How to check for sharp images in the field?

Started Apr 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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BobT
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How to check for sharp images in the field?
Apr 23, 2012

I swear that my images are getting less sharp the longer I shoot. But I'm pretty sure it's not my gear: as I still manage some razor sharp ones every so often. Anyway, how can I tell, when in the field, if my results are SHARP? The T1i's LCD makes every shot look spot on. I just got back from using my 70-200/4 IS USM lens with only about 20% sharp(by my standards---which, in this case is being able to see fur detail on whitetail deer). When I came home, and checked my results on the computer, and at 1:1, not so great. By the way, is the "1:1" enlargement, 100% larger?

I checked the EXIF data on the somewhat blurrier shots and they were set to f8 and ISO400. The shutter speeds, however, were 1/80 to around 1/180 on most. Obviously rather slow, maybe even with the IS on. No tripod, but resting on car window(this was a 'drive-by' shooting opportunity). But, how do I know this when I'm shooting? If I knew this when there, I would have altered the settings to try and fix things.

I was about to ditch my MFT gear for the same reason. Only in it's case, it's more likely that it might be the gear.
I'm getting a bit discouraged. Can you help?

Canon EOS 500D (EOS Rebel T1i / EOS Kiss X3)
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