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In-Camera Sharpening

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dougkess, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. I have always sharpened in PP but have lately noticed some EXIFs that have indicated the pictures sharpened in the camera.
    If it would save me a PP step that would be nice but is having the camera do it a good idea?
    Just wondering?
  2. Tosh


    May 6, 2005
    Hi Doug,

    When examining an image with respect to sharpening, you can't always rely on what the exif data indicates. I shoot RAW and have in-camera sharpening set to High. I think that helps me better view the image in the field when using the the camera's LCD monitor. Once I'm home and start processing the image in Capture, I set sharpening to None in Raw Adjustments.
  3. Hi Doug...I always have my set to High knowing that this can be changed in Capture if I don't care for it or it is too sharp.
  4. Glenn-
    Thanks, that was a different take than I expected. But now that you mention it, that is a great idea.
    But is the EXIF data within the photo how it was shot or is it how it ended up?
  5. Catz, I guess this is the moment I should confess that I mostly don't shoot in RAW. It just seemed to create too many PP steps for long shoots.
  6. Doug...I understand. I didn't know that you do long shoots and can understand why you would not like to go the NEF way.
  7. Doug, you will have more options open to you if you shoot in RAW and that is the reason that that most of us do that. Also, if you do shoot in RAW it doesn't matter what you have your camera sharpening set on as the RAW image will not be sharpened in any event. I set my camera on normal sharpening so that the image in my camera LCD will show up better (or more normal). I also don't sharpen in Nikon Capture but rather do my sharpening with Pixel Genius Photoshop Pro II. Others sharpen some in Capture and then do the final sharpening in Photoshop. Whatever you use it is important to not oversharpen. If shooting JPEG, your in camera sharpening will affect the image and then it is even more important to not oversharpen when using USM in Photoshop or some other sharpening program. Personally I like to be in control of the sharpening and not rely on the camera to sharpen for me. Many times I want to leave a subjects skin unsharpened and just apply sharpening to the eyes and mouth.
  8. Gordon, thanks.
    I think I have just gotten lazy over time. I'm going to give RAW another shot.
    I may be the only one here that uses PSP X.
  9. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    In-camera sharpening cannot be undone w/jpgs

    It can only be undone in raw, as this is merely an overlay to the digital negative. If you're shooting jpgs, do a test to see how much you prefer. Usually normal is enough for most ppl, but some, like me, like med high to high w/jpgs.
  10. Thanks, Steve.
    I prefer some sharpening but my wife seems to like the inherent softness of the D70 images.
  11. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Well, if they're shots of her....

    I can understand that, only from the standpoint that more women don't want every single feature, nook and cranny shown, in all their glory. :Curved: When I did some jpg tests with my D70, I absolutely HAD to have it set to High, or I wasn't satisfied with my shots.
  12. Doug,

    Nikon Capture has a batch function. If you're shooting a lot of pictures under the same conditions, you can always process one, save the settings, and apply to all the photos in the directory. Under your tools pull-down, fairly self-explanatory.
  13. Steve, thanks. But do you find it easier to use the in-camera sharpener rather than add this as a step in PP? Or, do you still sharpen more out of the camera?
  14. Yes, Miriam, but this would require that I get Capture. I may be the only one here that hardly uses PS anymore and doesn't own NC. I guess Nikon equipment IS the common denominator here.
  15. Of course, I wasn't thinking. Duh! It is Nikon Cafe, not Nikon and Nikon Capture Cafe.
  16. Perhaps, but I use PSP9. I shoot RAW/JPEG and PP in NC4/PSP9. I do have my sharpening set to high and don't change it in NC. If I were shooting JPEG only, I definitely would set it to high.
  17. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    You've already gotten a bunch of good answers here in this thread, but I'll throw in my $0.02 worth. As others have said, your sharpening settings greatly depend on whether you shoot RAW of JPG. If you shoot RAW, as Steve and others said, your in-camera settings can be changed in PP with no ill effects whatsoever. If you shoot JPG though, your shooting settings are embedded in the .jpg file and are impossible to remove. In this case, it is much better to err on the low side (as Gordon said), and add a little in PP to get the look that you want.

    As to using PSP for PP, until about 4 or 5 months ago, I did the same (I processed over 50,000 shots with PSP). PSP (9.1 in my case) is a pretty good program, and at around $90 to $129 (upgrade versus new) is an excellent bargain. It even comes with a RAW converter for Nikon cameras, so you can shoot RAW and still use PSP. I finally broke down and got PS CS (recently upgraded to CS2). I'll have to say that I'm very satisfied with the improvements in final results, but it's definitely debatable whether these are worth the several hundred $$ difference in most cases.

    One other point. In-camera sharpening is not the best way to get a good looking image. That's why most folks that shoot in RAW set the sharpening to none in PP. USM is a much better way to sharpen since it only accentuates the 'edges' in your image, not every pixel.

    I hope this helps answer your question. :smile:
  18. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    If you can find someone with Photoshop elements 2 0r 3 that they are not using or registered and is willing to give it to you you can up-grade it to CS2 for about 169.....
    I had PSE3 and gave it to Warren because I got it free with my Wacom tablet and did not load or register it.

    As to sharpening.... Yes I would be careful with JPG as Frank mentioned. Tough to remove although it can be done with layers and masks and edge blurring. Don't think you want to fool with that though :>))

    A bird against a light sky will look awful with sharpening to much with the halo it gives. Might on people to.

    Landscapes might be ok. Spot sharpening is an option is some cases.

    PSP is capable of all retouching as is PS. PSP will open and you can render raw with that also. RSE or RSp is not necessary. If you decide to use or try raw. Does a pretty good job to.

    Just enjoy what you do with your hobby. You will find your happy medium.
  19. Wow, just great helpful answers and suggestions here. I have learned more about sharpening and stuff....
  20. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    A free way (I think) to convert RAW to tiff or jpg is NikonView. It's a far throw from Capture or ACR or RSE, but it gives you a first taste in how to work with RAW. Another freebie is RSE (RawShooter Essential) which can be downloaded as well. This already gives quite a lot of options, but it's worth to read through the manual (not too long a read).

    I experimented with nearly all available options and use now ACR, although the workflow of RSE is nice, and it's fast. NC has it's strenght too, but is very slow.

    I found it worth exploring RAW. It gives many more options to fix and improve pictures. If you're in a rush and want to process many pics at once, NC, ACR and RSE have options to adjust a single picture and apply the same settings to all and convert on batch.

    I may be giving the new NC another try, hoping that Nikon improved speed and fixed some bugs.

    It's nice to have many options - at the end you'll choose the one most comfortable for you. By the way, if you try to explore NC, it can be downloaded for a free 1 month trial.
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