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Old Oct 20, 2009, 11:29 PM   #11
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OK, if these photos are not very sharp, what does VERY SHARP really look like? well take a look at this photo. LittleJohn will love this photo! This photo was taken with the Olympus E-620, using a very special professional quality lens: the Zukio 50-200mm lens!

This, indeed, is what a really sharp photo looks like.

Have agreat day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 1:37 AM   #12
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OK, if these photos are not very sharp, what does VERY SHARP really look like? well take a look at this photo. LittleJohn will love this photo! This photo was taken with the Olympus E-620, using a very special professional quality lens: the Zukio 50-200mm lens!

This, indeed, is what a really sharp photo looks like.

Have agreat day.

Sarah Joyce

Yer right!!! sharp it is...
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 2:31 AM   #13
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I've raised this before but there is no possible way to show sharpness without posting a 100% crop. It is very easy to make almost any photo look sharp when it is reduced to this sort of size, also a sharp photo can become soft in the process of resizing so again not an accurate method.

Another thing for everyone to consider is that different cameras have differing levels of sharpening. I believe as standard the Olys have more in camera sharpness due to its settings.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 2:53 AM   #14
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Not to mention different success with sharpening. If I dial in a lot of sharpening with my Sony A200 then high contrast edges get strong ghosts. I swear that DSLR shopping is brain damaging!

Kelly Cook
warning: this post is unfocused and untargeted
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 3:04 AM   #15
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Not to mention different success with sharpening. If I dial in a lot of sharpening with my Sony A200 then high contrast edges get strong ghosts. I swear that DSLR shopping is brain damaging!

Kelly Cook
warning: this post is unfocused and untargeted

LOL..Kelly that was good..add wallet lightening as well
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 9:09 AM   #16
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Mark-

I happen to agree with you. So as requested here is a 100% crop of the same photo.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 12:41 PM   #17
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SWEET, Sarah, that IS sharp...thanks for posting! Now, one question, just how much IS that lens?! How sharp is the kit lens compared to the Tamron? and Kelly, I sooooo agree with you!

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Old Oct 21, 2009, 1:00 PM   #18
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SWEET, Sarah, that IS sharp...thanks for posting! Now, one question, just how much IS that lens?! How sharp is the kit lens compared to the Tamron? and Kelly, I sooooo agree with you!
I think we are talking partly a good lens and partly a lot of PP either in camera or with software. You can see the telltale signs of this above the arm or the glasses.

I personally shoot with sharpness in camera pretty low so it keeps noise down and then can do what I like after. To me this is over sharp and unnatural looking.

Sharpness and clarity/image quality/resolution are not the same thing.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 1:02 PM   #19
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OK. Since we're in the world of DSLRs and not point-and-shoots, the criteria for making assessments on focus accuracy, sharpness etc goes up. In the point-and-shoot world it's OK to keep things simple - but that's simply not the case in DSLRs. Why? because a DSLR is NOT, repeat, NOT a point and shoot camera.

Let's take sharpness. Sharpness is a factor of several things. And, it's important that if you're going to look at sharpness in DSLRs you look past the point-and-shoot method. Because there are several factors involved.

First - image sensor of the camera. This affects overall image quality - there are a few exceptions but in reality almost every DSLR on the market today is capable of sharp photos in good conditions. There really is no advantage of one camera/system over the other for sharpness.

Second - image processing. Here's where differences start to emerge. Each system, and even within system there is variability on how default processing settings are applied. Some DSLRs default to little image sharpening and some default to more. It's SOFTWARE. And, most importantly, it's completey adjustable. So, when you only use the camera as a point-and-shoot you are often judging sharpness on what those default settings are. There are a number of photographers that although they prefer sharp images they prefer to apply sharpening in post processing rather than in camera. Others don't want to be bothered. So, bottom line - sharpning is adjustable.

JPEG Conversion - here is yet more processing and this isn't completely controllable. DSLRs have the capability to save in different file formats. A Raw file format has little to no processing applied (although some companies still apply SOME processing). When you choose JPEG realize that there is definintely processing done. ANd you don't have a lot of control over all of it. Yes you can tweak sharpness and saturation and such but there is still a base amount of processing that takes place. That processing differs from brand to brand and even camera to camera. When you read reviews you may see a camera has poor jpeg image quality but average or good RAW quality. What this tells you is the default processing applied during JPEG conversion doesn't produce the best results.

Lens: In the DSLR world, without a single doubt, the lens used has more to do with sharpness than anything else. PERIOD. The XSi with Canon 300mm 2.8 lens or 85mm 1.2 lens is going to produce sharper images than a 1d (pro camera) with 75-300mm lens. Additionally, when using zoom lenses - especially consumer level zooms - lenses tend to have the worst performance with wide open apertures. They also have worst performance at widest and longest zoom. So again, you have to be careful in judging sharpness the CAMERA is capable of - especially comparatively against other cameras.

Focus Accuracy - this plays a big part too. On one hand, it's the camera's responsibility to focus accurately. And there are certainly cameras that focus more accurately than others. And, even within a given camera it's possible a copy could have front/back focus issues. BUT, focus accuracy is also driven by factors outside the camera's control. First is how easy the subject is to focus on (i.e. is it a good contrasty subject in good lighting). Second, did the photographer do their job and get the focus point on a good contrast area of the subject. I've seen a number of supposed test shots by reviewers that were soft and I attribute a number of them to images that just weren't focused accurately. Can't say whether that's the camera or operator's fault. But guess what? No camera on the market takes perfectly focused shots every time. So you have to be careful about making a snap judgement on a single shot.

DOF - this is another big factor. DOF refers to how much in front of or behind the point of focus is in focus. More dof and there's more the appearance of sharpess. More DOF and focus innacuracies are more hidden. NOw, I mentioned before that most lenses are at their weakest when they are wide open (largest aperture) - that's also when that lens at that distance from subject will have the shallowest DOF. So, you have to be careful again on judging sharpness of a camera without taking into account DOF.

It's certainly useful to discuss sharpness, distortion, and other quality issues when discussing various kit lenses. But I would never recommend making decisions on a DSLR body's ability to produce sharp photos based on jpeg images using default settings and a handful of snapshots with a kit lens. Doing that, I would argue any DSLR on the market - if the lens used was comparable - would produce the same level of sharpness.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 1:14 PM   #20
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I think we are talking partly a good lens and partly a lot of PP either in camera or with software. You can see the telltale signs of this above the arm or the glasses.

I personally shoot with sharpness in camera pretty low so it keeps noise down and then can do what I like after. To me this is over sharp and unnatural looking.

Sharpness and clarity/image quality/resolution are not the same thing.
yes, but in the amateur eyes, can we really tell the difference? All I know is I look at a photo and think it looks good--I would say "crisp." Things can be too sharp, for sure, if overprocessed...but that seems more rare to me than not sharp enough. My idea of "good" isn't always consistent with the reviewers who say "this image shows more detail and is obviously better than that one"...
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