In their press release about the new Enhance Details feature in ACR 11.2 and the current Lightroom Classic CC release, Adobe said:
Powered by Adobe Sensei, Enhance Details produces crisp detail, improved color rendering, more accurate renditions of edges, and fewer artifacts. Enhance Details is especially useful for making large prints, where fine details are more visible. This feature applies to raw mosaic files from cameras with Bayer sensors (Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others) and Fujifilm X-Trans sensors.
In Sharad Mangalink’s Adobe blog post on the 12th of February, he said:
The new Enhance Details feature available in Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom CC approaches demosaicing in a new way to better resolve fine details and fix issues like false colors and zippering. Enhance Details uses machine learning—an extensively trained convolutional neural network (CNN)—to provide state-of-the-art quality for the images that really matter. Enhance Details works well on both Bayer (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.) and X-Trans (Fujifilm) raw mosaic files.
It’s not explicitly stated, but it’s easy to read the above summaries and think that Enhance Details sharpens. “Better resolve fine details” and “crisp detail” both nod in that direction.
But that would be a wrong interpretation.
Here’s a frequency-domain analysis of slanted edge backlit razor blade with Lr’s default sharpening, both with normal demosaicing and with Enhanced Detail demosaicing.
Essentially the same. Lightroom’s default sharpening is extreme. Let’s defeat that; setting the strength to zero:
Also essentially the same.
The above edge is extremely sharp, and also well-focused to a degree that you’d rarely see in the field. What happens when we use a target that isn’t as sharp?
That’s essentially the same, too.
Adobe said that there is improvement in resolution using a Siemens star target. I’m willing to believe that from the Siemens star images I showed yesterday, but it may well be that the improvement in resolution is entirely due to the suppression of artifacts.