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06-26-2014, 08:55 PM   #1
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Just got my K-5!

The mailman must have sensed the eagerness... An upgrade from my old K-x. Looks solid. What's with the DNG RAW files? How do they differ from PEF?

06-26-2014, 09:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
What's with the DNG RAW files? How do they differ from PEF?
They're just more universally-compatible (i.e. with any Adobe RAW converter). Same size/quality. You can choose to shoot in either format.

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06-26-2014, 09:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam, that's good to know.
06-26-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
The mailman must have sensed the eagerness... An upgrade from my old K-x. Looks solid. What's with the DNG RAW files? How do they differ from PEF?
DNG is just another way of storing your RAW data in a file. It's an "open" proprietary standard from Adobe, whereas PEF is a proprietary format from Pentax. Adobe wants everyone to use DNG.


While Adobe's "industry standards" aren't quite as insidious as Microsoft's, they're still designed for the benefit of Adobe. Some people like DNGs, some people don't. Most of the camera manufactures aren't so sure about DNGs, and they continue to use and enhance their own RAW file formats.

I have a bias against Adobe DNG (and it has nothing to do with whether I like the company - in fact I don't even mind their CC subscription format, and I subscribe to it). There are some others here who have a bias for DNG files. And anyone who wants to be an Adobe instructor has to evangelize DNG.



I won't go on in much more length about the details of DNG vs. manufacturer proprietary formats (as I easily could), because I have a very strong opinion and I've heard firsthand from Fortune 500 IT managers about how their companies have been burned by Adobe's other major proprietary "industry standard" file format - PDFs. Even Adobe's own software would refuse to read old PDF files that were only about 5 years old. It turned out that the "less standardized" TIFF format was more universally compatible, so many of them reverted to that or something else (depending on the type of content). DNG has some lofty ideals, but the implementation is (once again) lacking, IMO.



Fortunately you're probably not mission critical, so today you can likely get away with either one. Capture One only supports PEF files for many Pentax cameras (I believe either one may work with the K-5). I don't plan to stop using PEF unless I'm forced to. I would do the same thing if I shot Canon or Nikon - I'd use their proprietary CR2 or NEF files (in fact, Pentax is one of the few manufacturers that gives you a choice to use DNG straight out of the camera).


Just pick whichever one works better with your software. If the software is better at picking up the EXIF data and applying camera or lens-specific customizations and color correction with one file format or the other, then use that format. You can always convert from PEF to DNG later, but not the other way around.

---------- Post added 06-26-14 at 10:25 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
They're just more universally-compatible (i.e. with any Adobe RAW converter).
I'm afraid "Universally-compatible" here may presume a world view in which Adobe reigns supreme (does this remind you of Microsoft?). They want us to "know" they're the king - so much that we don't even think about it. Phase One has a different world view - I think most other camera manufacturers may as well. Pentax and Leica are the main exceptions here, supporting DNG in their cameras.


BTW, have you noticed Microsoft has already gone the way of IBM, with virtually nothing new going for it - just a huge installed base which is dwindling (albeit very slowly)? After all who needs Office updates anymore? We wouldn't even need Windows at all if we had a viable alternative. Few people want to commit to Windows on mobile. Many people who use Microsoft don't actually want it.


I hope Adobe doesn't go the way of Microsoft. They're showing some of the danger signs. Overall they have more outstanding and more innovative products than Microsoft, so I wouldn't like to see this happen.


Last edited by DSims; 06-26-2014 at 10:58 PM.
06-26-2014, 11:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I'm afraid "Universally-compatible" here may presume a world view in which Adobe reigns supreme (does this remind you of Microsoft?). They want us to "know" they're the king - so much that we don't even think about it. Phase One has a different world view - I think most other camera manufacturers may as well. Pentax and Leica are the main exceptions here, supporting DNG in their cameras.
For a company as small as Pentax, I think this is beneficial IMO. For some camera models (like the K-3), PEF support wasn't added to popular PP software (like Apple Aperture) until several months after launch.

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06-26-2014, 11:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
For a company as small as Pentax, I think this is beneficial IMO. For some camera models (like the K-3), PEF support wasn't added to popular PP software (like Apple Aperture) until several months after launch.
I was thinking about that. Both Pentax and Leica probably figure they can save some time by using someone else's standard. DNG isn't their battle to fight - it's just a format they can take advantage of.



Between posts I was researching a little more - I couldn't remember if Nikon or Canon had added in-camera DNG support more recently. According to Wikipedia, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, and Sigma all remain steadfast in their refusal to support DNG in-camera (or even in their software, for the most part).


I won't presume Adobe's original intent was anything but altruistic, over ten years ago when they created DNG (although it may not have been). But as I read user comments on an independent pro-DNG article (found when I searched for 'Nikon DNG support') it suddenly became crystal clear that the way it's turning out now is that DNG is a way of locking people in to using Adobe products in the future. Interestingly, the staunch opposition by the rest of the industry is partly responsible for this situation, if you believe they "should have" supported DNG. Today, if you convert to DNG and discard the originals you can no longer edit in Canon or Nikon's RAW software, and you largely loose support in Capture One, DxO Optics (they support only "linear DNGs," which I understand is one of three variants), and Corel AfterShot, as well as some other software. Perhaps they (correctly?) saw it as a power play on Adobe's part, and believed they had to take a stand. After all, Leica is the only company (that immediately comes to mind) which bundles Adobe software with their cameras, so they don't care. But everyone else potentially could.

I believe that over time the DNG format - with its continual changes - will actually make things more difficult for all the software makers, should they decide to support it. This will be true whether it's house-brand software (e.g. Canon DPP) or "universal" software (e.g. DxO Optics). Perhaps they've realized this, and this is why they're against it. Not to mention that it gives one of their competitors most of the control.



Beyond the DNG battle (be it politics or a fight for survival) and the tell-tale scare tactics and arm-twisting Adobe's used recently, I believe there are some technical problems with converting one's RAW library to DNG (even more-so if done outside of camera). This includes real-world compatibility problems and Adobe's discarding of data It doesn't understand today (but might tomorrow). Workarounds can be kludges or huge time and space wasters, nullifying DNGs promise of unification and simplification. And some user comments led me to believe that users with future problems may eventually become reliant upon Adobe as their provider and savior, since others may be unable to repair the problems Adobe caused in the first place!

In fact, DNG is probably the least problematic on Pentax (or Ricoh or Leica) than on any other system - but it still doesn't work for me.

Thanks for the comment on Aperture's earlier support of DNG-only on the K-3 - I'd somehow forgotten it happened this way. It helped explain why I had the idea that DNG was better with Aperture (which I stated in another thread recently), in contrast to Capture One which is better with PEF. Perhaps you noticed - if so, thanks for kindly slipping this in.

Last edited by DSims; 06-27-2014 at 01:14 AM.
06-27-2014, 12:56 AM   #7
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Looks like I will be using DNG for software compatibility. I was having problems with PEF before on the K-x.
06-27-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
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Congratulations on your new purchase!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy!!!!!

06-27-2014, 01:07 AM   #9
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K-x does DNG too. I've been using DNG's on the K200D, K-x, K-5 and K-3.

DNG hasn't been an issue for me. RAW processors like Capture One/DxO/Lightroom have supported DNG for every Pentax I have used.

The Adobe things I really hate are Acrobat (I use Sumatra to read PDF's instead), and Flash.
06-27-2014, 01:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Learjet Quote
Looks like I will be using DNG for software compatibility. I was having problems with PEF before on the K-x.
I sounds like everything I said didn't scare you, and it shouldn't.


Just make sure you try both formats in whichever RAW processing software you choose (will it be Lightroom?).


Pay attention to how many auto adjustments it makes, and which one makes your RAW photos look better before you start making any adjustments on your own (Hint: that's the better one!)
06-27-2014, 02:32 AM   #11
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Thanks eaglem, DSims and rawr.

My processing software is just DSS for stacking astro pics, saving as TIFF and working on them with Photoshop. DSS didn't like PEF, and yeah I missed that DNG menu setting on the K-x, silly me.
06-27-2014, 12:22 PM   #12
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Congratulations, you'll like the rugged K5.
06-27-2014, 10:47 PM   #13
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Thanks TER-OR. I had an astronomy session with it last night and can see the advantages of it over the K-x so very happy with it so far. Now I just need more batteries, and a GPS and and......
06-29-2014, 03:22 PM   #14
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The GPS unit is cool. I have started an insect survey project at Fermi Lab and the automatic geotagging is really useful. Eventually I will go somewhere dark enough to do some good astrotracing.
06-29-2014, 11:01 PM   #15
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I'm really enjoying the K-5. The battery lasts for ages compared to the K-x and AA's.
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