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08-19-2009, 12:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 82
K-7 video mode and sharpening for pixel-peepers

I was playing with the video settings yesterday and when I got back home and noticed, surprisingly, that setting the sharpness lower than 0 led to a loss of detail in some of the videos.

This goes against everything that you're told about digital images, but video mode is a different monster entirely, what you're dealing with on the K-7 are basically a bunch of low-resolution pictures that have bypassed the anti-aliasing filter due to the way they're sampled (as per falconeye's excellent explanation as to how the K-7's video works).

To me the K-7 produces some of the best looking video around, and I want to know the best settings to use when shooting. So today I took some quick video clips and did nothing but basically move around the sharpness setting in both 1280 (.9) and 1536 (1.6) modes. I extracted individual frames and imported them into Photoshop and saved them as jpeg quality 10 without any other alteration. They are all quick handheld shots and not controlled (I'm not Phil Askey!). All were shot in Natural mode with all settings at default except sharpening. They are in the following album:

K-7 video stills pictures by richtrav - Photobucket

The videos I shot yesterday I did not save, even the still extractions weren't kept, but I did keep the upsampled pictures (all were upressed used bicubic smoother in Photoshop).

K-7 video upsampled pictures by richtrav - Photobucket

It looks like setting sharpness to -4 in 1280 mode causes a loss of detail that doesn't seem to be recoverable. Right now I seem to favor leaving the sharpness set to 0 in 1280 (0.9) mode, maybe -1 if I want it a little smoother but no lower.

The 1536 mode looks more forgiving and a sharpness level of -2 looks like a good compromise of keeping detail while controlling most of the jaggies that affect that mode. Most detail still seems to be there at -2 so you can post-sharpen. Of course to each their own, and I haven't put these up on the TV to see how they look from a distance. For videos I want to post-process I prefer to use 1536 mode, it's more flexible and can be cropped, downsampled, pillarboxed etc in ways that you just can't get away with in 1280 mode.

But for casual shooting the 1280 mode using the standard settings seem fine. If anyone has any other suggestions I'd like to hear them

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