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Sharpness

The Sharpness slider lets you apply a variant of Unsharp Mask to the preview image or to both the preview and the converted image, depending on how you set Camera Raw Preferences (see “The Camera Raw Menu,” earlier in this chapter). Unlike Unsharp Mask, Camera Raw's Sharpness only offers a single control—the Threshold value is calculated automatically based on the camera model, ISO, and exposure compensation values reported in the image's metadata.

I find the Sharpness control a bit of a blunt instrument, and for images that will receive more than cursory attention, I either set the slider to zero or, more likely, set the Preference so that Sharpness only applies to the preview. If, on the other hand, I'm simply trying to get a bunch of images processed for approval, trying to make them good rather than great, I'll apply a quick sharpen here, knowing that I can reprocess the “hero” shots from the raw file with no sharpening once I know which ones they are.


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