I am looking for help on why the IQ is soooo bad in this image. My guess is lens quality (it is a POS, Promaster 70-300) It was shot at 1/1600 at 6.3, 200 ISO and at full 300mm. I cropped off the edges of the shot, but did not blow it up any. This shot was JPeg (large) mode, but I looked at the Raw file, and it looks the same. The only PP was levels, mild sharpening, and a touch of saturation. None of the PP changed the overall IQ of the image.
I am using a Digital Rebel XT. This is not the only shot like this, most of the small objects at the far end of the lens comes out this way. I would expect better quality from a 8 mp camera.
I have a Sigma 80-400 OS on order, I would imagine that it would produce a clearer image than this? I did not use a tripod, but at 1/1600 would it really matter? Also I don't think that the OS (IS) allone would make any difference, would it?