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Why are my pics coming out not very sharp?

Tre Gibbs , Jan 21, 2009; 02:02 p.m.

I purchased a Canon 12.2 MP digital EOS SLR rebel xs1 camera. The landscape pictures I've taken so far aren't nearly as crisp or clear as the ones taken on my little Canon 7.1 MP powershot.
I've tried manual settings, I've tried photographing in RAW, superfine, tried auto focus, manual focus, etc. The pictures are not crisp like my former ones with the smaller camera.
What am I doing wrong?


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Shawn May , Jan 21, 2009; 02:07 p.m.

Are you paying attention to your depth of field?

What lens do you have on it?

Rob Bernhard , Jan 21, 2009; 02:09 p.m.

Can you upload a sample images with EXIF data intact?
Your point and shoot, being a consumer camera has more default sharpening applied to its jpg files. Due to the nature of their design digital point and shoots have lots and lots more depth of field than a DSLR and therefore can appear sharper. As your point and shoot was 7MP and your DSLR 12MP, if you're relying on 100% views to determine sharpness, your 12MP images may "appear" less sharp when they are not.

There are many variables that can cause people to say "not very sharp." You need to be more specific and provide examples and/or sample images.

Kevin Penczak , Jan 21, 2009; 02:34 p.m.

If you shot RAW you have to apply some sharpening yourself. An easy fix might be to shoot jpeg and turn up the in camera sharpening. For landscape try to use a larger F stop (F/8 or higher), and make sure you are shooting at about 1/100th or faster to elliminate camera shake from making your photos unsharp. Like Rob said, the 100% crop might be the problem, have you had any prints made to compare the 2 cameras? What lens, f stop, and shutter speed are you using? Can you post a sample of each picture from the different cameras.

Juan Trinidad , Jan 21, 2009; 02:38 p.m.

If you have eliminated AF and other equipment problems, I would suggest you try shooting in JPG. If the sharpness improves, then there is your problem.
RAW files are inherently not as sharp as JPG files. All JPG files from cameras are post processed by the compression engine to include some degree of sharpening. If you bump up the sharpness using DPP, I like 7 or 8, you should be able to achieve similar sharpness as you P&S.
Simply, all RAW files need post processing to achieve their full potential.

Ross Murphy , Jan 21, 2009; 02:46 p.m.

Do you use a tripod, MLU, timer or romote ? what lens ? etc etc.

. Marburg , Jan 21, 2009; 02:54 p.m.

Try F11. When I shoot in RAW with F11 and 1/125 I get fairly sharp images unless the target is in motion or I cause camera shake (i.e. wind is blowing). Just my 2 cents. I'm very new to the EOS Digital Rebel XSi as I've had it less than 2 weeks.


G Dan Mitchell , Jan 21, 2009; 02:57 p.m.

Do NOT try f/11 on a cropped sensor body like the Rebel series. At f/11 the maximum sharpness begins to deteriorate due to diffraction blur. In general, f/8 is likely to be the aperture with the greatest sharpness potential, though there are factors that could make a larger aperture sharper in some cases. (On a full-frame DSLR or a 35mm SLR the f/11 advice would be good.)

I'm hopeful that you will post an example of a shot or two with the "problem." There are many possible causes of reduced sharpness, and without some evidence we are all reduced to guessing wildly and making very long lists of all the possible causes.


Elliot Bernstein , Jan 21, 2009; 03:07 p.m.

Maybe you are using a poor quality lens or there is something wrong with the lens you have. Which lens do you have? Do you have more than one lens? Have you tried other lenses on your body? Have you tried your lens on another body?

Rob Bernhard , Jan 21, 2009; 03:07 p.m.

[[At f/11 the maximum sharpness begins to deteriorate due to diffraction blur.]]

This statement is at odds with Bob Atkins' findings here:


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