Any advice: landscape photography

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TracyF's picture
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Any advice: landscape photography

We're heading off on a road trip to spend time with family in Alberta. I'm sure I'll find plenty of good landscape opportunities, which I'm excited about.

But... the other day, I took some landscape shots of some properties my brother is interested in purchasing, and they were all pretty soft. I've taken some decent landscape shots with a borrowed DSLR before, but even at f22, FL 18mm, shutter speed 100-400 depending on the situation (it was very overcast the other day), the shots were all soft and just really disappointing.

So, before we head off on our trip, I'm wondering if anyone has some advice for me on improving the problem. I have adjusted a user-defined "picture mode" to maximum sharpness, something I'd read on a DPReview thread; but haven't had a chance to try that out to see if it will do the trick. On that same thread, I read something to the effect that RAW will always be softer than JPG and need some post-processing sharpening? Is that true? Seems odd to me.

Would love to hear any advice and suggestions... I'd hate to take a bunch of photos of the beautiful Rocky Mountains only to be disappointed on return home.

tialee80's picture
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I am no help with landscapes so maybe your post can help the both of us. Just wanted to tell you if dh is driving have some fun getting some shots of the little ones in the review mirror or a self portrait with the mountains behind you in your sideview:) Have fun!

yellow.rose.of.canada's picture
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I've been wondering the same thing because I'm about to head down to Montana and spend some time camping in Glacier National Park with my parents. I was thinking of renting a wide angle lens for the trip. My landscape shots always look so one dimensional and flat.

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I don't have any advice but the idea of renting a wide angle lens sounds fun!

Tracy ... if you are concerned about the sharpness of raw images, set your camera to raw + jpg and compare what you get.

Hope you guys enjoy your vacations and snap lots of pics!

Best,
GiGi

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I do believe that RAW will be slightly softer than jpeg. I always add some sharpening in my PP. Also........was the other DSLR a Nikon? I've read all over the place that Nikon has a better focusing system. Bummer for me, since I'm a little too invested in Canon. It's probably because they've been investing in the video feature in their slr's instead.

I hope you can figure out exactly what the problem is and fix it. Have a great trip! I can't wait to see your photos!

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"Ladybugsteph" wrote:

Also........was the other DSLR a Nikon? I've read all over the place that Nikon has a better focusing system. Bummer for me, since I'm a little too invested in Canon. It's probably because they've been investing in the video feature in their slr's instead.

The video feature is why DH wanted the Canon 60D... so apparently it's working as a selling point! Smile We like Canon anyway, because they replaced -- and upgraded, by four generations -- a camera that we had a sensor problem with a few years ago, no questions asked.

But yes, the other camera was a Nikon. And I was seriously impressed with the sharpness of a lot of my images in general, portrait to landscape, on that camera. I read that the kit lens I was using on that loaner was considered to be an excellent lens, too, super-sharp. Compared to a Canon Rebel that I had borrowed briefly, where all of the images were so soft, I got a little spoiled. I find the images I'm getting with the 60D overall very good, better than the Rebel; but often not as sharp as that Nikon. Whether that is the lens or the focusing system, I don't really know for sure.

Anywho... I'm off on vacation very shortly, so hopefully I'll have some good images to share on my return! Thanks guys!

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In my research (for my imaginary upgrade Wink ), I've read that the 7D has the better focusing system than the 60D, if you're not going to go with a full frame. I'm not sure what I'll go with when I am eventually able to upgrade my little Rebel. I doubt I'd be able to talk my husband into a Mk III lol!

TracyF's picture
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Yeah, we talked about the 7D. It definitely has advantages; but the price difference was too much for us. It's definitely the superior camera, though.

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Ahh, I always dream of my upgrade too. I still have a Canon T1i and I'm itching to upgrade, but we're also saving money to build a house hopefully next year. My dad just bought my mom the 7D for Christmas as an upgrade (she also had the T1i). I would love to move to a full-frame next time, but I'm not sure if I can talk DH into agreeing to shell out the money.