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10-02-2011, 07:56 PM   #1
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K-5 Jpeg Compression

Okay... after owning my K-5 for a full month, I only now have time to begin playing with it. (I know. What can I say? I work in news and have a busy life.) One question: Do most K-5 owners set their jpeg quality level at "premium" (four stars) or the default "best" (three stars)? With my 10mp K200D, there was no question - top size and image quality at all times. But the K-5 is my first 16mp camera. I'm also open to any other suggestions about settings that deviate from factory defaults. Thanks in advance.

10-02-2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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I'd only use less-than-best quality if quality didn't matter, like if I was shooting Web thumbnails.

Now I'll tell my story. I've been shooting digicams for a decade, analogue cams before that, film before that. I got my first dSLR, the K20D, just over 3.3 years ago. All my digicams produce JPGs (and occasionally TIFs, GIFs, AVIs, etc) and I was used to PP/editing of such. For the first year with my K20D, I only shot JPGs because I was used to that. Then I tried RAW+JPG, and quickly converted to RAW only. MUCH more can be done with a RAW image than with the best JPG.

There are times when JPG-only is fine. When I shoot 23fps Burst on my K20D, it defaults to 1kx1.5kpx JPG, which is fine for cine-type work. If I had to produce zillions of shots FAST and I was very confident in my settings, or if I didn't care about finest quality and custom edits, I'd shoot JPG only. But for non-production-line shooting, RAW rocks.

Bottom line: Shoot with the best quality possible. Detail can only be subtracted, never added.
10-02-2011, 10:29 PM   #3
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I shoot RAW so I don't have to worry about using the wrong settings for JPEG. Memory cards and storage is cheap, there's no excuse not to shoot RAW unless you have a computer that's more than 8 years old and makes processing RAW painful.
10-03-2011, 12:31 AM   #4
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I did several tests on my K-7 (14 Mp). After careful considerations and test, I shoot mostly JPEG 14 Mp 2 stars. Why? I want to shoot long continuous burst (5.2 fps with K-7) and the JPEG 14 Mp 2 stars is the largest file which can fill coninuously a class 10 card without jamming the buffer.

However, in terms of IQ, I found little differences between JPEG 14 Mp 2 stars, 3 stars and 4 stars. Ultimately the smaller size of the 2stars format is a benefit for storage (and Hi continuous bursts). When I want more resolution I shoot RAW+.

Hope that the comment may help.


Last edited by hcc; 10-03-2011 at 01:54 AM.
10-03-2011, 03:57 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
One question: Do most K-5 owners set their jpeg quality level at "premium" (four stars) or the default "best" (three stars)?
We all have our own personal jpeg quality standards. Ideally, you should develop your own quality standard instead of asking what other people's standards are.

Do this:
1. Take a representative shot in RAW. A good one, well focused with lots of high-contrast detail.
2. Use the in-camera jpeg development to develop 1, 2, 3, and 4 star jpegs from the raw file.
3. Compare these four images against each other on the computer to see where your personal compression "pain threshold" is. Pixel peep to find the one that is just good enough and the one that is one step worse.
4. Print these two in your target size using your target printer and see if your conclusion still holds. There's your personal jpeg compression quality standard.

Regards,
--Anders.
10-03-2011, 06:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
We all have our own personal jpeg quality standards. Ideally, you should develop your own quality standard instead of asking what other people's standards are.

Do this:
1. Take a representative shot in RAW. A good one, well focused with lots of high-contrast detail.
2. Use the in-camera jpeg development to develop 1, 2, 3, and 4 star jpegs from the raw file.
3. Compare these four images against each other on the computer to see where your personal compression "pain threshold" is. Pixel peep to find the one that is just good enough and the one that is one step worse.
4. Print these two in your target size using your target printer and see if your conclusion still holds. There's your personal jpeg compression quality standard.

Regards,
--Anders.
This approach is MUCH too rational......
10-03-2011, 06:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GDRoth Quote
This approach is MUCH too rational......
Yeah, it's much more fun to just pick random settings and SHOOT!! Hay, everything can be fixed in PP.
10-03-2011, 07:45 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. Yes, I know all about RAW and, yes, I realize I will have to do my own experimenting. But I was looking for a good starting point and your comments have been helpful. Speaking of RAW, my next decision will be whether to stick with Aperture by upgrading from 2 to 3... or going with Lightroom.

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