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When you shoot in JPEG mode, the computer inside your camera takes care of pulling the Raw image data off of the camera sensor and processing it into a full-color final image. Part of that process involves applying sharpening to your image. Now depending on your camera you may, or may not, find that you like the results of the sharpening. Your camera probably offers controls for how much sharpening to apply, and it's worth experimenting with these to see the different results. However, if you're going to shoot JPEG, then I recommend turning the sharpening as low as it will possibly go. If you can disable altogether that's even better.
There are a few problems within camera sharpening. Obviously, the first is whether you like the level of sharpening or not, but also within camera sharpening, you're giving up some other control. Sharpening adds contrast to an image, so if the camera is sharpening, you've inherently lost some contrast control. The camera will have already upped the contrast a bit in its sharpening pass. Good Sharpening is performed after the image is properly sized for output, the camera by comparison is simply using generic sharpening settings. If you want to apply additional sharpening later, this could create problems.
For example, if you're going to blow the image up larger, you'll need to apply more sharpening, and this can be difficult to the image that has already been sharpened by the camera. You may not be able to get the sharpening you want, because your new sharpening pass will exaggerate the sharpening that the camera has already applied. So if you're shooting JPEG, lower your sharpening settings or better yet switch to shooting in Raw, so that you can have full control of the sharpening process.
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