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Sharpness

Just like tone Canon have implemented sharpness in the 'Parameter Set' concept (similar to the EOS-D30). This allows you to create up to three sets of parameters (via the Camera Settings dialog in the TWAIN software) with differing sharpness settings. Even more interesting is that the EOS-1D's sharpening is implemented in two parts (default sharpness is 0/Standard):

  • Intensity: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Object: Fine, Medium-Fine, Standard, Medium-Rough, Rough

Although it's not documented as such I suspect that the EOS-1D's sharpening is very similar to an 'unsharp mask' which is also always made up of two such parameters. The examples below represent just nine of the thirty possible sharpness combinations.

Settings: ISO 400 / Color matrix: 1 (sRGB)

Sharpness Object: Standard

Intensity: 0, Object: Standard
Intensity: 2, Object: Standard
Intensity: 4, Object: Standard

Sharpness Object: Fine

Intensity: 0, Object: Fine
Intensity: 2, Object: Fine
Intensity: 4, Object: Fine

Sharpness Object: Rough

Intensity: 0, Object: Rough
Intensity: 2, Object: Rough
Intensity: 4, Object: Rough

As you can see the default setting of 0/Standard is particularly soft, this is however in line with Canon's general 'hands off' approach to image capture and sharpening and will lead to to almost no sharpening artifacts (such as jagged lines or white halos around dark detail). I personally preferred the look of 1/Standard which applies a little sharpening but not enough to endanger image quality. Note also that if you increase sharpening you will also enhance the visibility of high ISO noise.

Note that when acquiring RAW files through the TWAIN software you can adjust the sharpness setting at will.


Color Matrix

The EOS-1D's interesting 'Color Matrix' option allows you to not only select between sRGB and Adobe RGB colour spaces but also provides four colour balance choices in the sRGB colour space. These five colour matrix settings equate like this:

Color matrix Color space Balance
1 sRGB Normal
2 sRGB Tuned for portraits (skin tones)
3 sRGB Vivid colour (high saturation - like high chroma slide film)
4 Adobe RGB Normal
5 sRGB Wider gamut (may need colour 'boost' later)

Below you'll find five versions of a Kodak Q-60R1 (IT8.7/2-1993, 1997:01) colour target, the original image was shot as RAW and each of the images below created by changing the colour matrix setting in the TWAIN acquire software. The images below also have the correct colour profile tag embedded in them (from Photoshop). White balance was manually preset.

Settings: ISO 200 / Parameters: Standard

Color matrix 1 (sRGB) Color matrix 2 (sRGB portrait)
Color matrix 3 (sRGB high chroma) Color matrix 4 (Adobe RGB)
 
Color matrix 5 (sRGB wide gamut)  

Shooting in color matrix 3 reminded me most of the EOS-D30 (vivid colour), colour matrix 1 seemed slightly out of balance, strong reds but otherwise neutral colour. The Adobe RGB colour space offered the most accuracy (and of course the widest colour gamut). At this stage I can't decide if I prefer this approach or simply having a separate colour space / colour saturation setting.

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