Mirror Up

studio12cstudio12c Major grinscanadaRegistered Users Posts: 95 Big grins

I have been a Canon user since the beginning of time. My first big boy SLR was a Canon T90. My current Cannon is a EOS 5D mark ii. About two years ago I purchased a Sony a7ii with a metabone that enables me to use my rather large collection of Canon glass. I have noticed that the Sony produces a sharper image in camera compared to my 5D. The only difference is the camera body. So I believe (just guessing at this point) that the difference in sharpness is caused by a slight shake from the mirror on the 5D. I am starting to shoot (experiment has just begun) the 5D with mirror up to compare if in fact there is a difference in sharpness between the two cameras. I am looking for any suggestions that will assist me in fine tuning my experiment. I am trying to create a check list so that all photos taken during the experiment are taken with the same settings and equipment. I am not looking for any Lightroom / Photoshop suggestions regarding sharpening. I am more interested in producing a sharp in camera image. Any suggestions.


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,687 moderator
    edited April 14, 2017

    Mirror up mode on the Canon 5D Mark II can help eliminate two possible sources preventing image sharpness:

    1) As you mention, image blur can cause a loss of image sharpness.

    For telephoto lenses using two tripods can be helpful in ruling out image blur due to camera shake caused by other sources (since you have the camera in MLU mode). For this approach, use one tripod for the camera body and mount either a V-block or just a padded block on the forward tripod, upon which to rest the lens. Also be sure to turn off any optical stabilization while on the tripods.

    For wide-angle and standard/normal focal length lenses a single, sturdy tripod should be fine because the system center-of-gravity should be further back and towards the camera body.

    Use Live View in manual focus mode to rule out AF error, and bracket focus to rule out user error.

    2) Use Live View in manual focus mode to rule out AF error, and bracket focus to rule out user error.

    Also, use RAW capture and 3 - different RAW converters from different software manufacturers to help rule out RAW converter differences. (Each RAW processing engine will automatically apply different default levels of sharpness, depending on the camera body.)

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • studio12cstudio12c Major grins canadaRegistered Users Posts: 95 Big grins

    Thanks Ziggy. Now you have peeked my interest in your last comment regarding raw capture. I have selected neutral mode and made sure there is no in camera adjustments to sharpening, contrast etc. On the Sony I have turned off Picture effect and picture profile. I know there is a filter in the cameras that does effect a little bit of in camera sharpness however I always assumed that Lightrooms detail default sharpening would take care of the slight softening. I shoot raw on both cameras, import the raw files to my computer before importing into Lightroom. Since using Lightroom I have gotten away from using Bridge.

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,687 moderator
    edited April 14, 2017

    The only RAW converter which would match the manufacturer's preferences regarding default sharpening is the camera manufacturer's own RAW conversion software.

    Lightroom has its own embedded version of ACR, Adobe Camera Raw, integrated into the demosaicing and then tone curves are applied to the linear RAW data, plus some sharpening is applied to imagers with an AA, Anti-Aliasing (Moire) filter in the filter stack ahead of the imager. How much sharpening is applied can vary as there are no standards for sharpening, and it's not clear how much input Adobe allows the individual manufacturers for each camera type/model.

    Since both the Sony a7II and the Canon 5D Mark II have an AA filter, there needs to be some "capture sharpening" applied in the RAW conversion or the image will look soft and with lower micro-contrast than normally acceptable.

    Sony's Image Data Converter and Canon's Digital Photo Professional are each company's respective RAW converter, and both are fairly good at both honoring the camera's image capture settings, as well as providing fairly consistent results within their own product line.

    It's fairly common to find that ACR and Image Data Converter/Digital Photo Pro (respectively) deliver different results for the same images.

    I do recommend that each user should change the default sharpening to their own taste, assuming no other image shake/blur issues, and then save a new default camera profile so that each image reflects the owner's starting intent, rather than either the manufacturer's intent or Adobe's intent (or other third-party RAW software intent).

    (Some photographers do like to defer capture sharpening until after noise reduction, so keep that in mind as well.)

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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