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10-13-2015, 08:52 AM   #1
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Custom settings: Sharpening.

In the custom settings (K-50), in regards to the "sharpening" setting, does it introduce noise, much like too much unsharpmask does in PP?

10-13-2015, 09:04 AM   #2
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Digital sharpening makes edges more contrasty. This may include artifacts and digital noise. And yes, adding too much sharpening can make a photo look terrible. Usually the default sharpening settings for jpeg are enough, some people like to add just a smidgen. You can also choose between regular and fine sharpening, which affects the radious of the sharpened edges. For some applications, one is better than the other, but its hard to say. You kind of have to develop a taste. Of course, many viewers probably won't see a difference between the two, especially if you show them resized images (via email, facebook,..)

The only time you should really add sharpening to the jpeg mode is if you wish to make a print out of that photo.

Are the sharpening algorithms in-camera and in computer PP the same? Maybe. Probably not. Difficult to say which is better. On computer you have more control, which is important to photographers; but in-camera is faster and usually good enough. Keep in mind, the in-camera sharpening only affects jpegs, not raw (dng, pef) files.
10-13-2015, 10:20 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Digital sharpening makes edges more contrasty. This may include artifacts and digital noise. And yes, adding too much sharpening can make a photo look terrible. Usually the default sharpening settings for jpeg are enough, some people like to add just a smidgen. You can also choose between regular and fine sharpening, which affects the radious of the sharpened edges. For some applications, one is better than the other, but its hard to say. You kind of have to develop a taste. Of course, many viewers probably won't see a difference between the two, especially if you show them resized images (via email, facebook,..)

The only time you should really add sharpening to the jpeg mode is if you wish to make a print out of that photo.

Are the sharpening algorithms in-camera and in computer PP the same? Maybe. Probably not. Difficult to say which is better. On computer you have more control, which is important to photographers; but in-camera is faster and usually good enough. Keep in mind, the in-camera sharpening only affects jpegs, not raw (dng, pef) files.

Thank you for your reply and the information provided. I only shoot jpeg, but have often wondered about the in-camera sharpening feature. Personally, I can't tell much difference, if any between factory the setting (mid-range on the slider) and full-on sharpening (far right on the slider.)
10-13-2015, 11:32 AM   #4
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There was an enlightening discussion of this 5 years ago on the DPreview Pentax forum, with regard to sharpening in the K7 and K5. It is still relevant.

10-13-2015, 11:53 AM   #5
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In my opinion it's best to leave in-camera sharpening alone or move the slider all the way to the left, and sharpen in post if needed. This will reduce the risk of over-sharpening, though it's certainly not as big of an issue on the K-50 as it would be on a camera without an AA filter. On the K-50 I would just leave the slider in the middle unless you see something like what's shown below.

Here's what can happen if you over-sharpen (this is taken from our K-S2 review):

Over-sharpened JPEG:


Properly-sharpened RAW:

Adam
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10-13-2015, 12:08 PM   #6
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Adam, were those tests only done with normal sharpening? I find that Fine +2 produces pretty good results. Extra fine is a bit too much though.
I'm not sure what good -4 sharpening and then doing it in post would do to JPEGs.

Last edited by Giklab; 10-13-2015 at 12:22 PM.
10-13-2015, 01:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
I'm not sure what good -4 sharpening and then doing it in post would do to JPEGs.
lol that wouldn't be good, because doing any kind of edits on a jpeg affects its quality negatively (or at least increases file size a lot). The idea is to shoot raw (which has no digital sharpness added) and then post process to add just the right kind and amount of digital sharpness.
10-14-2015, 07:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
I'm not sure what good -4 sharpening and then doing it in post would do to JPEGs.
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
lol that wouldn't be good, because doing any kind of edits on a jpeg affects its quality negatively (or at least increases file size a lot). The idea is to shoot raw (which has no digital sharpness added) and then post process to add just the right kind and amount of digital sharpness.
I disagree here. I'm a jpg shooter, and always set up my Pentax DSLRs so in-camera sharpening is at the lowest value. I then use Topaz InFocus to sharpen in post. The difference is that in-camera sharpening is accomplished by local contrast enhancement while with Topaz InFocus, you can choose between deconvolution, local contrast enhancement, and the addition of microcontrast, or any combination to achieve the effect you want. Personally, I use deconvolution and micro contrast, and rarely use local contrast enhancement because the latter usually accentuates either halos (on darker subjects with lighter backgrounds) or dark outlines (on lighter subjects with light or medium backgrounds) which are not accurate renderings of the subject matter in the image. This is true both with regular sharpening and fine sharpening for in-camera processing.

It took me a while to realize that the scale used for in-camera sharpening is not really intuitive. The negative half of the slider still represents the addition of local contrast enhancement, and the 0 point is actually the midpoint in amount of sharpening being added, so (-4) is actually at least close to zero sharpening added when the jpg is processed. This gives me a good starting point image with lowest noise for any given ISO, but still retaining detail that can be brought out in PP. It should be mentioned that I almost always use Topaz DeNoise before applying any sharpening in PP to eliminate accentuating noise artifacts with the sharpening, which is a major advantage of sharpening in post only.

Scott

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