What are your sharpening/noise reduction settings?

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A humble question from a jpeg pleb: what sharpening and noise reduction settings do you use for various scenarios? I'm playing around quite a bit and it would be nice to hear what you good people have landed on. Especially interested in those of you shooting animals in jpeg and how you get the best image quality for super fine detail stuff like feathers and fur.

(I use a GX9 and soon a G9 if that matters, so particularly interested in hearing about your settings if you own those cameras.)
 

ex machina

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A humble question from a jpeg pleb: what sharpening and noise reduction settings do you use for various scenarios? I'm playing around quite a bit and it would be nice to hear what you good people have landed on. Especially interested in those of you shooting animals in jpeg and how you get the best image quality for super fine detail stuff like feathers and fur.

(I use a GX9 and soon a G9 if that matters, so particularly interested in hearing about your settings if you own those cameras.)
I'm guessing you mean in-camera sharpening/NR settings?

I shoot exclusively in RAW and fwiw rarely adjust Lightroom's default sharpening and NR, but I do often play with the sharpen mask so as not to apply sharpening to areas that have little detail to sharpen as this seems to reduce objectionable artifacts. When I do feel the need to work with NR I most often find I need to adjust it independently for every photo.
 
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I'm guessing you mean in-camera sharpening/NR settings?

I shoot exclusively in RAW and fwiw rarely adjust Lightroom's default sharpening and NR, but I do often play with the sharpen mask so as not to apply sharpening to areas that have little detail to sharpen as this seems to reduce objectionable artifacts. When I do feel the need to work with NR I most often find I need to adjust it independently for every photo.
In camera, yes. Sorry if that was unclear.

I'm also playing around with DxO Photolab 4 Elite at the moment, there's alot to learnwhen it comes to NR and sharpening...
 

stevedo

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In camera, yes. Sorry if that was unclear.

I'm also playing around with DxO Photolab 4 Elite at the moment, there's alot to learnwhen it comes to NR and sharpening...
Be aware that DeepPrime noise reduction in Photolab 4 Elite ONLY works on RAW files and not jpeg files.
 

RAH

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If you want to use your jpgs, I have always thought that you should shoot them as "plain-vanilla" as possible, to allow you to do editing on them afterward. In other words, generally what the camera defaults to, I should think. Don't do a lot of in-camera sharpening, because then you are stuck with it, IMHO. If you do plain-vanilla, your jpgs can then function as a poor-man's RAW. :)
 
D

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If you want to use your jpgs, I have always thought that you should shoot them as "plain-vanilla" as possible, to allow you to do editing on them afterward. In other words, generally what the camera defaults to, I should think. Don't do a lot of in-camera sharpening, because then you are stuck with it, IMHO. If you do plain-vanilla, your jpgs can then function as a poor-man's RAW. :)
Frankly for several reasons I would not do anything with jpg files once out of the camera. Jpgs are meant for viewing only and not for repeated saving or for postprocessing
 

RAH

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Frankly for several reasons I would not do anything with jpg files once out of the camera. Jpgs are meant for viewing only and not for repeated saving or for postprocessing
Yes, if you are only going to use your jpgs that way, then I guess you should try to fine-tune the camera settings to do whatever processing you want. I kind of thought the OP sounded like he might also want to do editing on them.
 
D

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Yes, if you are only going to use your jpgs that way, then I guess you should try to fine-tune the camera settings to do whatever processing you want. I kind of thought the OP sounded like he might also want to do editing on them.
I do not capture jpgs, except with the cellphone along the RAW. But we do agree
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Contrast -1, sharpness +1, NR 0, Saturation +1. I also modify my highlights -2 and shadows +2. I shoot a lot outdoors, so contrast is not an issue. I think to me, if you apply a lot of the same adjustments in post, you might as well have them done in camera. Just be aware when you change locations (like moving indoors), you make a different jpg profile that accommodates that scene. Make sure your jpg is at the highest quality setting too.
 

PakkyT

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what sharpening and noise reduction settings do you use for various scenarios?
On my E-M1.1...

I shoot RAW+JPG but mostly only download the RAWs and work off those. However, for the noise filter setting, I changed from the default "standard" to instead use "low". Note there is also a "Noise Reduction" setting on Olympus cameras but this is different and is used for long exposures. I assume you mean the noise filter setting which is applies to all JPG files?

For sharpening I use the "Natural" mode and leave it on the default sharpening setting (the Oly allows you then to add to or decrease the sharpening applied in any particular mode).
 

John King

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Like @PakkyT (Patrick), I shoot LSF JPEG + RAW. I use them for different purposes.

LSF because 2.7:1 compression loses (far) less data than 4:1.

aRGB because it retains (far) more colour detail (data) than sRGB.

Sharpening = -2, because in-camera sharpening is too aggressive. I use a small USM in PP to sharpen 'properly'.

Saturation = Natural

Contrast = -1

These settings are for my E-M1 MkII, but slight variations with different bodies.

Almost all images I post here and on my web site are OoC LSF JPEGs with a small USM applied and converted to sRGB for the web.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I think the key here is the OP is using Panasonic, so I'm sure there is some variation in the camera post processing defaults versus Olympus. I should qualify my recommendations are what I use on my G9.
 

John King

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Frankly for several reasons I would not do anything with jpg files once out of the camera. Jpgs are meant for viewing only and not for repeated saving or for postprocessing
Pavel, there is a lot of data in a LSF JPEG (2.7:1 compression). They will actually stand up quite well to some basic editing.

I use RAW files as a starting point for printing, mostly.
 
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Pavel, there is a lot of data in a LSF JPEG (2.7:1 compression). They will actually stand up quite well to some basic editing.

I use RAW files as a starting point for printing, mostly.
John, I went to see your portfolio (briefly for now) and there are many really good photos there- both technically and artistically. I do not like to process JPG, because they are compressed 8 bit files having only 2**8 colours while typical RAW images are 16 bit files having 2**16 colours. That is a HUGE difference and it shows quickly if you attempt to change exposure or contrast. Also, each time you save, you loose further info. I see no benefit at all using JPG files for processing.
 

John King

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John, I went to see your portfolio (briefly for now) and there are many really good photos there- both technically and artistically. I do not like to process JPG, because they are compressed 8 bit files having only 2**8 colours while typical RAW images are 16 bit files having 2**16 colours. That is a HUGE difference and it shows quickly if you attempt to change exposure or contrast. Also, each time you save, you loose further info. I see no benefit at all using JPG files for processing.
Thanks for looking, and your kind comments, Pavel.

Quite a few of my photos are for demonstration use or similar, so have no technical or artistic merit at all. These are usually pretty easy to identify!

As our cameras only do 12 bit, the RAW will have 2^12 = 4096 levels per channel.

I agree that JPEGs will not take an heroic amount of editing, but if a photo needs heroic editing, it means I screwed it up in the camera.

Editing, saving, then re-editing the edited file is never a good idea, whether JPEG or RAW.
 

Bushboy

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I only shoot jpeg, editing them with apple photos app is very easy and improvement is quite noticeable. Some pics take sharpening well and others not so much. There is a definition tool there too, which is worthy sometimes.
The best sharpening I have experienced is 5 HDR RAW shots merged in Affinity, then click on the detail icon for 40% sharpening. It goes from lame, to WoW! With 1 click.
 

Macroramphosis

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I only shoot jpeg, editing them with apple photos app is very easy and improvement is quite noticeable. Some pics take sharpening well and others not so much. There is a definition tool there too, which is worthy sometimes.
I agree with much of what you say - I don't shoot RAW because my computer system (it's not really a system, just a 15" MacBook, :D) is too slow and processing RAW images just takes way too long. So I shoot JPEGs and edit in iPhoto for now, too. If I put Photoshop or Lightroom on my laptop everything slows to a crawl, so the only additional software I use is Aurora occasionally when I am specifically after a particular detail. I don't use it for HDR or any of the special effects.

For the OP's sake, my custom settings on a GX8 are typically: Contrast +1, Sharpening 0, NR 0, and Saturation +1. I typically adjust the light in PP, not so much sharpening and so on. The definition tool is useful but not mandatory.

If I was printing my photos then I would buy a proper computer system, a printer, and some proper glass. And shoot RAW. :) But for internet use and social media it's just not worth the investment from my very limited budget.
 

John King

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@Macroramphosis Roddy, the only point on which I disagree is not shooting RAW. In 10-20 years time the JPEG will still be the same, but processing a RAW in newer software will give a different and superior result.

I am just reprocessing all my Nikon Coolpix E5000 RAWs from ~15 years ago with Photoshop CC. The resulting JPEGs are far superior to those processed from those same RAWs using Photoshop CS2.

The comparison images are here:

https://www.canopuscomputing.com.au/zen2/Photography/Montsalvat_Examples/
 

Bushboy

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I’ve only got the 13” MacBook Roddy.
Best thing I ever did was get a 27” Thunderbolt Display. They are reasonably priced now. And what a difference it made. Especially as I didn’t have the Retina display.
 

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