>Back to the original topic, can a standardized test be >developed to determine if a camera like the D7000 is producing >sharp photographs? > >The test would allow many users of DSLR's to compare their >results to others.............. > > No, one cannot develop a standardized test.
Appearent sharpness is perceptual, and everyone's perception will be different. As such. No standerdized test can be useful.
Unfortunately many (including myself) thought this was another focus calibration issue. If it were, and your being an engineer I believe you can appreciate the nuance between accuracy and precision. AF systems are designed to be precise within a tolerable accuracy.
But I now understand that this is not about focus accuracy, but image quality. As such it's more about accutance than sharpness. For an image to be sharp it needs a good focus, but it also needs high accutance or high edge contrast.
What you see to be asking is for a common target with the same lighting with different Picture Control preferences from various members for comparison. But again what I might like as far as Saturation, Hue, Contrast and Sharpening might not be your cup of tea.
If you haven't tried this already I would recommend doing this. Load ViewNX2 onto your computer, take various test shots then bring them up in the VNX2 editor. In the right pull out window there should be a heading "Picture Control". In that heading will be a button labeled "Launch Utility". Once launched select "manual adjustment". You can then change the Picture Control options as if you were changing the in-camera settings and visually see how it affects the image. Perhaps that will demystify some of the choices that have you paralyzed in fear.