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Thread: Image Quality vs Sharpness

  1. #1

    Default Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Hi All

    I was trying to understand image quality and sharpness and have read many definations, but still don't get it. Any bros and sis enlighten me in simple terms ? Image quality is based on camera processing and sensor, sharpness is based on lens ??? Correct ???

    many thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    In a nutshell, yes. However, other factors like lighting, local contrast, etc will also affect your perception of image quality and what's sharp and what's not.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    I guess it depends on who's writing the articles, and the definitions one chooses to go by.

    Image Quality can be an umbrella, all-encompassing term used to describe any AND every factor that affects the quality of an image, and that includes 'sharpness', which is only one component of the entire equation.

    'Sharpness' itself is often confused with resolution. Similar situation as the above; one is a catagory and the other is a component of that category.

    Break it down further, perceived 'sharpness' is a component of several factors and not just resolution alone. In comprehensive tests, you might come across terms like MTF (Modular Transfer Function), LPM or LPI, Spatial Frequency Response and so on.

    Get into it only if the physics interests you, or pixel peeping at 1000% is mundane.

    http://www.imatest.com/docs/sharpness.html


    The simpler way to look at is this:

    - perceived sharpness is a combination of (grossly put) what a system (sensor) can resolve or capture, and what a lens can deliver to that sensor in terms of resolution and contrast.

    Hope that helps some.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    I feel it's IQ can be of perception/scientific results and is proned to a debate. Probably you should ask yourself what are the important traits to you rather than to find one that is universally correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon
    Image quality is based on camera processing and sensor, sharpness is based on lens ??? Correct ???
    quoting from what TS mentioned, I think image quality can also be affected by lens too. sharpness can also be affected by camera processing and sensor too. Thus, it works both ways.

    So, I think it's "more true" that camera processing, sensor and lens all affect image quality.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    To me, sharpness is just one aspect of image quality. Tonality, white balance, etc, all matter too.
    Alpha

  6. #6

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon View Post
    Hi All

    I was trying to understand image quality and sharpness and have read many definations, but still don't get it. Any bros and sis enlighten me in simple terms ? Image quality is based on camera processing and sensor, sharpness is based on lens ??? Correct ???

    many thanks
    something like that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Numnumball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon View Post
    Hi All

    I was trying to understand image quality and sharpness and have read many definations, but still don't get it. Any bros and sis enlighten me in simple terms ? Image quality is based on camera processing and sensor, sharpness is based on lens ??? Correct ???

    many thanks
    There's other apsect that need to be taken into consideration as well. IQ/Sharpnesss can be dependent on factors like ur dynanic range, tonal range and constrast etc.. And Sharpness are interrelated (or part of) to IQ as well..U cant get a decent pic quality when ur subjects are not sharp..
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Dear All

    Thank you for your replies.

    What do you'll reckon ? - If I have 3 k , better to spend more on lens (i.e. - 1K on camera body , 2 K on lens) or spend equally (around 1.5K each) ?

    What I am getting at is this : is it better to have a highly regarded camera body or highly regarded lens, to have as a combination in order that I can have excellent IMAGE QUALITY .

    Many Many thanks
    Last edited by desmondsoon; 6th July 2010 at 03:49 PM. Reason: To make query clearer

  9. #9
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon View Post
    Dear All

    Thank you for your replies.

    What do you'll reckon ? - If I have 3 k , better to spend more on lens (i.e. - 1K on camera body , 2 K on lens) or spend equally (around 1.5K each) ?

    What I am getting at is this : is it better to have a highly regarded camera body or highly regarded lens, to have as a combination?

    Many Many thanks
    I support OK body + good lens. Body come and go. Lenses are here to stay.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon View Post
    Dear All

    Thank you for your replies.

    What do you'll reckon ? - If I have 3 k , better to spend more on lens (i.e. - 1K on camera body , 2 K on lens) or spend equally (around 1.5K each) ?

    What I am getting at is this : is it better to have a highly regarded camera body or highly regarded lens, to have as a combination?

    Many Many thanks
    I would spend more on lenses.

  11. #11
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon View Post
    What I am getting at is this : is it better to have a highly regarded camera body or highly regarded lens, to have as a combination in order that I can have excellent IMAGE QUALITY .
    Have a look here and think again about your question: What camera to buy?
    Unless people sniff into the exif data it is close to esoteric to guess the camera and lens used for a certain picture. But people without any knowledge of photography can tell you when the picture looks somehow bad - so how much does the "highly regarded camera" matter? Sure, some people need the red ring or other logos as ego booster, so be it. But if you ask for image quality then the camera doesn't come first.
    EOS

  12. #12

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by desmondsoon View Post
    Dear All

    Thank you for your replies.

    What do you'll reckon ? - If I have 3 k , better to spend more on lens (i.e. - 1K on camera body , 2 K on lens) or spend equally (around 1.5K each) ?

    What I am getting at is this : is it better to have a highly regarded camera body or highly regarded lens, to have as a combination in order that I can have excellent IMAGE QUALITY .

    Many Many thanks
    bro, to get good image quality you have to understand your basics as well and apply it.

    if you ask me, i would spend more on lens than on body.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    To me, the 1st thing came to my mind about image quality, is the ISO noise; Choose the lowest ISO whenever possible because a noisy photo ruins everything unless you did it purposely to acheive certain effects.

    2nd, sharpness? Any lens is good enough; What is important is learning how to focus properly and setting an appropriate shutter speed so that you don't get a blurred image. MOstly probably you are going to use photoshop to further increase the sharpness of the image anyway, the importance of a "very sharp" lens is not of great concern as in the past when film was being used.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by johnlim View Post
    To me, the 1st thing came to my mind about image quality, is the ISO noise; Choose the lowest ISO whenever possible because a noisy photo ruins everything unless you did it purposely to acheive certain effects.
    This seems to be the trend nowadays, all newbies measure stuff by ISO. When in fact, this is the least of their concerns.
    Alpha

  15. #15
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    This seems to be the trend nowadays, all newbies measure stuff by ISO. When in fact, this is the least of their concerns.
    Seems it's preached already in school that ISO and other certifications are a must. So they take ISO 9001 in the same way as ISO6400 for camera sensors. Bigger numbers look more promising On the other hand we see chalets at holiday islands with ISO9001 certificate at the wall next to cashier
    EOS

  16. #16

    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Seems it's preached already in school that ISO and other certifications are a must. So they take ISO 9001 in the same way as ISO6400 for camera sensors. Bigger numbers look more promising On the other hand we see chalets at holiday islands with ISO9001 certificate at the wall next to cashier
    Actually ISO 9001 just means that all their documents and inventory are labeled with a proper system. :P
    Alpha

  17. #17
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Image Quality vs Sharpness

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Actually ISO 9001 just means that all their documents and inventory are labeled with a proper system. :P
    Too bad when the cleaner doesn't know about it when doing his job...
    EOS

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