Why is this photo not sharp ?

Started Jan 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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hoof Senior Member • Posts: 1,796
Re: Why is this photo not sharp ?

Fave Photog wrote:

Also, all cameras that use an anti-aliasing filter (which Nikon does) require sharpening of the image in post-processing, which should be the very LAST step you perform on an image.

Modern AA filters do little to soften the image. That's not the main reason why unsharpened images look soft.

The #1 cause of softness of unsharpened raw images is the bayer pattern. At 1:1, we're looking at pixels 1:1 with the r, g, and b photosites. However, given that each photosite only records one color, the bayer filter has to take information from neighboring photosites to generate a full color pixel. Thus, each pixel actually contains information from five pixels, and when you do this, you make the image much softer. Think of each pixel being smeared into the neighboring pixels, and you can get an idea of why this could soften an image.

Theoretically, if you could get all 3 colors at each photosite, images would be much sharper before sharpening. Supposedly Sigma's DSLRs do this with their "foveon"" technology. However, I suspect their results aren't much better than a good sharpening routine with regular bayer filtration, otherwise we'd all likely be using Sigma DSLRs these days

Higher resolution sensors mitigate this issue for a given print size. This is also why I prefer to look at my photos at 2:1 or lower sizes, it minimizes the bayer filtration softness issues.

Some links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foveon_X3_sensor

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