FZ200: Silkypix RAW and Standard JPG comparison

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: FZ200: Silkypix RAW and Standard JPG comparison

dpfan32 wrote:

But for landscape fotos the SilkyPix 5 results are too smooth for my taste. Branches are smeared away where in the JPEG version the branches are visible, yes with more artifacts but visible.

Silkypix has many controls for applying NR and sharpness.  The two sets are related, as with any RAW development program.  For example, reducing noise allows more sharpening without noise becoming apparent in plain tone/colour areas such as skies or skin.  But too much NR can also destroy edge definition so that sharpening can't be so effectively applied.

I find it possible to get a very good balance of noise reduction & sharpening with Silkypix, particularly from well-exposed 100ISO images.  The default Silkypix development for 100ISO images is a little too soft for detailed landscapes, as you note, but detail is not "smeared away"; rather it is waiting to be revealed by NR/sharpening tweaks.

You can do two things in Silkypix, then, to increase the acuity of landscape images:

  1. Reduce the NR a little bit to leave more of the fine-grained luminance noise (but not the colour noise).
  2. Increase the sharpening to delineate edges (but not luminance noise) more.

You need to do both so that you avoid too much obvious noise but make the details stand out. My own preferences are to:

  • Increase demosaic sharpening by 20 - 25% to somewhere between 90 - 100% (the Silkypix default for 100ISO images seems to be 72%).
  •  Increase the sharpening slider "outline emphasis" by 5 - 10% above the Silkypix default (which seems to be 25% for 100ISO images).
  •  Decrease the "noise reduction" slider by about 5% below the Silkypix default.
  • Increase the "neat noise" slider by a few points to help rid skies and other plain-tone/colour areas of any increased luminance noise showing as a result of applying more sharpening.

This seems to provide the basis for an output 16bit TIFF that needs no further NR but can take more sharpening in Photoshop.  In Photoshop I use one or more low-value high-pass-filter based actions (depending on the subject of the image) to increase edge sharpness without increasing noise in those skies et al.

OK SIlkyPix makes reveals more shadow and highlight details, but I could live without that.

That's exactly what I can't live without, especially with FZ200 landscape images, which often need to be underexposed to avoid highlight blowout. As an underexposed 16bit RAW file they can be "lifted" to proper exposure in Silkypix without the lightened shadows being "flat" or too noisy, which is often difficult or impossible to do with 8bit camera jpegs.

If someone tells me how to sharpen the RAWs to look sharp like the JPEGs I would try that too.

See above as a starting point, but.... a post by Mr Levine revealed that the best demosaicing engine seems to be that of the FZ200 camera-jpeg engine.  It does better than both Silkypix and AdobeCameraRaw at extracting the finest detail without colour-bleed of the edges. But see below...

All the other N and S Settings I left on 0!

No more experiments for me. Turning down sharpness makes photos too soft, even with iResolution on, which only causes ugly artifacts.

Turning down Noise reduction makes on the sky some kind of ugly posterization effect.

Even with NR and sharpening in the camera turned down to -2 (the best setting for avoiding NR smears and sharpening artefacts) there is a slight risk (and it is slight) that smearing will occur in the very finest landscape furze.  But the camera jpegs can also be sharpened effectively in either Silkypix or Photoshop.

I'm puzzled that you think turning down NR in the camera gives jpegs with posterisation effects.  Are you sure this is not due to your editing of them?

The risk with jpegs is always the same - get the camera settings wrong and you will have an image file that may be too far from good-enough-to-fix without posterisation, noisy shadows, weird white balance and other editing effects.


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