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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> A thought about sharpening.....
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07/29/2008 11:55:19 AM · #1
I got to thinking this morning about in camera sharpening....

Assuming overall sharpness with low grain are the two main factors to consider. Which do you think would result in a better image?

A.) No in camera sharpening but more USM in post processing

B.) Medium sharpening in camera and medium USM in post production

C.) Full in camera sharpening and less USM in post production

Any thoughts?
07/29/2008 11:58:57 AM · #2
Like all questions about sharpening, I think the answer is dependent on the image content. For example, I think the answer would be different for a shot of a foggy landscape than for a suspension bridge.

Mostly, I avoid in-camera "effects" of all kinds, because there's little adjustment or control, and absolutely no way to compare the "before" and "after" versions.

ETA: Why don't you conduct some experiments and post the results for us? Pick three or four types of scenes, then shoot each with the same settings except for various sharpening, then post with and without additional USM. Write it up for the site and get a free month's membership (extension). :-)

Message edited by author 2008-07-29 12:00:59.
07/29/2008 12:17:02 PM · #3
From personal trial & error, I have found in-camera sharpening less than desirable if the image is to be post-processed.
In-camera sharpening seems to leave a lot of "speckles" or as I call it, salt & pepper pixels. I have come to believe that in-camera sharpening (and other enhancements) were designed for printing right out of the camera.
Sharpening in post-processing is far more controllable in my opinion, as once the original pixels have been affected (jpeg), there is no un-doing it, unless shot in RAW, at which point in the conversion, as can be un-done in Canon's DPP, using the tool palette. I found this out quite by accident after a bunch of shots all seemed to have the speckles after a batch conversion, dumped em, then prior to conversion, put all the shots back to no in-camera tweaks, the re-batched in neutral.
Not sure if this is a Canon thing, or all makes have this anomaly.
07/29/2008 12:23:41 PM · #4
Originally posted by Brad:


Not sure if this is a Canon thing, or all makes have this anomaly.


I am not sure why you'd call it an "anomaly". Canon's RAW converter (and others I have used) default to display at the as-shot parameters. So if your camera was set at high sharpening, your displayed-by-default RAW file will use that sharpening, and you can revert it in the RAW menu (as you found out). Are we talking about the same thing?

R.
07/29/2008 12:27:05 PM · #5
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Are we talking about the same thing?

The anomaly I was referring to was the effect of the in-camera sharpening speckles seen after converting.
DPP uses the in-camera settings and displays them as such, yes, and they can be un-done if desired. Gotta love RAW.
07/29/2008 12:29:27 PM · #6
Only one reason to do in-camera sharpening: it's quicker.

Other than that, it's better (more controllable etc.) on a computer, especially if you have the right tools like photoshop. By the way, sharpening is usually what you want to do last, once you've made whatever other change you want to make.
07/29/2008 12:29:31 PM · #7
Yeah I'm going to take some time this week and do a write up for this. I will post the results here as well as a tutorial.
07/29/2008 11:17:22 PM · #8
This is wonderful timing! I'm wondering the very same thing as I'm having a bit of a softness issue with a new lens that has it's share of rave reviews. I don't use DPP at all, so would the in-camera sharpening still remain when opened in Lightroom or Photoshop?
07/29/2008 11:51:57 PM · #9
Originally posted by Artphotogster:

would the in-camera sharpening still remain when opened in Lightroom or Photoshop?


In camera sharpening is not applied to the raw image data. DPP "emulates" it by knowing what your in-camera settings were. Lightroom and Photoshop's ACR are camera-agnostic and don't know what your in-camera settings were (other than white balance). So any sharpening you want needs to be done there. That's a good thing though... it gives you complete control over what gets sharpened and what doesn't and by how much.

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