In-Camera Sharpening - Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cooter, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Cooter

    Cooter Guest

    I'd be interested in other opinions as to whether it is better to use
    in-camera sharpening, or turn sharpening off and use an external editing
    Cooter, Jul 14, 2003
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  2. Cooter

    Matti Vuori Guest

    Other options than what?

    If you always postprocess the images, turn in-camera sharpening off,
    * Sharpening should always be the last step in image correction
    * You have more control over the process
    * Softer images compress better in camera, thus giving you better quality
    (the results depend on the camera model used)
    Matti Vuori, Jul 14, 2003
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  3. Cooter

    Chuck Gadd Guest

    I always set the camera to soft, and do all sharpening on my PC.

    One example where this is VERY important is when I'm taking pictures
    at my son's baseball games. On most fields, there is a chain-link
    fence visible in the pictures of the batters. If I sharpen the
    entire picture, the sharpened chain link fence detracts from the
    picture. I use the editing programs to only sharpen around the

    Chuck Gadd
    Chuck Gadd, Jul 14, 2003
  4. Cooter

    JPS Guest

    In message <YaAQa.273868$>,
    Sharpening increases contrast, pixel to pixel. If you sharpen something
    too much, and then do any color balancing or levels changes, you will
    stand the chance of clipping pixels, or losing them in the shadows. If
    you do any perspective or lens corrections on an image, the sharpening
    radius will vary throughout the image. If you resize the image, the
    sharpening will change.

    Sharpening is really something that should be fine-tuned to the medium
    and resolution in which something is displayed. Generally speaking, it
    is better to leave the image camera-soft, and only sharpen when you make
    a file for display, or you go to print.
    JPS, Jul 16, 2003
  5. Cooter

    Rafe B. Guest

    I agree with all of the responses offered so far.

    Sharpening pushes tones toward the extremes,
    so risks loss of information.

    Sharpening should be done at the final resolution
    of the image, whether it be for print or for display.
    In general, sharpening is the last step in image-
    editing, and ideally one should "reserve" some
    tonal range for that step.

    If you sharpen in-camera, you limit future uses of
    the same image.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Jul 16, 2003
  6. Cooter

    Paul H. Guest

    I agree completely, particularly with the "loss of information" statement:
    once information is gone, all the Photoshop skills in the world ain't gonna
    bring it back. Sharpen pictures outside the camera, as needed.

    Sadly, I think in-camera sharpening is pushed more by marketing than by
    necessity and I wish camera manufacturers would allow users even more
    latitude in choosing what kind and degree of in-camera processing to be
    employed, even for non-DSLR, mid-priced cameras. I still have and
    occasionally use an old C-2500L and Olympus nearly ruined the camera's
    output by insisting upon a hard-edged contrast enhancement scheme in the
    camera's software.
    Paul H., Jul 16, 2003
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