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Thread: Should I be unhappy with quality of my DSLR or am I asking too much?

  1. #1

    Default Should I be unhappy with quality of my DSLR or am I asking too much?

    I have been learning to use the video of my Canon 60D for a while now.
    I have experimented a lot with the settings looking for the razor sharp crispness I get from it's still shots and many of the videos I see online shot with DSLRs.
    I am currently less than happy with any of my results and hope someone with more knowledge than I can tell me:
    a) if I am asking took much of a crop sensor DSLR?
    b) some solutions I might try
    c) whether I need to move to a full frame DSLR in order to get the sharpness and clarity I want?

    I have posted a short movie for anyone to view. I spend a lot of time filming friends climbing in the bush.
    You'll need to right click>download file to view on your desktop, it's too big for streaming (appologies if that is obvious).

    Although it has been imported then exported from Final Cut Pro I have simply cropped it. The file size has not dropped significantly and from viewing the original and this one side by side there is very little difference in quality.

    My big problems with what I'm seeing in all my videos are:
    lots of 'noise' in the rock. The crystals appear to shimmer in a horrible way. I suspected the artefact must be due to overexposing so have been careful to check my histograms of late.
    nothing in the image is pin sharp. I am always careful to use the zoom in Liveview mode before shooting in order to get perfect image sharpness.
    The aperture was mid range too so lens issues should not be a problem.

    Would really appreciate some feedback on this as I'm out of my depth and googling has turned up little of help so far.
    Cheers in advance.

  2. #2

    Default In addition I have done some test shots here

    I have also videod and photographed the same image with 3 lenses.
    I have brought up the video beside the still on my screen and have then taken a simple screen shot.
    It should be obvious that the video is on the left, still on right in each screenshot.
    Hope this further illustrates my issue and helps in finding an answer.
    Last edited by Candy Andy; 05-24-2012 at 09:40 AM.

  3. #3


    I haven't looked at the footage so don't know how bad it is but in your post you said you have you cropped it. This can be major reason for loss of image quality.

  4. #4


    Sorry. Probably used the wrong word. I cropped it's length not the frame dimensions.

  5. #5


    Ok I've taken a look at the footage and I don't think there is anything wrong with it. I don't see the noise in the dark areas that you are seeing. You may be getting some aliasing but this is an issue with most DSLR cameras but getting better. BUT I still don't think this example is suffering from it very much. You will never get a video to look as Sharp as a still photo from the same camera, there is to much going on in the camera to get a 1080 resolution video from a much higher resolution stills sensor.

    The only suggestion I can make if you really want to improve the image quality from what you have now is to spend an obscene amount of money on glass and only ever use the camera in manual focus mode.

    Sorry if this doesn't help much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    not watched that link, prefer youTube . . . but you might consider a heavy tripod with fluid head - such things magically lift the footage as any movement will make the pixels jitter.

    You don't say what experience you have with vid or photography - Such things as lighting, contrast and dept of field all should be second nature.

    Budget lenses can be a tad soft, - yet arty films like that.
    I use APS-c sensor, 3:1 zoom and nearly always AF (and set exposure to minus 0.7 to avoid burning the highlights).

  7. #7


    Are you using the Standard Picture Style?
    Have you boosted the sharpness in Camera?

    First step I would take is select at least the neutral picture profile and also dial down the sharpness contrast and saturation.
    In camera sharpening is a bit nasty.
    Chances are you will need to do a little tweaking in post but it should give better results.
    Also the 60D does not excel with deep depth of field, high detail shots especially with a wide angle lens. I have one and get decent results working within these limitations, I also shoot cinestyle picture style which gives a very flat base to work from but really need to graded to get anything useable.

    These days I also use a Panasonic GH2 which kills the 60D on the shots outlined above, especially when hacked with the high bit rates available from driftwood etc.
    So if you are planning on doing a lot of this that may be a better option.

  8. #8


    I too don't see anything wrong with the footage (viewed on a iPad)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Nottingham / York


    One thing that might be useful if you don't already know is to make sure that the ISO is always set to increments of 160, makes a massive difference to the quality with canon dslrs. Although i have to say not a lot looks wrong in the video! maybe slightly soft either due to been slightly our of focus or cheap lens/filter but ultimately youtubes compression will cause far more issues than these so i wouldn't really worry about it if you wanted a certain area sharp using a longer focal length and wider aperture would be more suitable to emphasize the detail in a certain area maybe

  10. #10


    That's interesting but my small brain can't work out why the ISO has to be set in increments of 160. Is this only a Canon thing ? Is it somehow dependent on the frame rate ?

    Can you please expand on this.

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