Testing for sharpness : RAW or JPEG?

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sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,305
Testing for sharpness : RAW or JPEG?
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So I know that with JPEGs, things are baked into a final image (like WB, saturation, etc) and it's a bit compressed, and with RAW this isn't the case, but with RAW you have to sharpen the image yourself in post.

This leads me to wonder how others are going about checking sharpness at 100%.  Are you using JPEGs or RAW files and applying the same amount of sharpening (if you're comparing multiple images let's say) so they are all sharpened the same?

So far, I would usually use a RAW file, apply a preset amount of sharpening (usually a high amount, like 90 and 1.4 in LR or ACR) if I'm testing against a test target where the lines and characters are clearly defined and going from there.

Thoughts on this?  (I hope this doesn't open a can of worms, as I can see that many people probably have different methods, but at the same time, I think most people agree that zooming into 100% to gauge sharpness in general is the standard routine, and not look at sharpness at high magnification like 300%+).

For me, at least, I use a test chart that is basically a mirror of both sides (So both sides are the same thing) and compare that way, versus something like the STudio Test scene that DPR uses, which obviously is used for more than just showing sharpness, but other aspects as well like color, noise, etc).

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