Oversharpening

I tried PureRaw and I get very strange results.
The DNG processed by PureRaw are way oversharpened.
I made the comparison with Photolab, with lens sharpness to 0 (which is already too much to my taste) and unsharp mask in addition with default settings, and the results are still way less sharpened than with PureRaw.

I think this is a bug, as PureRaw is supposed to be a preprocessor.
This cannot be undone, once your image is oversharpened, there’s no way back :slight_smile:
Especially on portraits, this makes the software unusable to me.

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I completely agree with this. I even filed a support request about it, but haven’t received any reply yet other than it will be sent to the appropriate people.

PureRaw is extremely good for the objective things that it does, like remove demosaic artifacts, noise reduction, and lens corrections, but it over-sharpens and with too large of an effective radius. Sharpening is subjective and will vary among photographers and from subject to subject. For most people, this much sharpening (or any sharpening for that matter) should not occur this early in the workflow. I hope more people bring up this issue.

I understand that DXO are trying to make this a 100% “push the button” tool, and it works great for the objective things, but there absolutely needs to be an option to disable sharpening!

As a work-around, I have found that I can use the “contrast by detail level” tool (essentially contrast by wavelet level) in the RAW tool that I use to mostly undo the over-sharpening, but it’s not 100% perfect, and most importantly, I shouldn’t need to add this extra step after using a tool that is supposed to make the workflow easier.

Please, DXO, add the ability to disable sharpening in this tool!

Agree. Just tested the software. Useless when you cannot disable and/or at least choose a sharpen value for those who want it. Sharpening is the very last thing you do in a workflow, certainly not in the beginning.

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SECOND UPDATE

Some additional info about this issue:

  1. It turns out that some of the Nikon raw images also get over-sharpened in PureRaw. I haven’t figured out what determines this, but it seems like an image that’s low-contrast tends to get sharpened less than images that are high contrast, but I’m sure that’s probably not the whole story.

  2. I discovered you can click the “Modules” button and disable the use of the module during processing. The program still performs the excellent DeepPrime noise reduction and reduction of demosaicing artifacts, but it does not do sharpening or lens correction. Lens correction is obviously lens/camera specific, but apparently the sharpening is too, and sometimes it overcompensates.

By turning off the module, you give up lens correction as well as sharpening, but most good photo editors also have lens correction, so you still have both lens corrections and sharpening, but you have control over them, which you don’t with PureRaw. I think I will just process each image both ways and see which one gives the most usable results in any particular case.

I too find the resulted images way too over-sharpened, especially if there are people in the photos; there will be very ugly stuff on the skin texture…

Hope the sharpening can be disabled, too!

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UPDATE

I have two cameras I use most of the time, an Olympus OMD-EM5, and a Nikon D5200.

Until now, I have only tried PureRaw with the Olympus raw files. Today I also tried it with the Nikon raw files. The Nikon raw files look very good after processing with PureRaw - they are NOT extremely over-sharpened. This seems to be happening only with the Olympus raw files.

This issue seems to be dependent on the camera/lens modules. This may also explain why only a small number of users are reporting this problem.

I also own an Olympus camera (an E-M1II) and always wondered why people are so content with DXO as a raw converter as I saw severe sharpening artefacts after developping my images with PhotoLab4. The default lens sharpening is way to high; turning it down renders much better results. Unfortunately, this is not possible in PureRaw but only in PhotoLab.

I also own an Olympus and the sharpening is quite visible in the converted image.
However it also extract details better than Lightroom can do even at its strongest settings. So I would rather not get completely rid of the sharpening but instead make it an option before processing ist (Apply lens sharpening yes/no).

I fully agree. B.t.w. I think that the results of PhotoLab are really outstanding once you turn the sharpening down a good few notches :grinning:

Please note that in the application that receives / processes the DNG file, all sharpening is set to 0. E.g. Capture One would like to sharpen my images with a value of 180. This of course results in over-sharpening. If I turn the controller to 0 and the other controllers (lens profile, sharpening, …) are set to 0 accordingly, the images look better.

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Pure raw sharpening is much stronger than photolab’s.
I also have an olympus body so maybe it’s the bug.
This has to be a bug…

The images from pureraw are really awful, and with lightroom the sharpening is set to zero on the dng, automatically.

I’m just curious, Frank: How (via which setting) do you “turn the sharpening down” ?

John M

Try lens sharpness on -1 or -2 instead of 0. You can also turn it completely off.
Make sure unsharp mask is off.

Of course, this only works with Photolab, not PureRaw.

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I gave PhotoLab4 a second go; it allows turning lens sharpening down. Sorry for not being clear :slight_smile:

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This is extremely important. Capture One applies default sharpening for screen display.

Sharpening in the other software is of course set to 0 (dxo writes the value in the XMP).
Comparison (at 100%, so not screen display sharpening) between:

  1. PhotoLab DNG, “my values” (lens sharpness on -1)
  2. PhotoLab DNG, default values (lens sharpness on 0)
  3. PureRAW DNG

Shows that 3. is more sharpened than 2.
I’ve tested this on 3 bodies (panasonic, olympus, canon) with similar results.

  1. is already oversharpened to my taste, 3. is way too much for portraits.
    (or even animal pictures, I tried on a picture of my cat, it just looks awful).

Sharpening is clearly a matter of taste, so it does not make sense to have a very high value on a pre-processor software.

Hi all,

a couple of days ago I got to know from an Olympus camera user:

  • “Shooting RAW as I do; not RAW+JPEG: Any adjustment I make in my camera is recorded in the RAW file. For example: If I change my camera’s contrast, saturation, sharpness, shooting mode (Natural/Portrait/Muted) etc. etc. Knowing and implementing this information has drastically changed the quality of my images.”
  • “I experimented and found any RAW image changes I make in-camera, for example contrast/sharpness/saturation, is carried into whichever RAW developer the image is opened in. Be it FastRawViewer/PL4/RawTherapee/Olympus Workspace.”

Now, I checked Ask Olympus: What is RAW file format?

Edit Modes for RAW shooting

  • RAW Development in Olympus Master:
  • RAW Development in Olympus Studio:
  • In-camera Editing, RAW Data Edit:
    Some newer Olympus cameras support editing certain aspects of RAW files right in the camera. This feature is typically found in the camera’s “Edit” menu. Raw editing options include image quality, White Balance, Sharpness, Contrast, and Saturation.

From my Nikon D750 I know, that it can be set anyhow. While the JPGs are affected (including the embedded one), only colour temperatures / white balance settings, colour space (AdobeRGB/sRGB) and Active D-Lighting are ‘registered’ with raw-files – the latter one without beeing reported in the Exif data (switched off ADL by now!).

Personally, I’m using PL 4 and dont’t need Pure RAW. – My best guess is, when some in-camera applications ‘fool’ Pure RAW, the results look ‘overdone’.

Wolfgang

@Wolfgang: That’s simply not true. While the camera settings are contained in the image metadata, the RAW data itself remains untouched. I.e. in Olympus Workspace, the camera settings are applied to the RAW file by default, but you can easily change them accordings to your liking as they are not baked into the RAW data. Capture One and RawTherapee ignore the camera settings completely, I don’t know about Lightroom and others. I guess PureRaw ignores them as well, otherwise it would be an inexcusable bug for a preprocessing software.

Yes, I have an Olympus OM-D E-M1 iii - and I can assure you, Wolfgang, that that’s the case.

John M

I can verify this. On my OM-D E-M5 II I have the sharpness setting for JPEGs set to minimum. Despite the minimum sharpness setting stored in the metadata, PureRaw still significantly over-sharpens the RAW files, so I don’t think it is looking at that data.

As mentioned earlier, until DXO changes this (or if they don’t change it), the workaround is to disable the camera/lens module. You lose both the sharpening and lens distortion correction, but the real benefit of PureRaw is in its incredibly good demosaicing and noise reduction. Many programs can do lens correction as part of further post-processing.