Photo Taco – JPEG Compression Levels

Jeff Harmon talks about JPEG compression levels and what photographers should set the “Quality” level to as they export files to JPEG.


About the Author

Jeff Harmon

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The hobbyist editor here at improvephotography.com. IT Professional by day, passionate hobbyist photographer ever other second possible. Living in Herriman, Utah. Loves trying to capture the beauty around every day and family portraits occasionally. Be sure to check out my portfolio at http://jsharmonphotos.com.

Comments

  1. Jeff – Thanks for another great podcast. I had a question… I’ve heard you, Nick, and Jim talk about not over-sharpening. Is there a rule or limit? I noticed that I over-sharpened an image lately. I actually didn’t think it was over-sharpened looking at it on my computer, but when I made a print, it didn’t look quite right. Any help you can give is appreciated.

    Also, I’m using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software and ON1 Effects (got it as a free trial) instead of using Lightroom since I’m just getting into photography and I’m not ready to spend the money yet. Is Lightroom that much better? Just curious if you have tried the Canon software in particular.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Author

      It is a subjective thing to know when an image is over sharpened. The thing to realize is that sharpening is NOT a replacement for missing focus in camera. Every RAW file needs a little sharpening. If you shoot JPEG, as your camera creates the JPEG it does some sharpening for you. The amount to sharpen depends on what you are shooting and what your style is, but usually you don’t need to apply a lot. Your not familiar with Lightroom, but on RAW it starts at 25 and I frequently take it up to about 50 on many things, but I also make sure to mask my sharpening so that it is only applied in the places I want it.

      As to if Lightroom is worth it, if you want to find a lot of free help there really isn’t another choice. There is a lot of room for Adobe to improve the product, but even as a hobbyist photographer I am convinced that it is worth the cost for Lightroom.

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