suggestions on E-M1 output sharpening?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by brickftl, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. brickftl

    brickftl New to Mu-43

    Sep 17, 2015
    Real Name:
    Irwin Fayne
    I've got an E-M1 and various lenses, the most used of which are the Panny 7-14 and 35-100. My images look fine in Photoshop on my calibrated 30" Dell monitor, but when I reduce size and convert to sRGB for posting on DPR or my Smugmug account, they just look soft/muddy. On the other hand, many images I've seen on this website - such as in the E-M1 image thread - look absolutely stunning. I'd appreciate any tips you can provide on output sharpening for web viewing. Also, is it just an inherent limitation on certain websites that images posted to them are going to look softer than they really are?
  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    It depends a little on what ISO the pictures are taken at, for low ISO work for web use I use high pass sharpening and for high ISO... well it depends on the shot - I often don't sharpen at all and rely on downsizing with the correct algorithm to do the job.

    High pass sharpening is making a stamp of the entire picture (CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + N then E) -> filters -> other -> high pass at 2-4 pixels (depending on the shot and noise, generally 3-4 as it can be turned down) -> set the layer to pin light for very low, soft light for normalish sharpening, overlay for medium, hard light for high, and hard mix never (soft light with 30-50% opacity is normally what I use) -> lower the opacity until the desired sharpening level.
    Doesn't work for all types of files however it's generally reasonable as a starting point for me due to how well it can be tuned. If you don't mind the RAM usage hit make the layer a smart object before you apply the filter so you can go back and change the high pass at a later stage.
  3. Fred S

    Fred S Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    Real Name:
    Fred S
    I am not sure how you are re sizing your Photoshop images
    But I get better results using resize rather than Save for Web
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Photoshop allows you to choose different sampling methods when resizing an image. There is also the possibility that further resampling or compression is being applied to the images when they uploaded to those particular sites.
  5. panonski

    panonski Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2014
    if you save your files at jpeg save them with sharpness one step down, not up. specially if you work on higher ISO rates, because sharpennig "eroding" pixels, and it's better to save jpeg files with little bit less such "erosion".

    Also is for contrast. If you somehow feel like you would have less better JPEG, it usually not correct.

    For information, if the full frame files are some point of start, when we are talking about good looking pics, then you should know this is because full frame have larger pixels, and because of that pics are more "creamy", and files from m43 system are sharpner then them.

    In post procesing you can always set that file to more sharpness.
  6. brickftl

    brickftl New to Mu-43

    Sep 17, 2015
    Real Name:
    Irwin Fayne
    Interesting, I hadn't thought of Hipas sharpening. I suppose I could do that in a smart layer, and then apply the effect selectively with masking. When reducing images for web posting, do you think I should use the Photoshop algorithm - I think it's bicubic sharper?
  7. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Depends on the noise, for noisy images I lean towards bicubic smoother (technically meant for enlargement) or normal bicubic as they tend to ignore hotter pixels and result in smoother outputs. If you sharpen before reducing in size it can make noise worse, so using smoother and then sharpening can reduce noise compared with sharpening before reduction. (if using hipass generally use a lower pixel amount, 1-3 to your own taste).

    For clean files I use bicubic sharper however as it does result in higher overall sharpness.
  8. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Real Name:
    I took a look at your photos on Smugmug (which to my knowledge does not degrade your IQ when you upload them and they resize for different sizes) and I'm not seeing the soft/muddy that you mention. There are websites like Flickr that alter there algorithms for downsizing photos for viewing purposes, that does degrade the image quality.
  9. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I agree - your shots are amazing and sharp! Do they print as sharp as you like?