There’s More to Sharp Images Than Just a Good Lens

I mentioned this afternoon that my picture of Hopper with the new camera was so sharp it was almost too sharp. In fact, when I first took the picture last Monday I wondered if there was more than just a high-quality lens at work. Maybe the imaging engine was a little too aggressive on the sharpening front? Today, catblogging reminded me of this and prompted me to find out. I reset the camera to produce both JPG and RAW images and then went outside to take some more pictures of Hopper.

Neither the weather nor the cat were especially cooperative, but I did get some pictures. The best one is below. On the left is the RAW image straight out of the camera. Next is the JPG image straight out of the camera. Finally there’s the RAW image manually sharpened to match the JPG image. As usual, right click if you want to view the images full size.

The RAW image is fine, but the JPG image is obviously sharpened even further. That’s not unusual; the question is how much it’s sharpened. So I manually sharpened the RAW image to try to match the JPG, which would give me a sense of just how much sharpening was going on internal to the camera. Answer: a fair amount.

Not a huge amount, but it’s not a light touch either. I often sharpen images, and I never use as much sharpening as I had to in order to match the camera’s JPG file. I’ve now dialed back the internal sharpening slightly and we’ll see what that looks like. The only other alternative is to shoot in RAW and do all the image processing myself. I’m not up to that yet—at least, not until I get an imaging app that can work easily with the Sony RAW format. There’s nothing very hard about that, but I haven’t done it yet. Maybe later.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate