Using Unsharp Mask (USM) in Canon DPP

johndow

Active Member
i recently updated my version of Canon DPP and found that the latest version now offers 2 options for RAW sharpening, the standard "Sharpness" slider and the new "Unsharp Mask".

As i only take photos as a hobbie (family etc) i tend to shoot in RAW and convert using DPP without further PP. Therefore with the exception of noise reduction (for ISO 1600 would use neat image) all my exposure, white balance and sharpening etc is done here.

I have played about with the USM settings in DPP and have noticed such a drastic improvement over the old sharpness setting that i have found myself going back over photos for the past 12 months to re-convert them using USM. My experience so far has led me to the following conclusions:

  • The sharpness slider is non-selective
  • The sharpness slider loses its usefulness on images over iso 400. Here it just enhances the noise effect
  • The default USM settings i find the most useful for general snaps etc are Strength 5, Fineness 5 and Threshold 3-5
  • The threshold varies as the iso increases, 3 for iso 100-400, 4 for iso 400 and 5 for 800 and above (generally)
I know photshop will do a better job and there are numerous methods of sharpening (i have the kelby book), but for a one stop conversion and PP tool, in my opinion DPP works pretty well (for non-commercial anyway).

JD
 

denno75uk

Well-known Member
I don't use sharpening, even in LR which I use most of the time now, but I'll update my DPP and perhaps give this a try. Cheers.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I don't use sharpening, even in LR which I use most of the time now, but I'll update my DPP and perhaps give this a try. Cheers.
You should
Canons anti alias Filter is sometimes enthusiastic and " softens" images.
 

johndow

Active Member
I experimented with LAB sharpening in CS2 last night as a comparison to DPP. I used settings which someone else recommended on Av forums (sorry i don't have the name but credit to them anyway). The poster did a 100% and then a 30%. I tried this and it was close to my DPP USM attemp although a little more subtle (prob better that way).

I may (as recommended in the post and in Kelby which i dusted off last night) set up an action for any photos i intend to print out in large format (canvas etc).


One comment though, i assume i would have to tailor the action or possibly have 2 actions for:
1) my 50mm 1.8 which is much sharper straight out of the camera than,
2) my 18-55mm IS (although it is surprisingly sharp around 35mm f5.6)


Trial and error.


Thanks
JD
 
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