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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 22 Jan 2015 (Thursday) 09:31
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EOS 450D - Very poor image quality

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Joined Jan 2015
Jan 22, 2015 09:31 |  #1

Hi Folks,

I recently acquired an EOS 450D 3nd Hand, in good condition.
I Picked it up cheaply, and managed to get a standard Canon 18-55 Lens for it and i thought they'd
be similar in image quality unless you were doing serious photography but wow.

The difference between the 2 camera's is huge.
Her's is just so crisp, and even at high magnification there is a huge amount of sharp detail,
i took a picture of her in my camera when she was curling the ends of her hair with one of those GHD things from 6 feet away with my Canon, when i zoomed just once or twice, i could see no definition around any edges, i could BARELY see GHD written in the big letters and the gold on black writing of the made in x-country was just a small fuzzy gold blur.

None of the edges are defined, everything seems VERY soft, and even sharpening slightly in an editing program just doesn't give me what i need.
I thought maybe with a high quality camera like this that i'd notice some softening and blurring on distant shots etc, but even in close shots, medium shots etc it's very streange. I've got a 16mp camera on my phone that can almost match the quality im getting from the 450D... am i doing somethin wrong? i tried manual and auto, tried many different shots. And the Nikon is just wiping the floor with it, i'd say there's approx 3x as much detail in each shot. Here's an example of my Canon's shots im talking about, any suggestions? Here's 3 examples.

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Post edited over 4 years ago by MalVeauX. (3 edits in all)
Jan 22, 2015 10:01 |  #2


I have a few 450D's laying around my house. They're great cameras.

If I had to guess what's wrong with your images, it's that you're shooting that kit 18-55 lens wide open and basically underexposing and so you're lifting exposure in post (just guessing). It's not the sensor of the 450D that's to blame here. To me it looks like you're seeing the effects of soft glass (it's much sharper stopped down) along with under exposure (which increases noise and general loss of saturation and color quality and lines are more messy).

Shooting a 450D, there's a few things I can definitely say from experience. Underexposing with the 450D is something you want to avoid. I always expose to the right with all my cameras, but especially the 450D's sensor. So I use at least +1/3rd stop EC to +2/3rds stop EC (shooting in AV often). Using sharp glass makes a big difference. It doesn't have to be expensive glass. But sharp matters. The older 18-55 kit lenses are soft. Stopped down they're ok. APS-C sensors are pixel dense, so you need good resolution glass or images will be soft. So if you get nice resolving sharp lenses, you'll see quite a difference compared to a kit lens. Shoot with a higher shutter speed if you want a sharper image. If you're doing long exposure or slow shutter, brace the camera or use a tripod or bean bag, etc. Don't just push the button and expect it not to move even if sitting on something--use your timer. Get exposure and all that correct in the camera. Looking at your 2nd image, I see a lot of processing effects (clarity/noise reduction/sharpening/n​ot sure).

Here's one of my trash 450D's (I grab them on ebay for about $100~$120 often) with inexpensive good glass (EF 40 F2.8 STM ($150 used) & EF 85 F1.8 ($280 used)):

450D + 40 F2.8:

IMAGE LINK:​DQ  (external link) IMG_8565 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE LINK:​ag  (external link) IMG_1327 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE LINK:​8A  (external link) IMG_9745 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

450D + 85 F1.8:

IMAGE LINK:​tu  (external link) IMG_5583_marked (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

Low light in a mall:

IMAGE LINK:​8B  (external link) IMG_5639 (external link) by Mwise1023 (external link), on Flickr

Use sharp glass. That doesn't mean expensive.
Expose properly or compensate to ensure it's proper.

Very best,

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Jan 22, 2015 10:10 |  #3

Comparisons like this are extremely tough. First, we can't se the photos you are comparing with and you don't mention what camera you are comparing against nor the skill of the other photographer. You'd really have to shoot with similar settings side by side. Both shots look like the lighting was tough. There is a ton of noise in the 2nd so it was probably shot at high ISO where you can fully expect a loss of detail. No surprises there. The first shot shows decent detail in the small area that is in focus. Is the soft, blurriness in the distance in the 2nd shot what you are referring to as unexpected? That would be normal. You're focused on a close point, likely at a wide aperture so your depth of field is limited. It is a desirable and often used effect in photography. The out of focus areas are referred to as 'bokeh'. If you were expecting a landscape type shot with everything in sharp focus it was your technique and not the camera that is at fault. Both of your shots look underexposed as if you are letting the camera make decisions about exposure. Sure. Any camera and lens has limitations but your post and the evidence in your sample shots indicate that your camera is working fine but it is likely your skills with an SLR that are lacking. I think some time spent learning the fundamentals of SLR photography would serve you well. It is a world apart from shooting with an iPhone or P&S. An understanding of exposure, depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, etc. are necessary.

Sometimes not taking a photograph can be as problematic as taking one. - Alex Webb

Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
Jan 22, 2015 10:10 |  #4

you're comparing a 6 year old camera owned by two other people using the cheapest standard zoom lens available with an unknown nikon of unknown vintage using an equally unknown lens.

we know basically nothing of the lighting conditions you are shooting under and zero about the camera settings. However we can make some assumptions. The first image looks to be partially lit by your pop up flash, so it's dark out. The second image is super grainy so it is likely dark too and taken with a high ISO setting. While we don't know how much the second is cropped, it appears that you were standing close to the subject, possibly so close that the lens was unable to focus. It certainly doesn't' have focus on the person's hair.

edit: sorry about sounding like a parrot of the other two members, i was distracted by a phone call before clicking submit.

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Jan 22, 2015 11:55 |  #5

First off what quality setting and Iso settings are u using

Canon 6d, 7d2.
Canon 50 1.4, 28mm 2.8 is , 24-85, 24-105, 70-200 f4 is
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Jan 22, 2015 12:07 |  #6

The EXIF is there for the first shot:

Exposure Time 1/125
F Number f / 5.60
Exposure Program Normal program
ISO Speed Ratings 400
Metering Mode Pattern
Flash Flash fired, compulsory flash mode
Focal Length 18mm
White Balance Auto white balance

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Jan 22, 2015 12:19 |  #7

tongard wrote in post #17394849 (external link)
First off what quality setting and Iso settings are u using

I'm bored sitting in a waiting room, here is the exif data


2015:01:13 16:50:00
Canon EOS 450D
Focal Length:
18mm (digital)
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/125s
Ev: 11.9
ISO equiv: 400

Translated EXIF
Scroll Down ↓ ↓ ↓

ApertureValue: 4.970854271356784
ColorSpace: 0
ComponentsConfiguratio​n: YCbCr
CustomRendered: Normal
DateTimeDigitized: 2015:01:13 16:50:00
DateTimeOriginal: 2015:01:13 16:50:00
ExifVersion: 2.2.1
ExposureBiasValue: 0
ExposureMode: Auto
ExposureProgram: Normal
ExposureTime: 0.008
FNumber: 5.6
Flash: On, Fired
FlashPixVersion: 1.0
FocalLength: 18
FocalPlaneResolutionUn​it: Inches
FocalPlaneXResolution: 4865.603773584906
FocalPlaneYResolution: 4876.712121212121
ISOSpeedRatings: 400
LensModel: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM
LensSpecification: 18,55,0,0
MaxApertureValue: 3.625
MeteringMode: Pattern
PixelXDimension: 4272
PixelYDimension: 2848
SceneCaptureType: Standard
ShutterSpeedValue: 6.965783664459162
SubsecTime: 83
SubsecTimeDigitized: 83
SubsecTimeOriginal: 83
WhiteBalance: Auto
DateCreated: 20150113
DigitalCreationDate: 20150113
DigitalCreationTime: 165000
TimeCreated: 165000
Firmware: 1.0.4
FlashCompensation: 0
ImageNumber: 0
LensID: 214
LensInfo: 18,55,0,0
LensModel: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM
SerialNumber: 680270876
(file) DateTime: 2015:01:22 15:21:24
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 450D
Orientation: Up
ResolutionUnit: Inches
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)
XResolution: 240
YResolution: 240
PixelWidth: 1280
PixelHeight: 853
FileSize: 249.302 kB

No data for the hair shot.

The RR tracks actually look okay except for the area that is too close to be in focus.

PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

2 posts
Joined Jan 2015
Jan 22, 2015 14:12 as a reply to  @ Trvlr323's post |  #8

I deleted a bunch of the text by accident. I was comparing to a Nikon D5200. I was taking the pictures with both cameras.
Maybe it's the lens, ill have to try a couple of others. Thanks for the shots and the info

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Post edited over 4 years ago by TeamSpeed.
Jan 23, 2015 05:18 |  #9

It is not just the lens, as others are saying. Make sure you are controlling the AF point, and not using all points. Make sure you also have aperture set to guarantee you have enough depth of field. Good luck!

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Jan 23, 2015 06:14 |  #10

There's also a significant difference in performance between the worst and best version of Canon's eight different EF-S 18-55 mm lenses.


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Jan 23, 2015 06:34 |  #11

The Nikon 5200 is a much more modern camera. It's high ISO performance is going to be much superior to that of the 450D. Unless you are shooting in RAW and really know what you are doing I would not be at all surprised to see the Nikon producing better images, although of course it's always going to be easier to produce the better images with a much more modern camera. When it comes to out of camera JPEGs with no added processing, even in fully auto green box mode the more modern camera will always have the edge, it will be benefiting from both better quality hardware and better quality internal software for generating the final image.


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Jan 23, 2015 07:13 |  #12

There is nothing wrong with the 450D, your image quality concerns are a combination of a wide open kit lens, low lighting, camera settings and technique. I used a Rebel XT and Canon 40D (both of which were released prior to the 450D) for years and I can tell you from experience when starting out with photography it can be surprising how "lackluster" photos look out a of DSLR when your starting out.

Some of it is phones and compact cameras do a lot of stuff on auto for you include increasing the contrast, the saturation and applying a large amount of sharpening so their photos look more vibrant and sharper straight out of camera which sets a level of expectation of what and unprocessed photo should look like. Due to their smaller sensor more of the area is within the depth of field so it is less common to get an out of focus shot vs. a DSLR where your depth of field can be very small as it is in the train tracks shot, it also means more of the frame is visible sharp and in focus by default. Where with a DSLR you have to think about your depth of field and adjusting your aperture and focal length affect it.

The big thing is learning and practice this why people say its the photographer and not the camera. Great tools do not guarantee works of art they just make it a bit easier to get there. Check out understanding exposure and look into a few photo tutorials, try and shoot around f8 on your lens where its going to be sharper(and either up your in camera sharpness or play with adding sharpness in post) and if its still not sharp enough look into the 50mm f1.8 lens that can be found used for around $100 or new for around $130. A great low light lens and when stopped down a bit very sharp for a very reasonable price.

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Jan 23, 2015 08:02 |  #13
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I had an XSi (450D). The IQ difference between the 450D and my current 60D (my guess is even the 7DII) at lower ISO settings would not be visible AT ALL in an 8x10 print. As mentioned, glass, lighting, exposure, and technique matter a lot more than the body used.

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Jan 23, 2015 08:09 as a reply to  @ mrfixitx's post |  #14

The grainy and generally poor results in the example given in the OP can't be blamed on the 450D OR the kit lens. Certainly there are better lenses out there than the early 18-55s, but they're not THAT bad. Just for the heck of it I threw a first generation 18-55 which I had laying around on a 450D body and took these two shots. They're at ISO 400, the first is wide open at 55 mm and the second is wide open at 18 mm, 1/100 and using a bounced flash. I just did my normal quick processing with Lightroom with the default noise reduction settings, and a little bit of sharpening in Photoshop.

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Jan 23, 2015 10:18 |  #15

Also, you need to understand what post-processing is done in-camera and what you need to do yourself. A SOOC jpg can come in different flavors, based on the profile you have selected (including some home-made you may choose to make).

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EOS 450D - Very poor image quality
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