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11-09-2010, 07:36 AM   #1
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K-5 Poor quality of embedded JPEG

I love the K-5 so far but I have a some issues with the poor quality of the JPEG embedded in the PEF images from my K-5 and was hoping there was an option I missed somewhere to control the quality of the embedded JPEG like I could with my Canon. I don't want to have to resort to writing RAW+JPEG for a number of reasons.

A side effect of this poor JPEG quality is the nasty histogram combing that you may have noticed when shooting some subjects with gradual colour gradations (like blue sky).

- Phil




Last edited by boardhead; 11-09-2010 at 12:14 PM.
11-09-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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Embedded jpgs are not designed to be high quality. You should do a batch conversion. It will produce the higher quality and larger file-size jpgs.
11-09-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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The embedded JPEG in the RAW reflects the JPG output settings of the camera. So the embedded JPG may look poor or different because it may be reflecting some of the in-camera JPEG capture settings you have set up (auto highlight/shadow correction, NR settings etc) which you wouldn't see in RAW. Clear all those and the embedded JPG may more closely reflect what you expect to see.

Also there may be some difference in the embedded JPG quality when you change RAW format - eg from PEF to DNG - due to the different compression arrangements that might be found in each RAW format, I think.
11-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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Hrmmm...I was not aware you could set the quality of a RAW-embedded JPG on Canons...I must have missed that option on my XT...and 1D2...and 5D...and 30D...and XSi...you sure about that?

At any rate, its just a preview...that's all its meant to be...the only reason I can think of for wanting the embedded image to be better is for import to an iPad, which reads in RAW and sucks out the embedded file for the photo album, but retains the RAW file linked to the JPG for emailing and backing up.

I know the JPG embedded in nikon NEFs are roughly 85%-quality JPGs (IOW, not very good) at full res.


Last edited by AngryCorgi; 11-09-2010 at 10:30 AM.
11-09-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
The embedded JPEG in the RAW reflects the JPG output settings of the camera.
This would be great if it is true. I will run some tests when I get home today to check this. Good idea!

QuoteOriginally posted by AngryCorgi Quote
Hrmmm...I was not aware you could set the quality of a RAW-embedded JPG on Canons...I must have missed that option on my XT...and 1D2...and 5D...and 30D...and XSi...you sure about that?
This was C.Fn-08 in my EOS 10D, but I just looked and it appears this setting was dropped in subsequent models.

QuoteQuote:
At any rate, its just a preview...that's all its meant to be...
Yes, but a lot of software packages (including the cataloguing software that I use) extract this preview and use it for display. Basically any software that doesn't have the ability to convert the raw image is limited to only displaying this preview.

- Phil

Last edited by boardhead; 11-09-2010 at 12:15 PM.
11-09-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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The embedded Jpg is the same over different camera's. The K-7 could preview the 645D RAW embedded-jpg's. So no change to be expected from the K-5. I handled the Sony Nex-5 and this camera had a very different Jpg inside the RAW that was much larger to view detail.
11-10-2010, 05:50 AM   #7
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Unfortunately changing the JPEG settings didn't effect the embedded image.

I notice the Pentax software has an option to extract the embedded image from the PEF. This feature takes the embedded image out of the realm of being just a preview, which makes it even more surprising that they don't give you any control over the quality of this image.
11-10-2010, 08:49 AM   #8
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Am I the only heretic here, who would rather go the other way and have the option to completely eliminate the compressed jpeg from the RAW file? If I want a jpeg, I either shoot in jpeg, or raw+jpeg, or I convert it in post processing.

If I shoot in RAW, I'd like the PEF or DNG file to be as small as possible.

It is my understanding that the embedded jpeg is stored with very high compression ratio, corresponding to the one-star jpeg setting. It may even be stored at a lower resolution than the camera is capable of; say 2MP, rather than 10MP (K10D), 14MP (K20D) or 16MP (K5).

It seems to me that, if you dial the quality settings all the way up for an embedded jpeg, you might as well just shoot raw+jpeg. The embedded jpeg is going to be as big as the external jpeg, anyway. So, what's the point. In my K10D, PEF files are usually about 13MB, while jpegs are usually about 3MB at 3-star quality, which is the maximum for the K10D. If the raw file were to expand to 16MB, why bother?

The embedded jpeg isn't even necessary for displaying the image on the back LCD. It could be converted when I select a raw file to view. It only takes a fraction of a second. My K10D can shoot 3fps in jpeg all day long, until the card fills or the battery dies. That tells me that jpeg conversion is a small fraction of a second.

11-10-2010, 10:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boardhead Quote
Unfortunately changing the JPEG settings didn't effect the embedded image.

I notice the Pentax software has an option to extract the embedded image from the PEF. This feature takes the embedded image out of the realm of being just a preview, which makes it even more surprising that they don't give you any control over the quality of this image.
I don't quite understand why you are so intent on being able to extract a high quality jpeg from the raw file, as opposed to just converting it.
Extracting the embedded jpeg and converting a raw file are both just a matter of a mouse click or two; so why the insistence on HQ embeded jpegs? If you need a HQ jpeg, shoot RAW+.

Being able to embed a jpeg that's was the same high quality as the one you would get shooting that way would cause the file size of the raw file to be nearly as large as the current RAW+ combination, there's no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to that.
11-10-2010, 10:44 AM   #10
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An option to eliminate these could be useful not only to save some space: it seems the k-x at least gets bogged down with RAW only output when the lens distortion correction is enabled. Since this is not applied to the RAW data itself my conjecture is that the time is spent processing the jpeg to embed in the RAW file.
11-10-2010, 12:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I don't quite understand why you are so intent on being able to extract a high quality jpeg from the raw file, as opposed to just converting it.
Extracting the embedded jpeg and converting a raw file are both just a matter of a mouse click or two; so why the insistence on HQ embeded jpegs? If you need a HQ jpeg, shoot RAW+.
I'm not the OP, but I too would love to have full quality jpegs in the raws. I currently shoot raw+, which gets me two downsides compared to a good jpeg in the raw: It takes a little more space (not that I care), and I get two files instead of one. I don't want two files. I'm sure most people use photo management applications where the number of files don't matter, but I don't and don't want to. (I also still use film, so any "this is how it's done in the future" arguments for changing my ways are unlikely to persuade me.)
11-10-2010, 12:27 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
I'm not the OP, but I too would love to have full quality jpegs in the raws. I currently shoot raw+, which gets me two downsides compared to a good jpeg in the raw: It takes a little more space (not that I care), and I get two files instead of one. I don't want two files. I'm sure most people use photo management applications where the number of files don't matter, but I don't and don't want to. (I also still use film, so any "this is how it's done in the future" arguments for changing my ways are unlikely to persuade me.)
Why not just shoot RAW and batch convert? You will have 2 files because one is RAW and one is a jpg, regardless. If you are not processing RAW files why not shoot only jpg?
11-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #13
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Adobe DNG Converter has the option to embed medium or full size JPEG preview in DNG.

It is one additional step to do, but you could try to run files directly from a memory card through the converter and store resulting DNGs to your disk. Almost like running some "copy" program, not really a problem. If I remember well, it is possible to convert DNG to DNG with different options. That may work faster than PEF to DNG, but I have never tried it.

DNG Converter is free:

Windows: Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter 6.2 update
Mac OS: Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Macintosh : Adobe DNG Converter 6.2 update
11-10-2010, 01:42 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Why not just shoot RAW and batch convert? You will have 2 files because one is RAW and one is a jpg, regardless. If you are not processing RAW files why not shoot only jpg?
I see no advantage to batch converting over letting the camera do it for me right when I take the shot. I want the raw so I have the option of messing with it, but I only actually do with maybe one image per month.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin Quote
Adobe DNG Converter has the option to embed medium or full size JPEG preview in DNG.
That on the other hand is of interest in theory, except it doesn't run on Ubuntu (not without messing with Wine anyway, and it's probably not scriptable). I have however considered looking for something that does run on Ubuntu to merge the files when I copy them from the camera. (I fully expect to fail, but since the formats are documented (at least DNG is) I could probably write my own. And another to extract the jpeg again should I wish to do some simple editing on it, I suppose.)

I just haven't gotten around to it yet..

So I have no problem with running a script for importing the images, but I don't want to manually mess with most of them. And I don't want to have to use some other computer for every import, even if I do have a mac mini as well.

Usually I look at my images in geeqie, which displays the jpeg in both pef and dng just fine, and even mostly hides that I have two files per image, so it's not that bad, I'm just saying it could be better.
11-10-2010, 01:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
I'm not the OP, but I too would love to have full quality jpegs in the raws. I currently shoot raw+, which gets me two downsides compared to a good jpeg in the raw: It takes a little more space (not that I care), and I get two files instead of one. I don't want two files. I'm sure most people use photo management applications where the number of files don't matter, but I don't and don't want to. (I also still use film, so any "this is how it's done in the future" arguments for changing my ways are unlikely to persuade me.)
Um, after you extract the jpeg, how many files do have?
Seriously, I love to tweak things, so the more options the better. I was just having a hard time coming up with usefulness for that one.
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