Blury Photos on a Canon 7D

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by karlee_brown, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. I recently bought a Canon 7D and I have only done 4 shoots with it but I've noticed my pictures coming out blurry when I put them onto my PC. I've done two outside shoots and two studio shoots. The outside shoots are all done with natural light and the studio are done with flash or lights. My studio pictures have come out great and very sharp and I believe it's because I'm using the flash, but my outside shoots have been blurry and just makes the photo look like poo. I try sharpening in Photoshop but I can only sharpen so much before it takes to much away from the picture and even after I sharpen, there still isn't much to work with because the pixels are all yucky. I'm wondering what I can do to fix this, I am quite new to photography and before my 7D I was using a Rebel 300D so I took quite a jump up from that. I'm wondering if anyone else has had problems such as this or if there's any tips you guys can give me to help. It would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Select a single AF point and place where you want your subject to be sharp. Do not use auto AF select or zone/area AF for these types of shots. The lower part of the image is a little sharper so it is possible you are focused slightly in front of your subjects.
  3. Yep,
    you're in multi-point AF here, and none of them are anywhere near the subjects' faces. Get onto single point and put the active point on the subject's face.
    Mind you, nothing in the image is really sharp, so perhaps some MFA is in order too: 1/200 should be enough for sharp images handheld(?) at 50mm, and the problem doesn't look like camera shake.
    Which lens? According to the Exif it could be any from a choice of the Canon EF 28-70mm F2.8L USM, Sigma 24-70mm EX F2.8, Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 or Tamron 90mm F2.8; maybe the actual lens in use isn't a great one.
    Another thought: how close to the the subects where you? Perhaps you were within the lens' minimum focus distance.
  4. before my 7D I was using a Rebel 300D so I took quite a jump up from that​
    any jump up should give you better results, not worse
    wondering if anyone else has had problems such as this​
    I have had a lot of bad lenses (of all brands), and with those lenses I often had even worse photos than yours. So your problem is very likely with the lens which is not good. You should always check and see how bad (or good) your lenses are
    any tips?​
    Use a better lens
    Better lighted scene
  5. There is likely nothing wrong with the lens. Somehow the focus was way off. The 7D should have micro adjustment so you may need to use this. Try a different focus method first, even manual focus, and if this doesn't work read up on micro adjustment and try that.
  6. In addition to the above, were you shooting with the lens wide open? I'm too lazy to check the exif data right now (actually not at my own computer), but from the above comments, I'm inferring you shot at f/2.8. If so, you need to understand that lenses are not at their sharpest wide open -- even very good lenses. You might want to stop down a couple of stops.
  7. The picture is at f/4.5, so unlikely to be wide open assuming the lens is in the list I wrote above.
  8. any jump up should give you better results, not worse​
    That doesn't necessarily follow at all - ask anyone who has moved from a 125cc commuter bike to a 1000cc super sport replica: the skills learned at on the little bike hardly prepare you at all for what the big bike can do, and a whole new bunch of skills need to be acquired.
    So it can be - and frequently is - with cameras, especially when the photographer is, by her own admission, pretty new to photography.
  9. Everything seems a little fuzzy to me, althought the womans face is a little sharper than the man's face. Even if you shot wide open and you focused properly, something in the image would have beeen perfectly sharp, but I don't see that. There has been some reported cases of focusing issues with the 7D. On the other hand, you did say that your indoor/flash pictures came out pretty sharp.
    My guess is that the focusing points were not properly placed on the subject, either that or there was camera movement while taking the pictures.
  10. To test the camera/lens, put it on a solid tripod on a solid surface (not carpet). Aim it at a highly detailed subject, such as a map. Focus manually using live view at 10x magnification. Use a cable release to trip the shutter, while in live view. The results should be fairly sharp, sans sharpening, etc. The point here is to eliminate the equipment as a problem.
    Next, try the same but use AF to verify the AF works. It should be close to what you get with live view at 10x, but you might need to try spot AF.
    Regarding "any jump up should give you better results, not worse", I agree with Keith. There can be (often is) a learning curve involved.
  11. In addition to some of the advice you have already received, are you using a filter? I know when I used to use UV filters, I had occasional focus issues.
  12. 7D has a complex focust system (I believe the most complex in Canon line-up), which gives you plenty of options (and head aches at the begining!). When figured, it should live to or even exceed your expectations. I would try the steps below to get the most from combination of camera/lens, before giving up on one or another:
    • Use a steady tripod
    • Set your focus mode to manual (no AF)
    • Step down a couple of stops from maximum aperture (e.g. step down to f/5.6 for a f/2.8 lens)
    • Compose your image
    • Set the camera to live view mode (use the "Start/Stop" botton to the right of viewfinder)
    • Using the joystick, move the small rectangle in screen on where you want the focus to be (e.g. subject's eyes)
    • Zoom 10X into the scene (twice push the magnifier button on the upper right corner of back of camera)
    • Re-align the little rectangle to focus on the right area of the view, if needed
    • Set the AF-Drive mode to 2 second timer
    • Take the picture!
    You will be surprised on how much the Focus/IQ will improve. Since you've mentioned that your indoor shots are sharp; I don't suspect any lens issues. Hope this helps.
  13. Thank you everyone. I will take your advice and try anything I can. Because I know with my other shoot out doors there was a lot of fuzzyness as well. I'll try and upload a good one of my indoor shots. I have been doing photography for about a year and with my Rebel everything was great but I think at least one factor is that I'm new to the camera. I've been reading a lot about the 7D so hopefully I can figure something out with your advice.
  14. Karlee, it would still be helpful if you answered the "which lens?" question.
    Another, related, question: do you find that you need f/20 for decently sharp images?
    I ask because the "better" image still isn't really very sharp: this is again partly because - again - you've used a multi AF point focus mode, and the active AF points have all missed the baby.
    But if f/20 is "needed", there's definitely a major problem with the lens or with the camera (in that MFA might well be necessary); but at f/20 you are going to get diffraction problems, which will further soften the image.
    Simply put, nobody should ever, ever "need" f/20 for sharpness.
  15. I use a Tamron 28-77mm lens with F/2.8. I've been using it since June and it worked perfectly on my Rebel. How do I get to single AF point? I've tried that and I must not be able to figure it out or something. I can't stand the multiple ones because I can't tell what it focuses on.
  16. Page 88 of the camera manual has the step-by-step instructions on how do it.

  17. Simply put, nobody should ever, ever "need" f/20 for sharpness.​
    The 7D is diffraction limited at f/7.1. The softness in the first shot did seem rather extreme for diffraction, but f/20 might be enough to explain it.
    The pixel pitch on the 7D's 18 MP APS-C sensor is fine enough to capture very small optical defects that were not previously problems. For the time being, shoot at f/8 or wider unless you have a specific need for greater depth of field. The point is to understand the limits of your equipment, and consciously choose when to sacrifice optical sharpness for some other reason.
    The same goes for the focusing points. Learn to work with them. You paid quite a bit for their capabilities when your bought the 7D.
  18. Hi Michael,
    just for clarity I'm not actually suggesting diffraction as the problem, just pointing out that not only will f/20 not help with sharpness, but it might indicate a real issue elsewhere.
    I posted a similar thing a little while back. The end result is i am still very happy with my setup but there are those that have definitely had issues.
    Within those 2 are links to other places for more opinions on the subject and for checking properly if there is an issue, also for fixes (like reseting the syste, micro adjusting for a lens and conducting proper tests).
    You issue may be unrelated and due to factors the kind folks prior have mentioned, but if you still have some issues those links may be worth a whirl.
  20. The 7D is an excellent camera, best
    and fastest AF on any Canon Camera I
    ever owned. Lens may have a little to
    do with it. I do think paying attention to
    focal points is critical or going to live
    view zoom and manual focus. But I am
    very impressed with how well AF works
    on this camera. This is something I
    shot at about 40 feet from the subject,
    AF hand held with IS on using a 100-
    400 mm L. Image has been greatly
    cropped and was shot in M. Manual

    I think with a little practice you will be
    getting better, sharper shots. Hang in
    there, it's all a learning experience.
  21. Not sure why the copy past in the mobile iPhone version put a space in the middle of that URL but one more.
  22. Thanks! That is a great picture. I know it has a little to do with me being new to such an impressive camera but I just thought they were a little to blurry for the inexperience haha. My friend is going to help me figure out if I need to micro adjust the lens so hopefully we will figure it out!
  23. I have exactly the same problem.I am coming from a 5D and bought the 7D one month ago because the tests were outstanding.
    I tried hard and the last resource was micro-adjusting the lenses to have a better result on far subjects.But nothing could help and I still hold blurry pictures(landscapes)which I am not able to correct.I have noticed that while using the lens 135 mm f2.0,I need a very accurate measurement of focus with any great help and that using this lens with a converter 1,4 x I get really blurry images,so I have suppressed it.
    From a point of view of the 5D this is bad news.The 5D was and is still a great camera and only the 18Mpix of the 7D could convince me hopefully on switching to a newer camera(waiting for 5D MKIII).
    I am very sorry for the above result and it has learned me one thing for sure:NEVER TRUST A TEST!
    It makes you nuts!
  24. I've been using a 7D since 2009 and I'm routinely amazed by how sharp the images I get are, shooting handheld with the 100-400mm.
    I recently bought a new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS, and - initially - couldn't get a sharp image with it on the 7D. After ruling out user error and before buckling down to MFA, I did a hard reset: this involves removing the main battery and the "clock" battery, for an hour or more.
    It had the desired result: my camera is now providing silly sharp files with the new lens.
  25. To Keith.
    For guys like you,I pay a beer.
    Anyway ,thanks a lot,you were of great help.
  26. Glad to help.
    We forget sometimes that these cameras are also sophisticated computers, and sometimes they need a reboot.
  27. "My friend is going to help me figure out if I need to micro adjust the lens so hopefully we will figure it out!"
    If you are still under warranty I would seriously think about sending the camera to Canon Service and have them check it out. Having to figure out back-focus issues on a $1500 camera is just plain ridiculous to me. I know there are tons of people that are very happy with their 7D's, but this is practically a brand new camera, meaning that all the bugs may not have been worked out yet.
    I have always been kind of leary about purchasing brand new Models no matter what the Hype, just for that reason. This goes back to purchasing Automobiles. It's always safer to purchase the second or third version of a product because by then, all the previous bugs have been worked out.
  28. Warranty or not, there's no basis for sending it to Canon as yet - the problem may well be the lens, and that's why MFA exists. Canon can't help with the lens
    Karlee's use of inappropriate focus modes isn't helping either.
    Only after ruling everything else out is a trip to Canon a legitimate suggestion.
  29. >>> If you are still under warranty I would seriously think about sending the camera to Canon Service and
    have them check it out.

    That's what I'd do.

    The reason I returned my 7D (and purchased a 5DII) was due to focusing issues producing unsharp images. And I'm definitely not in the
    camp where sharpness drives my photography - far from that actually.
  30. Sorry guys most if not all of these advices are given as if the photographer is having parkiston.
    A normal point and shot will not encounter such a problem
    I am shoring with 7 d from moving boat still I m getting sharp image
    If you are getting sharp image indoor you should get it right out door too
    Check your cam and if it still on warranty take it to canon for checking
  31. I have used a program call focus magic with great success I will try to put your fixed photo back in here if I can and you can see the difference
  32. My 7D is so sharp it's disgusting. Last week, I caught my 5D mark II trying to steal the 7D's lunch money.

    All kidding aside, I would,encourage the OP to try again with a very simple test. Select the single AF point. Aim the
    camera at a flat surface with good contrast. A sunlit brick wall would be a good candidate, or a sign with large letters with
    clear edges. In Av mode set and aperture of f/5.6 or f/8. If the shutter speed is less than 1/200th second, double the ISO
    until you reach that mark or above. No mirror lockup, no shutter delay, no live view.

    See how that goes and get back to us with the test results.
  33. The focus magic did make it sharper but it looks pixely or grainy of some sort which I don't want because when I want to lets say make her eyes kind of pop, theres no way I can do that with a grainy picture because zoomed in the colors start to blend together. But thanks for all the tips guys.
  34. Karlee you are not doing anything wrong, I have been doing similar work as yours for 9 years and have the same problem which I have not encountered before. Every part of your picture is blurry/grainy, nothing to do with focus. I took 82 inside pictures with the 7D Canon camera showing that the pictures were in focus and every one in varying degrees turned out like yours. I took pictures in the same location (Santa Photos) with Sony and Nikon camera's for the next 3 days with no such problems. Every part of every picture was the same, it is not focusing, it is the camera.
    If I find out anymore I will keep you posted. Allen.
  35. Keith you are wrong, the camera has a problem

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