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Are my photos out of focus, or is it just me?


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Hi everyone,

I am not a newbie to photography or digital cameras, and I have some experience with DSLR's, but I am new to Sony and mirrorless cameras. I recently purchased an a6000 and I love it, but I don't feel that I am necessarily getting the best images when using the autofocus. I have looked on YouTube and other forums, and although they have been helpful, I'm still unsure whether my shots are out of focus, or if I'm overthinking it and they actually are in focus. Please help and thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The focus seems fine, in my opinion, but the resolution seems low.  I am not familiar with the a6000, but you may want to check the picture quality setting and also do some experiments with how you compress them for display here.

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I see the slight ‘softness’ in the focus that you are concerned by. I too started with the a6000 on moving to Sony mirrorless and had much the same experience as you. Looking back, I am convinced that the issue is actually lens quality rather than just not focussing correctly. I ‘went through’ a number of reportedly better lenses (with varying results) but have settled very happily into the excellent Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f4 OSS lens as my everyday ‘go-to’ lens which delivers photos up to my expectation. If you can hire one to try this might prove (or disprove!) my reply at little cost to you. 

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    • Hi Pieter, Not yet. I've thought about that, to use a tripod. But I've no time to try that yet. I'll try it this weekend and let you know.  Thanks!
    • Did you try manually focussing at 135mm, camera on tripod / solid ground, delayed release? If you can get sharp pictures that way, at least you know the optics are fine.
    • I don't know how those cameras would fare as aviation cameras - either of them are far beyond my scope of purchase - but people have been taking pictures of planes and other man-made flying objects well, as long as they have been around.  Unless the aircraft is flying straight at you or flying perpendicularly away from you, the AF lagging behind the shutter should not be an issue and in almost all cases you would be shooting at infinity so internal lens movements to acquire focus should be at a minimum.  If you are expecting to crop a lot, I guess a camera with higher resolution would be better for you but that also depends on what you are going to do with the image.  If you are going to be printing large mural sized prints, higher resolution image would be better but if you are going to print at or below 11x17 or not print at all, even a cropped image from my A7II will be good enough on any consumer grade monitors on the market.  I have seen images printed from the first generation Olympus OM-D E-M5 (16MP) at 11x17 and they were excellent.
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