Sharpening tips for Capture One

I had the chance to talk about Lightroom and Capture One many times, about their positive and negative sides; one of the pros of the Phase One’s suite is the sharpening performances, especially over high megapixel raws like the files of the Canon 5ds/5dsr or the new Nikon d850.
We all know the High frequency sharpening technique to give a super detailed image to Photoshop or Affinity for the polishing phase, but just on Capture One we have something special to use to achieve the best output.

When we import a file on C1 (Capture One) the sharpening panel gives us basic values:

We find: the Amount, Radius, Threshold and Halo suppression.
Common commands indeed, we can easily find them on Lightroom or Dxo as well; what makes this program so different?

The radius value can start from 0,2. That means I can force an huge value of Amount with this small Radius and even Threshold to have an impressive amount of details without the common problems typical of High Frequency Sharpening techniques.

Let’s take a look!

Default:

HIGH FRQ Sharpening with minimum radius:

Below is a comparison on 100% (just as a reminder, 100% on 50mpx camera, on the left is HIGH FRQ)

If you can appreciate the difference, Capture One is THE WAY for the top quality image quality result.
I used a value of 800, perhaps it’s on the upper limit, a 750 or 700 value would be a better option if your purpose is to export the jpeg and not to open the tiff in Photoshop/Affinity for further editing.
My advice is to be careful on that panel. When you put the radius to 0.2 you can lower the minimum Threshold; but just rising the radius to 0.3 you must put the Threshold to at least 0.2 or 0.3 because the total amount of sharpening is high.

As you can see, the luminance on noise reduction is lowered because I like some grain on the final result; it gives the image more texture.
The Halo suppression has to be changed if you see halos or bad sharpening effects on borders.

Here is the link of the original raw if you would like to play with this raw image (thanks to focus-numerique.com):
https://dtphgwb5vjcez.cloudfront.net/focus/articles/2274/canon-5dsr-exemple18.CR2

Enjoy!

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