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Saturday, April 1, 2006

Software For Sharper Photos

You can't make a sharp image out of a fuzzy one...can you?

You can‚’t make a sharp image out of a fuzzy one...can you?

Image sharpness is important in landscape photos and wildlife close-ups, where fine detail makes or breaks the shot. And though we try to get our images as sharp as possible in-camera by focusing carefully and keeping the camera steady during exposure, limitations in lenses and digital technologies can keep us from getting the most out of our technique.

Most image-editing software includes sharpening filters. Several companies offer software solutions that provide sharpening capabilities well beyond those built into image-editing programs. Two excellent examples are DxO Optics Pro v3.5 and Nik Sharpener Pro 2.0. Sharpener is a Photoshop-compatible plug-in; Optics Pro is a stand-alone application.

DxO Optics Pro v3.5
DxO Optics Pro v3.5's award-winning Optics Engine corrects lens problems, such as distortion, softness, vignetting, color fringing and astigmatism, in images made with supported cameras and lenses (a list is available on the DxO website). Each correction, based on DxO's lab testing of specific camera/lens combinations, can optimize the image by removing unique defects and aberrations specific to that combo.

The Optics Engine alone is wonderful, but it's just one of four image-quality improvers. The Noise Engine reduces image noise by up to two f-stops: for example, processed ISO 1600 images will have noise equivalent to straight ISO 400 images. The Lighting Engine brings out shadow detail while preserving a natural look and restores highlight detail in RAW images that contain some highlight detail in at least one color channel. And the Raw Engine allows for high-quality RAW image conversions while interacting with the other engines to optimize image quality. Even RAW conversions done in Fully Automatic mode show amazing sharpness, color accuracy and shadow and highlight detail.

Three workflow options let you choose your degree of involvement, from having everything done automatically with a mouse-click to having control over the whole process. Optics Pro v3.5 is batch-oriented, allowing you to process large numbers of images simultaneously, even mixing JPEG and RAW images taken with different cameras and lenses.
Contact:DxO, info@dxo.com, www.dxo.com.

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