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Photography Question 
Rom A.G.

Image Sharpness

I took 3 photos as a test. On 1st image, sharpness was set to +2; for 2nd, it was 0; and for 3rd, it was -2.
The -2 pic was blurry and seemed out of focus, it was also the smallest in size. Thus, is it a good idea to always leave sharpness at +2, or is there such a thing as too much sharpness? (Same for contrast, is +2 too much?) I guess anything that increases a pic's size is good; setting to 8mp instead of 6mp or 4mp, and fine instead of normal or economy(smallest size). Thanks

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7/16/2008 6:30:20 PM

David Van Camp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2008
  I assume you are talking about in-camera settings? If so... Generally speaking, any in-camera sharpness settings can be equally or better achieved in software after downloading to your computer. Further, any sharpening done in-camera cannot be "undone" ... which is to say, if you've lost image quality, you've lost it forever. If you use a minimal sharpening setting in camera, you can always tweak the sharpening values later ... as long as you don't delete the original image, at least!
The same is true for all other in-camera image enhancement options (saturation, etc.). That's why so many people here shoot Raw ... it leaves the maximum possible of all image processing options up to you to do later after downloading to your computer.
Straight out of the camera, unprocessed images don't look very impressive. However, with good understanding on how to process photos manually using good software (such as PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro, etc,) you can actually achieve much better final results (with some work) by shooting with minimal in-camera processing. The question is: Do you want to do that work? Or, would you prefer to just use straight out of the camera images? If the latter, use heavy in-camera processing settings. If the former, shoot "flat" (as few in-camera settings as possible) and process later on your PC.

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7/16/2008 9:23:36 PM

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