4 Megapixel camera photography.

So, if I use the Rebel, I should try creating a new Setting 1 in the parameters, and increase the "sharpness" level to +2.

Then...for action shots in daylight.... should I use Tv setting of perhaps....2500 (or can I go lower?), an ISO of, perhaps 400. I need to catch that horse right in mid-air over the jump.

I'll probably use the Quantaray 28 - 200 mm lens. Should I leave the clear lens filter off? Is this perhaps interfering?

THANKS for the HUGE help. I truly appreciate it.
07/13/2005 10:29:50 PM · #13
I personally think that the sharpness settings in the 300D look pretty bad. I would leave it at 0 or 1, but I never liked how +2 looked. Just because you're dumping them as is, does that mean that nobody will be editing before printing/displaying?
07/13/2005 10:40:26 PM · #14
They are looking for quick turnout to post them on the web. So I don't know yet what the plan will be.

~G
07/13/2005 11:34:53 PM · #15
As Kirbic mentioned, none of your lenses are known for being sharp, and the Quantaray is probably the worst of the bunch. Adding a cheap UV filter to a cheap lens will further degrade the image quality. Make sure with any of these lenses that you're shooting at leat f/5.6, and ideally f/8 - f/13, to get the most out of them (assuming you're shooting outdoors).
07/14/2005 12:11:56 AM · #16
I like the softer images and better range (or lack of contrast if you want to look at it that way) what's getting me is the sensor size I've never shot much film so the aperature settings are way off from what I'm used to on my old 'pro-sumer' model

only 2 things I really would like would be a hack so I can reprogram the aperature preview to another easier-to-reach button(like say.. focus point selection that I keep hitting accidently).
and a split prism or some type of focusing screen (Is there ANY possible way to get this in a digital without springing for a eos-1d or do those even have that option?)
07/14/2005 12:19:48 AM · #17
I believe you can buy focusing screens for any DSLR. I don't know where though.
07/14/2005 12:29:05 AM · #18
I just did a little searching and found that the d-20 does have a focusing screen but it's fixed I didn't even think about it until I tried to manual focus I thought slr=has ttl view+focusing screen

Message edited by author 2005-07-14 00:32:32.
07/14/2005 12:59:47 AM · #19
Originally posted by Galimages:

So, if I use the Rebel, I should try creating a new Setting 1 in the parameters, and increase the "sharpness" level to +2.

For this set up that sounds good. and I would bump the contrast as well in one setting, and use it when the sun is on your back, same sharpness ans no increase in contrast when the sun is in your face.

Then...for action shots in daylight.... should I use Tv setting of perhaps....2500 (or can I go lower?), an ISO of, perhaps 400. I need to catch that horse right in mid-air over the jump.

I think if you do this you risk pushing toward the wide open and there fore softer edge, pushing the ISO to 800 is preferable to opening your lens up all the way. If you are shooting jumping the servo is helpfull and that is only available in the sport mode. If you are not post processing and need the speed nothing wrong with letting the camera do some thinking, even if you are going out the sacred "creative zones".1/2500 of a second will freeze a fastball at 98mph you dont need to be anyway near that fast.

I'll probably use the Quantaray 28 - 200 mm lens. Should I leave the clear lens filter off? Is this perhaps interfering?
IMHO the Canon with the IS would be a better bet for the action. The Quantaray is pretty soft.
THANKS for the HUGE help. I truly appreciate it.
text

Message edited by author 2005-07-14 01:03:45.
07/14/2005 01:10:22 AM · #20
Someone mentioned something about spending the $75 on the 50mm F/1.8. That is EXTREMELY good advice. I think the first time you bring images home using that lens, you're gonna fall out of your chair. The clarity/color difference is astounding for the price.
07/14/2005 01:30:42 AM · #21
I think it may be mainly due to your lenses. I have the kit lens and have tried the 75-300 lens a few times. They are not very good lens. Before I got better lenses, I was constantly sharpening in PS to compensate for the lens and it never looked right. Now that I shoot mainly with better lenses, I rarely need to sharpen b/c there really isn't much if at all to sharpen.

I'd recommend considering the following lenses if you's a massive wallet: Canon 16-35L/17-40L/24-70L/70-200 f4or2.8L.

If you want cheaper but optically comparable, I'd recommend considering.
Tamron 17-35 Di/28-75XR Di, Tokina 12-24, Sigma 24-60/70-200/120-300.

I'm sure others can chirp in with other lens suggestions, but with any of the above, I'd bet you'd notice immediate improvement in your picture sharpness, contrast, color.
Good luck


07/14/2005 01:41:04 AM · #22
I was disappointed about the sharpness and overall look when I upgraded from my Panasonic FZ20 to my Canon 350D. I soon found out it was because the dSLR does little or no processing when the picture is taken but my point and shoot camera did. I also learned the "lens factor". The kit lens (bad) so I mostly shoot with my 50mm f/1.8 and 70-200mm f/4.0 L lens. And I still have a lot of learning to do as well. All those factors play a part. But I'm getting there.
07/14/2005 01:41:22 AM · #23
Originally posted by Galimages:

I'll probably use the Quantaray 28 - 200 mm lens.


That's your problem... Throw the Quantaray away...
07/14/2005 01:43:30 AM · #24
Originally posted by yido:

I think it may be mainly due to your lenses. I have the kit lens and have tried the 75-300 lens a few times. They are not very good lens. Before I got better lenses, I was constantly sharpening in PS to compensate for the lens and it never looked right. Now that I shoot mainly with better lenses, I rarely need to sharpen b/c there really isn't much if at all to sharpen.

I'd recommend considering the following lenses if you's a massive wallet: Canon 16-35L/17-40L/24-70L/70-200 f4or2.8L.

If you want cheaper but optically comparable, I'd recommend considering.
Tamron 17-35 Di/28-75XR Di, Tokina 12-24, Sigma 24-60/70-200/120-300.

I'm sure others can chirp in with other lens suggestions, but with any of the above, I'd bet you'd notice immediate improvement in your picture sharpness, contrast, color.
Good luck

since when is the 120-300 2.8 cheap XD!!!
07/14/2005 01:44:30 AM · #25
Originally posted by SDW65:

The kit lens (bad)


Better than the Quantaray. Not so bad at f/8.0 and in the middle of the zoom. Why does everyone dis the kit lens all the time. Just learn it's capability and work within it. Got myself a red ribbon that way...
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