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Old 23-04-2010, 09:44 PM
bloodhound31
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Thumbs down Why are my sharp pictures turning soft?

I have been taking photographs in RAW for a while now and getting wonderful results.

As I get more experienced, I am having to edit/process less and less. Today all my images required very little editing or sharpening, and no cropping so I am very happy.

The problem is that although the RAW looks lovely and sharp, when I convert to JPG, they are all turning soft!

Anyone tell me why this is so?

I am processing in Canon Digital Photo Professional 2.2, which processes the RAW then you can convert and save to JPG.

Baz.
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  #2  
Old 23-04-2010, 10:03 PM
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mswhin63 (Malcolm)
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That is because JPG image save disk space and to do that they take out a lot of image data to compensate. The result is furry images. The only way is to save in TIFF 16 bit as it is uncrompressed but the problem is massive file size not practicle enough for the web.

I have tried other formats yet, I have a pxel converter program and may test various file extension to see which is the best trade off.
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Old 23-04-2010, 10:16 PM
bloodhound31
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Well, other people put JPG's on the web and they look sharp. How do they convert a tack-sharp RAW and keep it sharp as a JPG?

Baz.
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Old 23-04-2010, 11:21 PM
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mithrandir (Andrew)
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You trade off size and compression.

For instance a 968x648 image contains 1/16 of the pixels of a 3872x2592 image (the native resolution of my a200) but is fine or even overkill for most web purposes.

Compressing them both to the same size requires more butchery of the large image than the small. Downsizing the image then compressing the result does less damage than just compressing.

Or at least that's the way it works for me.

You could try PNG, but the images will be bigger.
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Old 24-04-2010, 04:30 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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It's simply a matter of doing a final sharpening (smart sharpen or unsharp mask) AFTER you have resized to 800x600 or so, and before you save for web.
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Old 24-04-2010, 05:56 AM
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troypiggo (Troy)
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Baz, there are different types and uses of sharpening within the image editing process. There's a really good, but really long, sticky thread on POTN about it here. If you're serious about it, I recommend you take the time to read it one day or two.

Is short, they talk about capture sharpening, creative sharpening, and output sharpening.

Capture sharpening is done first, pretty much at RAW conversion stage, and just tightens up the image a little from some of the softness the camera's anti-aliasing filters may have introduced etc. Pretty sure this is the sharpening that DPP does.

Creative sharpening is done during your detailed post-processing. You might spend a bit of extra time sharpening locally a model's eyes for portraits for example. They use edge masks, sharpening layers, and all sorts of tricks for this.

Output sharpening is done last. And I mean last. After you have finished your image editing completely, saved the full sized version, and resized it for web. This is what Mike is talking about above. It's because you lose sharpness every time you resize an image.
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Old 24-04-2010, 10:10 AM
bloodhound31
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Thanks guys, I'll go back to some reading then. It's not simple.

Last edited by bloodhound31; 24-04-2010 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 24-04-2010, 11:28 AM
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Capture and output are the important ones, creative to a lesser extent while you're learning.
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