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Sharpening in Camera Versus Sharpening in Vegas

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Matthew Jeschke
Sharpening in Camera Versus Sharpening in Vegas
on Jan 18, 2017 at 9:14:16 pm

There seems to be common practice among photographers and video folks... or at least I see it commonly suggested. I'm curious as to if it is RIGHT.

Many people are suggest to sharpen in post rather than in camera. This seems to work VERY well with Raw photography images (in photoshop). However, the results do not seem to be quite the same when I sharpen video in vegas versus on camera on my 5dm2. I had thought by reducing sharpening, somehow more information could make it into the compressed video file...

What is a best practice... and what EXACTLY is going on. I feel as though I'm missing something here? My post process sharpening results are never quite that great.

FYI ~ I've upgraded from h.264 to RAW (magic lantern) and NDxHD recording (atomos ninja).

--------------------------------------

I do Architectural Photograph & Cinematography as a part of being a Residential Real Estate Consultant.

Some of my work can be seen at,
http://www.youtube.com/keystoaz/
http://www.vimeo.com/matthewjeschke/
http://www.keystoaz.com/

PS. It's an excellent excuse to ride off what I love, Camera equipment :)


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Aaron Star
Re: Sharpening in Camera Versus Sharpening in Vegas
on Jan 21, 2017 at 6:43:11 pm

You have a hard time going back on things you do in camera. But on the flip side, in camera effects can save a huge amount of render time. Most FLAT settings in camera reduce sharpening and expect that to be done in Post.

I used to work with a DP shooting 35mm Audi commercials back in the early 90ies. His philosophy was to shoot low ISO stock, and pretty much shoot clean. Producing well balanced RGB layers in the film, but also well exposed, dense negative. Then make all artistic grading choices in telecine. I think that still pretty much applies to our digital workflows. The only flip being that with digital, we want to slightly under expose to save the highlights, or compress them with HDR.

With my Nikons, I leave the sharpness at default but flatten the picture settings. I always assume that the engineer selected that setting based on optimizing signal from the sensor through to the encoded file. That might be giving them to much credit. Running your own camera tests using your workflow, and shooting resolution charts/color charts is the only way to determine what works best for your rig.

Shooting AVC LGOP and then converting to an intermediate to edit will drop the sharpness a little. You can see this by using pan/crop and zooming in on some fine detail, then A/B between the 2 different formats. We are talking about c-hairs of difference here, and pretty much video engineer levels of difference. But that attention to detail is what separates consumer from pro level video signals.

Never buy a camera that shoots in a LGOP format, only buy cameras that shoot in an intraframe codec, or use an external recorder.

For drag and drop timeline performance in Vegas, use cameras that drop REDCODE, XAVC-intra, HDCAM, XDCAM, cineform, or Prores. That will keep your editing stable, and sharpness optimized for Render As outputs.


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Matthew Jeschke
Re: Sharpening in Camera Versus Sharpening in Vegas
on Jan 21, 2017 at 8:33:39 pm

Thanks a million for cleaning that up. I think I understand the just of your workflow philosophy. Do what you can do in camera, then the rest in post. That, sharpness cannot be removed, can only be added. But there may be a sweet point in the camera for sharpness setting.

I have a bit of a jury-rigged setup, it's a Canon 5d Mark II with Atomos Field Recorder, playing with NDxHD and ProRes. I did have my sharpness at lowest setting. I think I may try bumping it up. I'm not to familiar with other codecs other than h.264 which isn't too exciting to me.

I had been setting custom color temperatures for each shoot, and color correcting if needed in post. I have since begun relying more on the auto white balance. It seems to work very well in camera, very rarely needing corrected in post.

The short of it, I'm going to start testing shoots with a little bit more in camera sharpness added in. I think you're onto something there. There must be a sweet spot on the sensor concerning sharpness, much below that an it's maybe degrading the footage, at least in the Canon 5d setup.

--------------------------------------

I do Architectural Photograph & Cinematography as a part of being a Residential Real Estate Consultant.

Some of my work can be seen at,
http://www.youtube.com/keystoaz/
http://www.vimeo.com/matthewjeschke/
http://www.keystoaz.com/

PS. It's an excellent excuse to ride off what I love, Camera equipment :)


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