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DPP 3.9.2 new Unsharp Mask

Oscar van der Velde , Oct 13, 2010; 09:10 p.m.

I was already a happy user of Canon's Digital Photo Professional for my RAW images, but I have to say the new Unsharp Mask function is really useful and can reveal details left invisible by the original sharpening method. I just played with a number of images and my findings are:

  • "Sharpen" (the original) enhances shadow details better, has less tendency for halos, which retains colors better, but does not sharpen fine details and textures in mid and high tones, such as skin, flower petals or light rock formations. These will have a smooth baby-skin or plastic appearance which is not always desirable.
  • "Unsharp mask" defaults to a "Fineness" of 7, which is pretty rough, but when set to a value around 2 it renders quite pleasantly, when "Strength" is 1-3. The "Threshold" can be set low, which enhances fine details a lot, except in the shadows (and also in dark hairs). One has to be much more careful with halos and noise here, obviously. For dark images and shadows the original "Sharpen" method seems more effective.

And suddenly my lenses perform a lot better :)
Download it from the Canon site (English version): http://software.canon-europe.com/software/0039356.asp

Responses

Chuk Tang , Oct 13, 2010; 11:13 p.m.

Unsharp mask has been a staple sharpening method for a long while now. I'm not sure how it rates in the current top editors like PS but I think there are better methods now.

Puppy Face , Oct 14, 2010; 01:59 a.m.

USM is best used as the final step before printing because the image looks best when the amount is optimized for print size. Also, it works best if applied selectively and not globally to the entire image (e.g., skip dark shadows and skies) or it will bring out noise. For these reasons I use little sharpening during RAW conversion but wait until after I resize for print or web galleries.

Mark Kissel , Oct 14, 2010; 06:00 a.m.

Thanks for the link, Oscar.

Marc Epstein , Oct 14, 2010; 07:43 a.m.

Yeah, thank for posting. I was not aware there was a new version. I wonder if it has been officially released in USA yet as the link is a canon-europe link?

Mike Stemberg , Oct 14, 2010; 03:23 p.m.

For those that are interested here is a link for the most recent DPP ver 3.9 Instruction Manuals...

link~: for Windows machines

link~: for Macintosh machines.

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