My first prints from my GH5 are a disaster! Where am I going wrong?

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C Sean Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
My first prints from my GH5 are a disaster! Where am I going wrong?

I'm very new when it comes to developing my raw files to JPEG. It's only in the last year or so I been shooting less JPEG and spending more time developing raw files. While I wouldn't call myself a newbie but in reality I'm more in the experimenting stage and gaining confident. More time I spend in Lightroom, better the results will become.

In the last twelve months I also have an interest in printing. I would rather have my best holiday photos in books and assessable rather than locked away on a hard drive. I had my photos from the trips to Botswana and Kenya printed into three books and the results were a mix bag. The pictures lacked definition and sharpness. The later attempts I increased the contrast and sharpness and the results weren't improved that much. The pictures were acceptable and because it wildlife shots, they weren't that bad but they weren't clean. They were graining, lack sharpness and definition.

What I was doing was going to Lightroom and exporting the pictures to be printed on shiny thick paper. I then use the Jessops Photo program to create book using the exported pictures.

A few weeks ago I went to Goodwood Revival which is a car show with vintage car racing. I used the GH5 for most of my shots and it has a 20-megapixel sensor and no AA filter. So the pictures from the camera will be sharper than say the GH4. My shots from the GH5 at a zoo are sharper than my pictures I took with the GH4 in Africa.

I had a good day at Goodwood Revival and I decided to get my pictures printed in a book. This time around I used less sharpness so I wouldn't have so much noise, not have as much contrast and use noise reduction to clean the image. The book came today and they're no different to my African ones. The pictures are covered in noise, there's no sharpness to them and there is no definition.

So logically I'm either doing something wrong or my Lightroom skills are terrible. However, during Goodwood, I used a custom setting not realising the custom setting is JPEG only not JPEG + RAW. Some of the pictures I used for the book are in camera JPEG and they have the same problems as the developed raw files converted to JPEG.

I am planning to go to a Jessops store and bring one of my photo books with me to find out where I'm going wrong. My thoughts are even with a Sony A7r mkII and a super sharp prime I would get me the same results. The other thoughts are I'm throwing away money and I probably better off using an one inch sensor camera and use a cheap printer. The pictures in the book look like it was taken with an old compact camera. My other thoughts that the pictures are being blown up. So maybe I need to put in the exact resolution in the export stage but even on the Jessops program the pictures don't look dull.

Any thoughts?

Panasonic GH5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Sony Alpha a7R
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