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How JPEG Sharpness and Contrast Settings Affect Live View

The histogram on many digital cameras almost always uses the current JPEG settings for displaying a Live View image. Nikon is the worst offender here; Canon generally has done a better job, generating a Live View image with some enhancements for easier focusing.

Cameras vary in how the implement Live View, so check your own brand and model for specifics in reference to the JPEG settings and other features (such as focus peaking).

Nikon D800E example

Nikon’s Live View mode incorporates all the JPEG settings(“Picture Mode”) into the Live View display, even if shooting in RAW-only.

Since focusing in Live View mode is almost always done for focusing accuracy, Nikon’s approach is counterproductive. Live View focusing ought to help the photographer focus as accurately as possible (focus peaking, etc).

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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How JPEG Sharpness and Contrast Settings Affect Live View
Variants standard, standard_sharpenmax, lowcontrast_sharpenmax available in full article

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