On digital cameras (at least on the Pentax Optio 550/555) there are 3 parameter to set in the menu for how photos are taken (not counting resolution etc): sharpness, color saturation and contrast. I understand color saturation and contrast. I understand why I would like to adjust them. But I do not understand sharpness. Why would I like to set the the sharpness to anything else than the sharpest? If I want a softer picture I can use the soft filter. The soft filter is easy to use, and I can be used both when taking photos and when in playback mode to produce a soft copy. If I take a sharp picture I can always use the soft filter in the camera or a photo manipulation program on my computer to create a softer copy. But if the original photograph is too soft, I cannot manipulate it to create a sharper copy. Thus, I would conclude that the sharpness should always be in the sharpest position. However, it does not make sense for the manufacturer to include a setting that should always be at one of the extreme positions. My conclusion is that I do not understand the sharpness setting in the menu system of the camera! What is it really? Thank you in advance for enlightening me! /Tom P.S. I am waiting for delivery of the camera and have only read the manual, so I have not been able to experiment with this setting.