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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Location: Almere, The Netherlands
Some of you probably know already: about 10 days ago I got my brand new Canon EOS 7D. Of course my initial reaction was very positive! What a great feel and camera! But something just didn't feel right when looking at the 100% crops of my pictures... Using my new 100-400 I just can't seem to get any picture really sharp. First I was unsure whether or not I was doing something wrong myself, but after taking the camera out a couple of times I am pretty sure that it is not my technique.

The thing is: I already took sharp pictures with my Canon EOS 40D with my 100-400 and was really happy with the results there. And now I just can't seem to be able to get a picture as sharp as on my 40D when looking at a 100% crop. Using a shutter time of 1/800 or 1/1600 in combination with IS should make shooting with the camera and lens in hand a piece of cake, but still no sharpness like on my 40D. I have even used my 17-40 on the 7D for a landscape shot, and this one was not even close to being sharp either, with a very short shutter time (like 1/400) and high aperture value.

Since I know there are a couple of 7D users on this forum I was really wondering if anyone else has experienced these problems. I have read loads and loads of stories today on the internet (there are even huge petitions for this) that go on and on about loads and loads of 7D's having these problems. Have I bought a horrible camera with horrible AF problems? Or have I got a lemon? Or are there loads and loads of lemon 7D's?

I have made a deal with the store where I bought it: I can exchange the camera tomorrow. I hope this will solve my problems. But if it doesn't what do I have to do then? Is it wise to return it for a refund and never buy a 7D again? Or should I have Canon take a look at the camera and let them try to fix it? Even though I try to remain positive, this has made quite a dent in my confidence in Canon. As unfair as that may be, this experience sure made me feel a lot less positive about the 7D, which everyone claims to be such a great camera.

Looking forward to read your experiences and to hear what you guys think.

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:32 pm 
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Depending what you're shooting obviously, 1/400th sec isn't particularly slow, but it might be worth turning IS off & trying a few shots. IS shouldn't be needed, or indeed can make things worse at fast shutter speeds.
Probably not the cause of your issues, but worth a try. Hope you get it sorted.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Thanks for the tip, but already tried this. I knew that IS could be an issue so I tried shooting without it as well. Still soft. The 1/400th was shot with my 17-40. So if that still won't be sharp (lens movement wise) then nothing will be. I know my technique is not at fault, since my 40D does deliver sharp images, when my new 7D absolutely does not. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a hardware problem.

Seeing how many people have this issue (I have found a petition with literally 100s of replies) I am really starting to wonder whether I need to return the camera and run as fast as I can, away from the 7D...

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:55 pm 
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If it's something you can't `fine-tune` & be happy with now, I think i'd return it tbh. It will only annoy you more, day on day.....
You need to be happy with your gear. :wink:

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Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:25 pm 
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Location: Almere, The Netherlands
I do agree with you that I need to be happy with my gear, but I just can't wrap my hear around the fact that every review I read is incredibly positive and apparently there are loads of problems with the AF-system which causes very soft images. Is it really going to be necessary for me to micro-adjust every single lens I have to get even remotely sharp images? With my 40D I never had any problems, and now my brand new and supposedly awesome 7D is leaving me with crappy images.

I do realize that not everyone needs sharpness at a 100% crop level, but I do expect this quality from my camera, since I have invested quite a lot in lenses and bodies already. This just does not boost my confidence in Canon, or more precisely: the 7D in general.

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Location: SE Texas
It could be that your camera is focusing on a different plane than your subject. One of mine tends to do this with several lenses, but is perfect with my 100mm 2.8L Macro, so I have not attempted to adjust it, as that lens is my daily workhorse, and lives on that 7D full-time. The 7D does have the ability to be adjusted by the user, for individual lenses, which the camera will recognize. The common internet term for all brands is MFA, though I cannot recall, at the moment, exactly what terminology is used by Canon. A slanted ruler can be used for a quick check for front-focusing and back-focusing; there are tutorials on-line.

MFA should not be done casually, according to advice I have seen on-line. If the camera is off-spec for all of your lenses, it probably should go back to a Canon service center. In the USA, at least, Canon has a reputation for very prompt and attentive service, with the center at Irvine, California, having a particularly good reputation. Customers in other countries, of course, should use the appropriate service center for their warranty program.

One quick way to tell if a camera's AF of off a bit, is to let the camera AF on a motionless subject, then switch the lens to MF, and then activate live view, and then view the LCD while carefully turning the
focus ring, to see if the subject can be brought into sharper focus. This is best done on a tripod, but can also be done with the camera placed upon a flat surface. This is how I determined my second 7D was focusing a bit in front of the subject with at least two lenses.

Do not worry about this! Canon should make it right, whether it needs AF adjustment, or there is another cause.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:46 pm 
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Hmmmmm well I have put it on a tripod and made pictures with my 100-400, 70-200 and 17-40. ISO 100, wide open aperture, turned off IS. I hung up a piece of paper with text in bright light and manually focussed on it first with Live View and 10x magnification. I took a couple of pictures. Those were sharp as can be.

Then I turned on AF and used the autofocus to get the same piece of paper with text in focus, still using the tripod for balance. I have to say: these pictures are sharp as can be too. Only my 100-400 seems to have a little less sharpness, but that can easily be explained by the shutter making the camera shake a bit with a shutter time of almost half a second. Maybe a larger distance to my subject would screw up the AF?

Now what do I do? The small amount of shots I have made outdoors so far are not crisply sharp. I do have to mention that the weather was not so great, with not a lot of light and high ISO shooting (500-800). Even with my 17-40 at Av 9.0 there still was not a lot of stuff sharp.

I am really torn whether or not I have to exchange the camera tomorrow or not... What do you guys think?

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:10 pm 
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If focus accuracy has been ruled out, the "problem" may be the comparison of a 10MP sensor with an 18MP sensor at 100%. Lens flaws not so obvious at 10MP would be more so at 18MP. You may have to alter your processing settings to optimise for this. At this point it may help for you to post some example crops.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Well I did experience that with a higher amount of sharpening I get more reasonable, yet more noisy, images. Could it be that the 18MP needs more sharpening to get acceptable results? Normally I try to keep sharpening to a minimum but if this could solve a large part of the issue then I need to reconsider my Photoshopping moves.

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Are you shooting RAW, then converting, or comparing in-camera j-pegs with your 40D?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:32 pm 
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I am shooting RAW like I did with my 40D as well.

I have been wondering something else as well: when leaning my 100-400 on a steady wall can IS screw up the picture because of the lack of movement? I noticed the IS was reacting intensely when the camera was mounted on the tripod; till I turned it off the image was jumping all over the place. And how does this work when using a bean bag? Does the IS mess up then image then too?

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:26 pm 
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I know you have mentioned it and so have others but would suggest microfocus is off.
Mine needs +3 with the 70-300L.

Can I suggest a quick test, I use a knot hole in my fence and stand back about 6-7m with centre spot focus on the hole at a shallow angle to the fence maybe 15-22c.
Maybe even post the results.
Also if you use jpg`s, the 7D seems to benefit from a bit more sharpness in the preset settings.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:15 pm 
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What mode is your AF in? Are you in Spot-AF or full-point AF? Are you AI Servo'ing or using the DoF Preview button for Servo-One Shot switching?

What I found from my experiences shooting the camera, is that if I make some bad decisions in my settings (i.e. using Spot AF when I should have used full-point) or if I have bad technique, the higher resolution sensor is less forgiving of errors. I also noticed a lot more CA when I moved from 12 to 18mp on my macro lens at big apertures. I also did need about 30% more sharpening when shooting RAW to reach acceptable levels of sharpness over what my Rebel was giving me with the same lenses, but that's really due to the higher resolution.

The AF works, and works extraordinarily well, but it is definitely more complicated and twitchy than previous cameras and can take some getting used to. Also, consider the demographics of the people who buy this camera... they are for the most part amateurs (like I was) who are looking for pro-ish level gear, and better gear takes time to get to know how to use properly. I'm going to make a sweeping generalization here, but the complainers/petitioners are likely bandwagoners who had poor technique or had no idea what the settings were doing and then saw other people online complaining about soft images for the same reasons. Ergo, petition, rabble, and moan on forums about something that is their own fault. /rant

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:06 am 
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centre square af, not spot.
I know exactly what you mean, the 7D was a bit of a shellshock, very steep learning curve.

I almost always use it in AI Servo, I found these guide useful.

Cannot remember which one was better for me, but I got something from both of them, I had this saved in my favourites.

http://www.deepgreenphotography.com/200 ... -canon-7d/

http://www.garyluhm.net/bio/tips_0310.html

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:19 am 
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Well mostly I have been using Servo. Although I have used One Shot too. I have been using whole point instead of spot. The lack of sharpness is most apparant with a couple of landscape shots tht I made. There was just not as much detail in the environment and it all seemed a bit soft.

I hve decided not to exchange the camera. It seems like the fault lies with me and I already spoke to Canon: if something does seem to be wrong they will take a look for me free of charge. Thank you guys, you have been an awesome help!

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Cameras: Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 40D
Lenses: Canon EF 17-40/4 L USM, Canon EF 24-105/4 L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200/2.8 L USM, Tamron SP 150-600/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon Extender 1.4x II
Want list: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Tamron SP 90/2.8 VC USD Macro, Canon EF 500/4 L IS USM, Canon Extender 2.0x III
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtkoopmans/
Website: http://www.mtkfotografie.nl


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