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What does Scene Intelligent Auto mode do exactly re: sharpness?

bigbrother
Enthusiast
I have an M50 and I’d say I’m an intermediate shooter at this point. I have a friend who wanted to shoot some portraits today so I gave them the camera and switched it to Scene Intelligent Auto. I was curious to see what the pics would come out like with “the machine” in control, as I shoot exclusively in Av and Manual modes.

Things like contrast and color didn’t interest me as I tune those all in post. But sharpness/detail very much did as I’ve struggled with getting things as crisp as I think they can be.

It looked like Scene Intelligent was in fact getting sharper detail and I strongly suspect it was something to do with the myriad scene adjustment settings Canon provides (even though I’ve tried cranking all the sharpness ones to the max with no results). Or not. But *something* behind the scenes seemed to be eking out more detail. I checked the EXINFO and everything was pretty standard as regards the usual culprits (aperture, shutter speed, etc.) I strongly doubt it was something as simple as focus because I exhaustively set that up in my shots.

So, given those shots were letting the camera do the thinking, I know Canon puts in gobs and gobs of algorithms to optimize images in all sorts of ways, and the fact I never touch them and just shoot Av/M in standard fashion, what do you think the software is doing that I might be able to exploit in my own shooting?

Thanks so much!!
9 REPLIES 9

kvbarkley
VIP
VIP

Probably choosing a picture "style"

Screenshot 2021-01-08 143922.jpg

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Greetings,

This article is for a Rebel, but the premise is the same:

 

Canon Knowledge Base - Using Scene Intelligent Auto (EOS REBEL SL1 / EOS 100D)

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8 ~CarePaks Are Worth It


@shadowsports wrote:

Greetings,

This article is for a Rebel, but the premise is the same:

 

Canon Knowledge Base - Using Scene Intelligent Auto (EOS REBEL SL1 / EOS 100D)


After reading the article you linked to, I'm left with the impression that using Scene Intelligent Auto works to optimize exposure, focus and color tone, and possibly white balance. But you shouldn't really expect to see any changes as far as contrast or sharpness are concerned. Does that sound about right?


@BurnUnit wrote:

@shadowsports wrote:

Greetings,

This article is for a Rebel, but the premise is the same:

 

Canon Knowledge Base - Using Scene Intelligent Auto (EOS REBEL SL1 / EOS 100D)


After reading the article you linked to, I'm left with the impression that using Scene Intelligent Auto works to optimize exposure, focus and color tone, and possibly white balance. But you shouldn't really expect to see any changes as far as contrast or sharpness are concerned. Does that sound about right?


 

When i select Scene Intelligent Auto on a T5s it shows that the Auto Picture Style is selected. Going to the Picture Style menu the displayed sharpness and contrast settings are the same as the Standard Picture Style.

 

This early discussion of Auto Picture Style states that different programmed Picture Styles will be selected based on the analyzed scene:

 

"Auto (EOS T3i only): This option will automatically applies a Picture Style (other than Monochrome) based on the EOS Scene Detection System’s analysis. Auto may therefore produce slight differences in rendition from one image to the next, depending on the scene. The other Picture Styles are applied consistently to all scenes."

 

I wouldn't expect Canon to regress in its capabilities, so I would think that current cameras would use the same process. Thus the actual sharpness and contrast applied to an image would change depending on how trhe camera analyzed the scene.

 

in any event, the results would only apply to a camera-produced JPEG or a RAW processing software that could read the picture style data in the image file. DPP can do that and the latest version of Lightroom Classic and be configured to do that for cameras using the .CR2 file format.

 

 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

bigbrother
Enthusiast

Well, the problem has been solved (my bigger problem of trying to eke out razor sharp pics from my M50/50 f1.8) and now I'm going through answering any threads I started if anyone cares about the answer and to share the small war story:

 

The bad: the answer was a lot simpler than a lot of the suggestions I received. It was literally just sharpening in post. Yes, some suggested this but many insisted I was shooting wrong. I shot and shot and shot and shot and shot and even the most perfect shots with plenty of light and perfect focus and fast shutter etc. etc. etc. never produced what I was aspiring to match. I felt there was *some* limitation in my gear (ended up being a limitation in the workflow) and that all the photography basics in the world wouldn't produce it, so I was convinced it was a hard limit, like the sensor size of my relatively modest little camera. No shot got it. Well, just recently, an owner of a local art repro studio heard it and in one second, when looking at the aspirational shots, said, "oh, that's unsharp mask." Sure enough, gave it a shot and pow- there were all the little fibers and eye lash details and fine stitching, etc. that the "pro" shots had. So no, it wasn't a $6K setup... but it also wasn't the shots themselves. Even my less-than-ideal shots could pop as I needed.

 

The good: but it sure as hell improved my fundamentals! 🙂 Aperture, shutter speed, comfort shooting in manual, and, most importantly, knowing which focal mode to use (I naively thought face tracking was the way to go when I needed single point on the eyes) all improved as a result.

 

So I do wish I could've saved weeks of frustration by being told this unequivocally rather than having to defend some of my choices that I knew weren't the issue, BUT, I'm a better photographer for it and the raw images being produced are now better as a result. And to be fair, some certainly did say it was post/sharpening.

 

Anyway, thanks so much, all! Chapter closed, next level of quality here we come...


@bigbrother wrote:

Well, the problem has been solved (my bigger problem of trying to eke out razor sharp pics from my M50/50 f1.8) and now I'm going through answering any threads I started if anyone cares about the answer and to share the small war story:

 

The bad: the answer was a lot simpler than a lot of the suggestions I received. It was literally just sharpening in post. Yes, some suggested this but many insisted I was shooting wrong. I shot and shot and shot and shot and shot and even the most perfect shots with plenty of light and perfect focus and fast shutter etc. etc. etc. never produced what I was aspiring to match. I felt there was *some* limitation in my gear (ended up being a limitation in the workflow) and that all the photography basics in the world wouldn't produce it, so I was convinced it was a hard limit, like the sensor size of my relatively modest little camera. No shot got it. Well, just recently, an owner of a local art repro studio heard it and in one second, when looking at the aspirational shots, said, "oh, that's unsharp mask." Sure enough, gave it a shot and pow- there were all the little fibers and eye lash details and fine stitching, etc. that the "pro" shots had. So no, it wasn't a $6K setup... but it also wasn't the shots themselves. Even my less-than-ideal shots could pop as I needed.

 

The good: but it sure as hell improved my fundamentals! 🙂 Aperture, shutter speed, comfort shooting in manual, and, most importantly, knowing which focal mode to use (I naively thought face tracking was the way to go when I needed single point on the eyes) all improved as a result.

 

So I do wish I could've saved weeks of frustration by being told this unequivocally rather than having to defend some of my choices that I knew weren't the issue, BUT, I'm a better photographer for it and the raw images being produced are now better as a result. And to be fair, some certainly did say it was post/sharpening.

 

Anyway, thanks so much, all! Chapter closed, next level of quality here we come...


More times than, if you create a post complaining about how your photos do not look good without posting any sample images, that is the reaction that you will get.  "You do not know what you are doing."

 

In cases like that, most people will ask you to post a sample.  They will ask questions about what it is you are doing, etc.  If you push back, then you will get the same reaction.  Do I agreee with it?  Yes, I do.

 

All you're doing is making noise without reason.  Forums are filled with such posts, mostly from people who are not looking for help but rather somewhere to vent.  It is a vicious cycle, that often spirals out of control, with both sides frustrated.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

@bigbrother wrote:

Well, the problem has been solved (my bigger problem of trying to eke out razor sharp pics from my M50/50 f1.8) and now I'm going through answering any threads I started if anyone cares about the answer and to share the small war story:

 

The bad: the answer was a lot simpler than a lot of the suggestions I received. It was literally just sharpening in post. Yes, some suggested this but many insisted I was shooting wrong. I shot and shot and shot and shot and shot and even the most perfect shots with plenty of light and perfect focus and fast shutter etc. etc. etc. never produced what I was aspiring to match. I felt there was *some* limitation in my gear (ended up being a limitation in the workflow) and that all the photography basics in the world wouldn't produce it, so I was convinced it was a hard limit, like the sensor size of my relatively modest little camera. No shot got it. Well, just recently, an owner of a local art repro studio heard it and in one second, when looking at the aspirational shots, said, "oh, that's unsharp mask." Sure enough, gave it a shot and pow- there were all the little fibers and eye lash details and fine stitching, etc. that the "pro" shots had. So no, it wasn't a $6K setup... but it also wasn't the shots themselves. Even my less-than-ideal shots could pop as I needed.

 

The good: but it sure as hell improved my fundamentals! 🙂 Aperture, shutter speed, comfort shooting in manual, and, most importantly, knowing which focal mode to use (I naively thought face tracking was the way to go when I needed single point on the eyes) all improved as a result.

 

So I do wish I could've saved weeks of frustration by being told this unequivocally rather than having to defend some of my choices that I knew weren't the issue, BUT, I'm a better photographer for it and the raw images being produced are now better as a result. And to be fair, some certainly did say it was post/sharpening.

 

Anyway, thanks so much, all! Chapter closed, next level of quality here we come...


More times than, if you create a post complaining about how your photos do not look good without posting any sample images, that is the reaction that you will get.  "You do not know what you are doing."

 

In cases like that, most people will ask you to post a sample.  They will ask questions about what it is you are doing, etc.  If you push back, then you will get the same reaction.  Do I agreee with it?  Yes, I do.

 

All you're doing is making noise without reason.  Forums are filled with such posts, mostly from people who are not looking for help but rather somewhere to vent.  It is a vicious cycle, that often spirals out of control, with both sides frustrated.


This recent thread is a classic example of what I am talking about.  The guy's camera is a relative antique.

 

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/EOS-Keep-Monitor-on-for-longer-than-30-minutes/m-p/330877#M48... 

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

@bigbrother wrote:

Well, the problem has been solved (my bigger problem of trying to eke out razor sharp pics from my M50/50 f1.8) and now I'm going through answering any threads I started if anyone cares about the answer and to share the small war story:

 

The bad: the answer was a lot simpler than a lot of the suggestions I received. It was literally just sharpening in post. Yes, some suggested this but many insisted I was shooting wrong. I shot and shot and shot and shot and shot and even the most perfect shots with plenty of light and perfect focus and fast shutter etc. etc. etc. never produced what I was aspiring to match. I felt there was *some* limitation in my gear (ended up being a limitation in the workflow) and that all the photography basics in the world wouldn't produce it, so I was convinced it was a hard limit, like the sensor size of my relatively modest little camera. No shot got it. Well, just recently, an owner of a local art repro studio heard it and in one second, when looking at the aspirational shots, said, "oh, that's unsharp mask." Sure enough, gave it a shot and pow- there were all the little fibers and eye lash details and fine stitching, etc. that the "pro" shots had. So no, it wasn't a $6K setup... but it also wasn't the shots themselves. Even my less-than-ideal shots could pop as I needed.

 

The good: but it sure as hell improved my fundamentals! 🙂 Aperture, shutter speed, comfort shooting in manual, and, most importantly, knowing which focal mode to use (I naively thought face tracking was the way to go when I needed single point on the eyes) all improved as a result.

 

So I do wish I could've saved weeks of frustration by being told this unequivocally rather than having to defend some of my choices that I knew weren't the issue, BUT, I'm a better photographer for it and the raw images being produced are now better as a result. And to be fair, some certainly did say it was post/sharpening.

 

Anyway, thanks so much, all! Chapter closed, next level of quality here we come...


More times than, if you create a post complaining about how your photos do not look good without posting any sample images, that is the reaction that you will get.  "You do not know what you are doing."

 

In cases like that, most people will ask you to post a sample.  They will ask questions about what it is you are doing, etc.  If you push back, then you will get the same reaction.  Do I agreee with it?  Yes, I do.

 

All you're doing is making noise without reason.  Forums are filled with such posts, mostly from people who are not looking for help but rather somewhere to vent.  It is a vicious cycle, that often spirals out of control, with both sides frustrated.


Oh, in my main post here about this subject, I did post pics:

 

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/EOS/Why-are-my-shots-not-coming-out-crisp/td-p/327621

 

This post here was more about that special mode in pursuit of this, so pics weren't really apropos. My solution reply was more copy pasting the overall answer I was putting in the other threads on this, where some of the points are more relevant.

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