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Canon EOS 80D always slightly "fuzzy" (1 Viewer)


Registered User
United States

I am an avid birdwatcher and photographer for a little over a year now and I have absolutely loved using my Canon EOS 80D for it. I have recently been trying to up my game and increase the quality of my shots by reading guides and tutorials. I have been trying to get better in flight shots with this camera but have struggled becuase most of the Shots come out "fuzzy" or marginally out of focus. I was wondering if maybe I have my settings wrong, chasing the wrong lens, or even shooting the photos wrong. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated! See the attached images for reference. The lens I use for these shots is a Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM.
These are the settings I have been attempting to use:
  • Tv shooting mode at 250mm
  • f/5.6
  • 1/1000 exposure
  • Center-weighted average metering
  • AI Servo AF
  • High Speed Continuous or sometimes Low Speed Continuous Shooting Drive modes
  • Auto ISO
  • Auto (0) Exposure Comp
  • Ambience Priority WB
  • Neutral image effects
  • Large Zone AF
The photos come out in focus, but are weirdly fuzzy around the details. See in the images attached the Osprey's eyes. They're clearly somewhat in focus but not quite there. I checked the Lens and the sensor for any damage or smudges and they're clean. I care for this camera and lens religiously so I am fairly confident it's not that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!


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Does this occur even if stopped down further or In single shot mode? I have a 1D MK3 that does the same with a 70-200 f4, maddening. F8 or greater + higher ISO to compensate is an improvement but not what I'd expect from an L lens. I know the MK3 had this issue. Canon refused to address it to the great consternation of many.
Does this happen also on non-moving objects? Photographing moving objects is difficult - the distance changes quickly, so does the focus and then there is motion blur. But the lens is also not the greatest - so it would be useful to know if this is a moving object problem or not.
Have you calibrated your lens and the body? I had to do this with my 7D many years ago. Canโ€™t remember how, but I found instructions on the net.
I would start by binning large zone af and using just a single point af.
It's not easy and much practise is required. Initially try it out on easy targets like slow moving gulls and see where you end up.
Good luck and do let us know how you get on.
This could be a filter issue. Remove all filters on front of the lens (UV or clear), take some shots without them, and see if that is the problem. A friend of mine had similar fuzzy pics with a UV filter on front of the lens...
I do not shoot Canon, but this looks like the AF has chosen the nearest point of the bird (wingtip) and the depth of field not being large enough to encompass it all (not even the head). Narrower af point, larger F-value etc should all help.
The first images show motion blur plus out of focus. Last image is out of focus.

Assuming you can get good shots of static object:

Lens optics are ok
Try servo mode focus plus burst
Up the ISO
Stop down a bit
Slightly faster shutter speed
Check IS modes on lens, some are not good with panning and may need to be turned off.
Hello everyone! Goodness!! Thank you for all the wealth of advice and tips on how to solve my problem. I truly appreciate it! I have found that indeed my shutter speed was way too low, upping it to 1/8000 (my camera's max) made pictures a lot more sharp! I will have to try the other tips such as removing my UV filter, using servo, and trying without IS.

I will say however, using 1/8000 on Tv has helped a lot (see attached photos)

Thanks a lot again everyone! I love this community <3


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Hi, i use 80D also, it's perfect camera to shoot far objects (pixel density same as 5Ds but fps 3 times faster).
High pixel density helps you to shoot from far & crop the middle (middle part in lenses is most sharp).
About fuzzy: it's related to your AF, your hand shakings & shutter speed.
You don't need to go for 1/2000 to shoot a gull for example. It's slow bird. While faster birds or animals require faster ss.
Example: 1/1000 enought to shoot gulls for me, but 1/1250 perfect to shoot the playing dogs.

Next if you eliminate AF you will get stability and win some speed. Use MF. Simply take a look how much is dof and make a serie of 7-10 shots in MF mode (almost 1.5s).

If you use aperture prio or shutter prio (i recommend shutter prio) modes w/o AF, once you got correct iso, freeze it via * to let your camera brains shoot faster.

Also don't use zooms, try prime lenses, they have best optical params & help you train your legs. Feel free to use retro lenses but consult wiki before (cause there are some radioactive also ๐Ÿ˜).

I shoot for fun only w/ primes and they are all MF. Due no power to optics, 1 battery for 80D it's almost 1300 CR2.
Also low F (=higher values) decrease AF speed if you use AF.
High ISO reduce your camera DD and eat the colors.
1/800 ISO500 have same light that 1/8000 ISO5000 for the same F. But you will get better colors w/ iso500. Also to remove shaking use a monopod, it's pretty good (long which on the ground or make it shorter so it won't touch the ground, add a weight at the bottom and will move mass center to the bottom and you will shake less, but you will almost x2 or x3 your camera weight).

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