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Old Aug 6, 2002, 4:19 PM   #1
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Default In-Camera Sharpening with JPEGs

It seems that the conventional wisedom regarding sharpening is to do as much of this as possible with software, rather than in-camera. This made sense to me until I thought about it a bit more deeply.

I have few doubts that this approach is the best when working with images saved in the raw format, or TIFF, but have started to question whether this is still the best approach when the camera is going to be saving images in the jpeg format.

The problem I see is that if you sharpen a jpeg image you are sharpening the jpeg ARTIFACTS in addtion to the actual image features. It seems that if you have the camera do a fair amount of sharpening BEFORE jpeg compression, you may actually be better off, even if the sharpening algorithm isn't as good as could be done in software.

I am really interested in people's experiences with this.

Thanks in advance.
Judd
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Old Aug 7, 2002, 8:20 AM   #2
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Most likely that will depend on the specific camera. Just do a few test shots both ways of something with high contrast, e.g., black roof line against a uniform sky.
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Old Aug 23, 2002, 4:23 PM   #3
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This doesn't really address your question, but although I always shoot in either the highest or second highest quality jpeg format and at the 'softest' sharpness setting, I also, once the picture file is on my computer hard drive (and if it's a picture I like) immediately convert it to TIFF. Then I do all further manipulation in TIFF, with sharpening being the last step. I find the result satisfactory & generally better than if I'd used the camera at the 'sharpest' setting.

All the same, the question's got me curious - I'm going to shoot a few in TIFF in the first place and see if I can detect any improvement.
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Old Oct 1, 2002, 6:23 AM   #4
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I've left the automatic sharpening on with my 4500 and I'm pleased with the results. I've not found TIF a workable option with the camera as it takes too long to save the image on the card.
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Old Oct 8, 2002, 7:09 AM   #5
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I think I'm beginning to change my mind on this.

I've been doing some experimental shots where I've changed two options - Image Adjustment and Image Sharpening from Auto to Normal. The subject was a flock of waders (Golden Plover) on the lagoons at my local nature reserve. They were too distant to get a lot of detail in the shot (even through the telescope), but what I was mainly trying to convey was the idea of the richness of the bird life at the reserve.

The Golden Plover have a rather "golden and white" head pattern and to my eye there is a difference between photographs using camera sharpening and not. Camera sharpening results in the birds heads looking "blotchy" as the golden head pattern doesn't blend into the white, it looks too sharply demarked. In fact the whole flock looked like blotchy clones in some adjusted shots.

I think I'll work with these "softer" settings for a while and see how I get on.
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