I keep reading that EOS DSLR's produce soft images...

Started Feb 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP thermal1 Contributing Member • Posts: 770
Re: What is sharpness to you?

ARShutterbug wrote:

You're reading the wrong advice, or you're misreading statements like "For best quality, you need to sharpen your RAW files instead of using in-camera JPEGs!" to mean "The dSLR camera makes soft images." You don't "play around" with RAW files. You stick the RAW files into a converter, apply a development scheme, and press the Batch Process button.

The sharpness of a dSLR with its larger sensor is greater than the sharpness of a compact camera with a small sensor. The larger the recording area, the greater the perceptible depth-of-field. Even with no sharpening applied to counter the anti-aliasing filter on the camera's sensor, a dSLR image will still be sharper than the image from a compact camera that is doing in-camera JPEG processing.

Of course, it depends on how you define sharpness. If "sharpness" means seeing no out-of-focus areas, or applying digital sharpening to such an extent that large halos appear around the objects in the photograph, then you won't like a dSLR. If sharpness instead means being able to make large prints without a noticeable reduction in quality when viewed at an appropriate distance, the 35-mm and larger formats are much better. The difference is also noticeable when dealing with dim lighting conditions in which image noise can become a serious problem for compact camera sensors, because noise steals sharpness from the image.

Thanks for your responses.

I understand the difference between general sharpness and bokeh, and from my SLR days enjoyed using fast primes to narrow the depth of fields.

Since my Canon EOS 10s was stolen (a wonderful camera), I've stuck with compact digitals and have been more or less pleased. But I miss the much broader range of controls and especially the creativity an slr offers.

I've never used RAW in my life and don't want satisfying images to be contingent on a good understanding of it. If that is the case, then perhaps unfortunately as some others have mentioned a DSLR is not for me

As for my concerns over basic DSLR image quality, it's posts like these that give me pause:

"DSLR models vary based mostly on the size of the sensor they possess. The thing to note is that in order to benefit best from the features of the HQ lenses of the L-Series range, you really do need a full-frame camera and as many users will tell you, the DSLRs on the Entry Level Range can consistently produce poor images."


"I was surprised to read the 450D had better sharpness at lower ISO's, the usual complaint is that Nikon images are sharper than Canon images. Nikon sharpens more "in" camera, where as Canon relies more on the software on your computer."


"I know many dSLR users prefer little or no in-camera processing for maximum post-processing flexibility, but it's also nice to get pictures straight out of the camera that require little or no editing. I'd love to hear what sharpness, contrast, saturation, etc settings other folks use to get nice jpgs straight from the camera.

The DC Resource review of the XSi commented on slightly soft jpeg output..."

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