The Difference Between Detail Correction and Aperture.

Just to clarify the differences between Detail settings and the Aperture setting.

Detail has a sub set of settings including: frequency, level, crispening, knee aperture, black and white limit. These sub settings all affect the amount and level of detail correction applied.

Aperture is a completely separate type of adjustment.

Detail works on contrast. The higher the contrast in an image, the sharper it appears. A bright sunny day will look sharper that a dull cloudy day because there is more contrast. detail works by increasing contrast by adding black or white edges to any parts of the image where the contrast changes rapidly, for example the edge of an object silhouetted against the sky. This increases contrast still further, making the image appear sharper. The crispening setting sets the contrast threshold at which detail gets added, level adjusts the amount.

Aperture is a simple high frequency boost. As fine details and textures are normally represented by high frequencies within the image, boosting high frequencies can help compensate for the natural fall off in lens and sensor performance at higher frequencies. This helps enhance textures and other subtle, fine details within the image look clearer.

Neither setting will increase the cameras resolution. Both make the image “appear” sharper. Detail correction IMHO is very un-natural looking and electronic, while careful use of aperture can help sharpen the image without necessarily looking un-natural.

8 thoughts on “The Difference Between Detail Correction and Aperture.”

  1. Thank you for all this info !

    I have an PDW F800 and after reading your article want to play with me detail settings to fine tune the look I am getting.

    As well as the detail and aperture there are quiet a few other adjustments available.

    DETAIL LEVEL (–99 to 99)
    APERTURE LEVEL (–99 to 99)
    DTL H/V RATIO (–99 to 99)
    CRISPENING (–99 to 99)
    LEVEL DEPEND LVL (–99 to 99)

    Can you give us an idea what crispening does compared to detail and aperture.

    Than you !

    Regards, Tim.

    1. Crispening defines the contrast threshold at which detail correction is applied. A + number raises the threshold so the contrast must be higher before detail is applied.

  2. Thanks, Alister, for explaining “aperture”! Before this I didn’t know what was being adjusted. It sounds like you turn off detail and use only aperture for the slight boost of detail? Or, like most things, does it depend on the project? I have found that some detail (though not the default in the EX line) helps when I shoot classical concert footage. But it looks awful when I shoot nature shots with a lot of grass and such.


  3. Hi Alister,

    I am trying out some of the Abelcine Picture profiles and am also looking forward to trying some of yours for the Sony F3.

    What I’m finding is that the picture is too soft for my liking would you suggest a mixture of detail and aperture to get a sharper looking image or just using aperture alone?

    Surinder Singh.

    1. I would not recommend adding extra sharpening in-camera. The F3 resolution is very good. When you add detail or aperture correction you are adding a sharpening effect, it makes no difference to the resolution of the image, it just enhances edges. This sharpening may be OK on a small screen or low resolution screen but when you start showing the footage on a large or high resolution screen it becomes very obvious and can be objectionable. In addition as it is contrast based if you grade the material and add contrast in the grade the detail correction will also become more noticeable. If you must add more aperture is preferable to detail, but better to add any sharpening in post where you have more control.

  4. Sony, on their broadcast website, have some instructional info called ‘Creative Shooting Techniques’ that explains Crispening, Black Gamma, Knee, Knee Aperature, and Level Depend.
    Try as I might, I cannot find the link to the page, but it is on thier website as I have printed out the pages.

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