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Thread: To sharpen or not to sharpen.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default To sharpen or not to sharpen.

    Hello!

    I've been experimenting with my HF100 to get the best possible picture (for film stuff), without wasting pixels. I've discovered that, realistically, there's not much detail difference between 1080p, and 720p, so I'll be using 720p.

    I've set the contrast to -1 on the camera (improves the dynamic range, and helps with highlight blowouts), and also set the sharpness to -1 (reduces that horrible over sharp look consumers like so much).

    Now, I've been extremely impressed at how good these settings look, but I'm unsure whether to apply a tad of sharpening in post or not.

    Here are some comparisons (the pics on the left have no sharpening, the ones on the right do, EXCEPT for the second one down, the one of the dog. I got that one the wrong way around).

    http://www.perks55.plus.com/sharpen_or_not.jpg

    As you can see, at first glance the sharpened pictures look better (well, they do to me at least), but looking closer at the unsharpened ones, the details are just smaller and more subtle, with perhaps less pop. You could say that it's more fine.

    What are your opinions? Do you think it's worth me sharpening, or not?


    Also, what do you think of the picture quality in general?



    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    The sharpening helps especially the image with the flower but again it is probably a matter of taste and you really need to view it yourself and see what looks good and what doesn't. I just got a Canon HF200 on Monday and have been trying it out, when it hasn't been raining... Tuesday, today.

    The shooting is fine but the tiny joystick is a pain, hopefully it will become second nature over the coming weeks. Now just trying to get these mts files sorted into something that can be edited with a proper editor, lots of converters available but I think if you have 100's of clips an NLE that can open mts files is the only way to go. And thanks for the tip about reducing the contrast and sharpness.

  3. #3

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    i prefer the sharpened set .... sorry

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input. My parents, and sister, think that sharpening looks better too, so I think adding a tad of sharpening should suit most situations.


    Nikosony, I use Sony Vegas to edit my mts files. It handles them pretty well, and if you select '8-bit' in the project settings (rather than 32-bit), it further increases the dynamic range of the camcorder. It only expands the highlights though, and does nothing but wash out the blacks, so I just add a levels filter to the master track and clip the blacks by 0.060. Another way to achieve this in other software is add a levels filter, and bring the output white down somewhat. I'm not sure if it'll work in the same way with your HF200, but it should be useful to know.

    Edit: Though, I've just thought that maybe the whites aren't being clipped in 32-bit mode, but just not being displayed on the monitor. Do you think they'd show up on an HD TV? (I don't have access to one to test it myself).

    Another thing I do to improve the HF100's image is to add a colour balance filter, and bring down the blue, and green (though not as much as the blue) a bit, to warm up the image. It's far, far too cool by default for my linking. If you remember the picture I sent you of the comparison between the HF100 and a camera, you can see how blue it is. Adding the colour balance completely removes that bluish tint.
    Last edited by MatthewPerks; 08-13-2009 at 09:01 AM.

  5. #5
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    Personally i think from a consumer point of view only about 1 out of 20 will notice the difference. i think there a lot of detail is required, such as facial detail and hair, the sharper image looks better but for everything else keep it without the sharpening filter as i think it looks more natural to the eye.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips again, it looks like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Elements 7 is the way to go. The sharpening works with some shots but it can add more noise artefacts to other shots. I think it is very much a matter of personal taste, what looks good to one person may not look good to someone else.

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