Nex 6 just not sharp?

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions
Geordie27
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Nex 6 just not sharp?
Mar 29, 2013

I have been using the Nex 6 with the 15 to 50mm zoom lens for a few months now, but I have found that all the images are just mushy and lack critical sharpness! I am very disapointed.

I used to have a Canon 7d and when I compare these images the Nex 6 doesnt look good while the 7d is pin sharp, but when I use the dpreview comparison page if anything the opposite should be true. I am using jpeg images straight off the camera.

Is it the camera, lens, or do I have a faulty camera?

Canon EOS 7D
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blue_skies
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 29, 2013

Geordie27 wrote:

I have been using the Nex 6 with the 15 to 50mm zoom lens for a few months now, but I have found that all the images are just mushy and lack critical sharpness! I am very disapointed.

I used to have a Canon 7d and when I compare these images the Nex 6 doesnt look good while the 7d is pin sharp, but when I use the dpreview comparison page if anything the opposite should be true. I am using jpeg images straight off the camera.

Is it the camera, lens, or do I have a faulty camera?

Can you post examples, dpreview just commented on the Nex-6 having above average AF.

Also, can you describe your focus method/mode?

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Cheers,
Henry

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Mel Snyder
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 29, 2013

Geordie27 wrote:

I have been using the Nex 6 with the 15 to 50mm zoom lens for a few months now, but I have found that all the images are just mushy and lack critical sharpness! I am very disapointed.

I used to have a Canon 7d and when I compare these images the Nex 6 doesnt look good while the 7d is pin sharp, but when I use the dpreview comparison page if anything the opposite should be true. I am using jpeg images straight off the camera.

Is it the camera, lens, or do I have a faulty camera?

Impossible to know without seeing example images. Could be the lens, could be the camera, could be you.

What we can tell you is that, generically, the camera and kit lens produce images as sharp or sharper than with a 7d. If you go to the dpreview and look at the tests, you'll see we can rule out the camera and lens, if both are sound.

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bill hansen
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It's probably the lens
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 29, 2013

If you're using the 16-50, the difference between your results and your 7D could simply be that the DPReview images were shot with a different lens - the 50mm f1.8, I believe.

Beyond that, there are at least a dozen other things which could contribute to the difference between your MEX images and your 7D images - poor focus, camera motion, what ISO you selected, etc.

But if you can be absolutely sure you've controlled all those other factors, see if you can try the NEX with a 50mm 1.8 lens. That should do it for you.

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Bill Hansen
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YuriS
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 29, 2013

It might be lens issue... I use NEX-6 with Sigma 30mm f2.8 - it is VERY sharp!!!

AcreBahá'í garden. Nex-6 Sigma 30mm f2.8

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Geordie27
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 29, 2013

Here are 3 images I took. 1 with the Canon 7d, and one with a Panasonic LX5. Both these look very sharp especially if you zoom into the eyes a bit. The last one with the NEX6 doesnt look like it focussed quite right on the face (and this is the same for most of ther pictures I took with the NEX6, both auto focus and manual, although everything confirmed focus at the time.

Canon 7d iso 400 f4

NEX6 iso 100 f8

Panasonic LX5 iso 100 f 5.6

). Also it looks a little "cold". Would an 81 filter be worth a try as well?

Regards

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blue_skies
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

At f/8, you are using CDAF focusing. Read up on 5N focusing techniques, such as center focus and half-press&reframe techniques

Below f/6.3, the Nex-6 will choose PDAF, with the right lens. I'd still suggest the half-press method to allow you to confirm focus.

Either way, turn focus peaking on and the AF assist light off.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

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Timbukto
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

None of your shots are even comparable.  Scale is completely different.  Some you have flash and some don't.  Also I found Sony jpeg engine to be pretty mushy, but so is Canon's...however Sony's default might be 1 setting more mushy than Canon's.  ACR is a big step up.

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Mel Snyder
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Timbukto, Mar 30, 2013

I'd like to see some raw images for checking - could you email one or two to melsnyder@earthlink.net? It's very hard to analyze from displayed shots here. I am troubled by the fact that I see no area that's really sharp on the image. I'd like to see an image shot 1-2 stops down as well as wide open.

Let me load them into photoshop and I'll tell you what I see. I think it might be the lens.

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Baba Ganoush
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to YuriS, Mar 30, 2013

@YuriS:  Lovely scene.  Very nice.

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forpetessake
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

Canon kit lenses are quite a bit better than Sony's, but it's impossible from these very different pictures to guess what contributed and how much. After testing a lot of manual lenses and a couple of NEX lenses I can tell that the Sony's sensor resolution is very good, not many lenses can outresolve the sensor. The DPR testing also shows that 7D is only marginally better. I would suggest getting a sharp lens, say SEL5018, and you will know if your camera has any issues. You can rent a lens if you don't want to buy it.

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danny006
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to forpetessake, Mar 30, 2013

With the Canon you used the flash which always give sharper pictures, also very close at 19mm.

And Canon kitlenses being better than Sony is not true.

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djrocks66
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

Not to sound harsh and really I'm not... but it is usually user error with this kind of thing. Even though you shot those three with different settings I don't see where the NEX is that much worse in sharpness. I just picked up the NEX-6 and kit 16-50mm and spent a couple of days shooting Montauk Point, NY and can tell you that it is plenty sharp. Of course there are lenses that have better glass and are sharper. I don't think your camera is faulty or the kit lens is bad. I had the 7D and it was a fine camera and in fact every camera that I have had was able to take sharp pictures. You just need to really learn your camera and it's strengths and weaknesses. The other replies also had some good advice.  I have been shooting Raw + Jpg and the Jpegs actually look pretty good.

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MrTaikitso
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

Whilst your examples are not fair because the centre photo subject is much farther away, I have an NEX 5R + 16-50 PZ and do agree that the images do lack pop in comparison to those from Nikon, Canon and Panasonic. (I have owned Nikon and Panasonic and see the output from various Canons.) But as others have said, better glass is the key. I'm waiting for Sony's new f2.8 pancake hoping it improves on the previous that had some corner aberration issues.

BTW, the video quality from the NEX + PZ is superb, and I think that is really what Sony are aiming the lens at, although when you zoom in or out whilst recording, the motor noise is horrific.

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ChuckTa
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

First, Nex kit quality is not that great. Secondly, there is focusing problem, the Nex focus is not always very accurate, at least for my Nex 5, but it seems that others complain about the newer model too.

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CyrusK
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to blue_skies, Mar 30, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

At f/8, you are using CDAF focusing. Read up on 5N focusing techniques, such as center focus and half-press&reframe techniques

Below f/6.3, the Nex-6 will choose PDAF, with the right lens. I'd still suggest the half-press method to allow you to confirm focus.

Either way, turn focus peaking on and the AF assist light off.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Even if I do not own a Nex6... Honnestly, I do not think this is correct.

As the f/6.3 refers to the max aperture of your lens...

before the shutter release, the aperture is alwys at its max value (allowing PDAF similar as in any DSLR pdaf).

Or I am wrong ?

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Kiril Karaatanasov
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In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

Some samples will be helpful to determine the cause of softness. It can be millions of things as others said

1. low shutter speed

2.high iso

3. focusing issue

4. different classes of lenses 16-50 is cheap lens if you compare to say 135/2 i would be surprised if 16-50 is anything close

5. 18 > 16 so if all is equal 7d would be producing slightly better detail

Geordie27 wrote:

I have been using the Nex 6 with the 15 to 50mm zoom lens for a few months now, but I have found that all the images are just mushy and lack critical sharpness! I am very disapointed.

I used to have a Canon 7d and when I compare these images the Nex 6 doesnt look good while the 7d is pin sharp,

What lens do you use on 7D? 16-50 is low end kit lens it cannot stand up to quality Canon L lens very well.

but when I use the dpreview comparison page if anything the opposite should be true. I am using jpeg images straight off the camera.

Is it the camera, lens, or do I have a faulty camera?

Or one of dozen other reasons.

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forpetessake
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to danny006, Mar 30, 2013

danny006 wrote:

With the Canon you used the flash which always give sharper pictures, also very close at 19mm.

And Canon kitlenses being better than Sony is not true.

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G, every testing shows it's true. The NEX kits are pretty much awful, the only worse kit lenses I've seen were Panasonic. It's not just my experience, Thom Hogan said pretty much the same: "The low-end crop sensor DSLRs are the only ones that stick above that declining demand curve, and you’ll note that those kit lenses for them are pretty darned good. In short, the optics makers are putting their money where the demand is."

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D Williams
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In reply to Geordie27, Mar 30, 2013

Put your Nex on a tripod, or set it on a table that won't move, and take a picture of a well lit subject that won't be moving.  Focus manually with the focus assist magnifier. Use the self timer so you aren't touching the camera when it fires. Do the same with your Canon and Panasonic if you want comparison.

Your pictures really aren't good comparisons.  The Canon and Panasonic are both using strobes which will "freeze" any subject and camera movement.  You probably have an effective shutter speed of at least 1/500 of a second.  The Sony is at 1/125 on a 75mm equivalent lens.  That plus IS is enough to eliminate camera shake 'most'of the time but still leaves room for subject movement.  When shooting birds, I like to see shutter at 3x the lens length to totally eliminate camera and subject movement.

Also, the Panasonic is known to  have a really sharp lens and at f5.6, with its small sensor, everything from about 2 feet to Montana will be in focus.

For warmth, make sure your WB is set to Cloudy.  AWB can sometimes be cool.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Nex 6 just not sharp?
In reply to forpetessake, Mar 31, 2013

forpetessake wrote:

danny006 wrote:

With the Canon you used the flash which always give sharper pictures, also very close at 19mm.

And Canon kitlenses being better than Sony is not true.

-- hide signature --

www.alex-digitalpics.be by Sony

G, every testing shows it's true. The NEX kits are pretty much awful, the only worse kit lenses I've seen were Panasonic. It's not just my experience, Thom Hogan said pretty much the same: "The low-end crop sensor DSLRs are the only ones that stick above that declining demand curve, and you’ll note that those kit lenses for them are pretty darned good. In short, the optics makers are putting their money where the demand is."

I disagree although can't speak for 16-50. The 18-55 on my NEX-3 is pretty darn good for a kit lens, among the best I've seen for an APS-C kit lens. I don't use it much but only because I prefer MF and primes on my NEX. There isn't much artistic value to this image, but it is a 100% crop (near the center), taken at max focal length (where you'd expect the lens to be softer):

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