Sharpen is a basic tool that doesn't give you much control. It may give you OK results, but it is kind of "dumb." Unsharp Mask allows you to have much more precise control over how your footage is sharpened by giving you the parameters of Amount, Radius, and Threshold. There are plenty of tutorials which can show you how to best use these sliders. The only benefit in my opinion of using the basic Sharpen effect is that it is an accelerated effect. But, rendering the Unsharp Mask is pretty fast. I never use the standard Sharpen effect in any case.
Thanks for responding to my question. I've been using both USM and Smart Sharpen on stills in PS for years, so I fully understand the use of the sliders in USM. What I'm trying to figure out is whether the Sharpen filter uses the same sharpening method as USM, just without the ability to control radius, amount and threshold.
I dont know how its programmed and use ps7 now which is old. But like you have used USM for years ...
My own intro to ps has been from print ad stuff ( offset press ).. long time ago.
I'm talking about when ps and postscript and quark was working on print stuff, before desktop publishing ( was cmyk and desktop went to rgb ).
So back in cmyk days there are dot screens and angles of dots and all sorts of stuff re: dot gain and so on...
Years ago when I looked into what unsharp mask was "about " == in my " head " at the time I got the impression it was almost like " flashing " a film neg ( copy camera type stuff )... which I guess is not making much sense here... but basically you got an image and you superimpose THAT onto another ( same one but flashed maybe without dot screen ?). I have no clue how its programmed to do this.
My experience is that unsharp mask in PS is WAY better than sharpen dummied down, but it's only good up to about this:
I have no clue how this happens cause its like 20 years since I read about what was happening etc.