NO NO NO! That's not a helpful answer by any means. The guy wasn't asking for open source zealotry or a photoshop replacement, he was asking for software options to help him enhance or restore an image that is blurred. The GIMP is barely able to edit photos...let alone do the enhancements that this poster was asking for.
If you're going to offer advice, please have some idea what the poster is asking for and of what you're talking about before name dropping software products.
Somewhere north of US 10 and east of Wausau, WI, USA
Re: Program to clean up images for sharpness
Originally Posted by cinnamon
Is there such a program to sharpen up slightly blurred images. Besides the one that cost over $700. I'm looking in the 100 to 200 dollar range. Thanks.
In all honesty, software can't correct an image that is slightly out of focus or blurred. It is possible to sharpen an image to correct for some blur or out of focus, but there are limits to what software can do, and the end result ends up looking...wrong...in some way.
masdog is mostly correct. I've spent a good deal of time focusing on sharpening techniques in that $700.00 program, and I've learned some things:
What a program CAN"T do is create detail where no detail exists. In laymen's terms, a program can never truly sharpen an image. What it CAN do is increase the contrast at the edges of an image, creating the illusion of sharpening. Applied at the proper settings, through an edge mask, it can make slightly (sometimes even moderately) blurred images appear sharper. But there are so many variables involved- from the size of your screen to your monitor's resolution to the view percentage used for sharpening the image to what kind of printer you use (assuming you're sharpening for print, which is different from sharpening for screen) to the three separate controls of the command itself. Even if you know EXACTLY what you're doing, it's really easy to make a mistake and get it wrong. And as masdog pointed out, if you get it wrong, you can do more harm than good to your image.
Still, I think it a worthwhile endeavor. One of the biggest leaps forward my prints have ever taken was when I learned how to sharpen an image for print. The most common compliment I've gotten since is "your camera takes good pictures". To me, that's an indication that you CAN sharpen an image without making it look "wrong". When they attribute a good image to the camera instead of the post processing, I have to believe I'm doing something right.
A good 65-70% of the time that I sharpen an image, I use the Unsharp Mask command. Unsharp mask is available on Photoshop Elements 5.0, which retails for under $100.00.
"I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."