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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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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

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  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Variants standard, standard_sharpenmax, lowcontrast_sharpenmax available in full article

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