jmercer wrote in post #12326634
I recently bought a T2i with a 400 mm lens that I use for taking pictures of bird. I was disappoainted at first, but a friend told me to shoot in landscape mode for sharper pictures. That is much better, but I see that I can set it up to a sharpness of 7. Is there any disadvantage from shooting at a sharpness of 7?
Yes, there can be a disadvantage. When you shoot with the sharpness that high, the image can easily become oversharpened. This can lead to some serious artifacts around feather detail etc., which can ruin a shot. Setting sharpness later, in the computer, you can always dial it back a bit. If you apply that much sharpening in camera, you are stuck with it and can't turn it down later. Some images will suit aggressive sharpening whilst others will need minimal sharpening and be ruined by too much
This is why most of us here use raw, and process the images ourselves, if you leave it to the camera you need to be sure that the camera has the right parameters for the shot you are taking. As with sharpness the other parameters also want to be right for the specific scene you are shooting. Take contrast for instance, on a dull overcast day, with really flat lighting, you want contrast cranked up quite high, but that setting on a bright sunny day can blow highlights and block up shadows because the actual scene has so much more contrast.
jmercer wrote in post #12346883
I am an old time film camera guy and do not like processing the raw data, I feel if I am doing my work right, it should come out the first time with only cropping.
Even in the film era (and that is my background, too) it was rare to use images straight from the camera, only with transparency film really and even then you could make decisions on results by choosing films with different colour balance, or contrast etc., to suit the image and the lighting conditions.
If you just shot colour negs and sent them off for processing and printing, the lab would apply a whole bunch of auto processing to the results before printing them, it wasn't straight from the camera. The same goes if you shot your own black and white, all sorts of processing would be done in producing the print, once you got into the darkroom.
With digital, you can't change the results by changing the type of film, the grade of paper (for contrast) etc., so you do all that in post processing on the computer.
Processing does not detract from 'proper' photography, it was part of the workflow for all the great photographers.