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12-08-2007, 09:54 PM   #1
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K20D JPEG compression (not sharpness)

Scientifically, the K10D jpeg is shown to be more compressed than some of its competition. I believe one unscientific way to see this is the E-510 5-6MB jpegs compared to K10D 2MB jpegs. This does affect some of the opinions on K10D jpeg quality and undeniably leads to other issues..

I assume we are going to be made to believe this is set in hardware on the K10D, and not improvable by firmware, so the question becomes what is the K20 jpeg compression going to be?

For example, here's a pro photographer's practical real world experience, not theoretical "always use RAW" attitudes, and what the E-3 is also willing to offer owners who need quality jpg:

The E-3 has a hidden "SuperFine" setting that you have to search for. As he notes,"They used a compression ratio of 1:2.7, whereas finest quality for most other cameras is 1:4 or even 1:8.

Olympus E3 JPG Compression

With all the loud posters here snootily posting Only Use RAW, Only Use RAW, Only Use RAW, on and on clouding the actual issue, did Pentax consider this aspect of jpeg quality for the K20D? Those with the all-impressive NDA's might know this - any comment (other than the "new file format" it is supposed to have?

I wonder if the K10D has a hidden menu to choose less jpeg compression? In the Debug menu?

12-08-2007, 11:18 PM   #2
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I don't know what the next model is going to do, but I have always found it odd that the K10 jpegs are so small. They aren't appreciably larger than the *istD jpegs. Jpegs made in Photoshop from my K10 files are anywhere from 3 to 7 MB when saved at level 10 (out of 12). I would expect that the "best" mode in jpeg would mean minimal compression and be a little larger.
12-09-2007, 01:44 AM   #3
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How exactly is it "snooty" if you can get better results on ANY camera using RAW? Seems to me it's just using common sense
12-09-2007, 01:52 AM   #4
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I do not know what compression ratio the K10D uses for JPEG's, however a recent set of photos I took with the JPG setting ranged from 2.5 - 5MB depending the amount of data per photo.

If you are really only getting 2MB files out of the camera then it sounds as though you have not set the 'JPEG Rec Pixels' and/or the 'JPEG Quality' settings to maximum.

12-09-2007, 02:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mutley Quote
I believe one unscientific way to see this is the E-510 5-6MB jpegs compared to K10D 2MB jpegs.
But have you seen any examples of JPG artifacts with K10D output? If not, then why are you worried about file size?

BTW, Oly sensor is inherently noisier than K10D, so naturally, JPG file size would be larger even if they use the same compression ratio.

QuoteQuote:
The E-3 has a hidden "SuperFine" setting that you have to search for.
Yeah, and they hide it pretty well. One would wonder if Oly themselves believe this would be so useful or make a huge difference in the output.
12-09-2007, 06:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
But have you seen any examples of JPG artifacts with K10D output? If not, then why are you worried about file size?
They're very apparent in some of the the images I did for my contrast/saturation matrix earlier. That was done with RAW converted in-camera to ★★★ JPEG but at 2Mpix. Take a look at the one with just the leaves against the sky. Obviously the smaller resolution makes 88 pixel JPEG blocks a bigger problem, but it's bad enough that I've also got a bit of concern for full resolution too. When I get some time, I'm going to put together a test page specifically comparing the various in-camera JPEG settings.
12-09-2007, 06:52 AM   #7
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RAW also gives greater control over the final image than jpeg does. When shooting jpeg, you are letting the camera make all of the post processing decisions to get to the jpeg and then you are limited in what you can tweak later...

I don't shoot jpeg because the images are 'nicer', I shoot it because I can tweak wb if I need to and have better control over post processing...that said, shooting jpeg works okay for me when I choose to do it.
12-09-2007, 07:05 AM   #8
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Well actually there ARE some issues with JPEG artifacts. Not that much, seen only in 100% crop under SOME conditions (high-contrast edges). Why does it worries me? Sometimes i crop images, so that the cropped ones are nearly 100%, and there those artifacts come out. I'd really be happy to see much less compressed JPEGs in my K10D (please, please, dear Pentax, issue that firmware upgrade!) or at least in the next camera.
I don't understand why Pentax cannot just make a firmware upgrade with less JPEG compression, concidering so many people complaining about that...

12-09-2007, 07:29 AM   #9
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They probably can but IMO they really have other urgent things to do...
12-09-2007, 07:53 AM   #10
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Yeah, they have to get K20D and K200D ready, that i can understand. I just hope there will be one more (only one, I am not asking for much lol) update for K10D, including JPEG settings. And... erm... well, i hope Samsung will issue that additional update too...
12-09-2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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Don't worry Pentax has listend and no that can't fix the jpeg issue with a firmware upgrade.

Shooting RAW in the K10D is the only way to get the true "highest" quality out of the camera, but I've printed 16X24 prints from in camera Jpegs and they are gorgeous to say the least. Everyone who is looking at these numbers and "softness" on their monitor aren't printing the pictures. Believe me when I say that looking at your monitor and printing are two different stories, not too mention cameras are meant to have the pictures printed stared at on monitors that all differ in quality, not to mention differing viewing programs give you different results. If you open a file in Windows File and Fax viewer every image will look soft from any camera becuase the program itself has a compression factor so it can load images quickly.

I still don't understand why I'm hearing complaints about Jpeg quality? What microscope are you using to compare images and why? No body views an image at 100% on the internet cause you have to scroll around and will never see the whole picture and if you're cropping that close like 10% of the entire image you should really have a longer lens or just get closer to the subject. The Canon 5D has soft jpegs, actually all full frame cameras have softer jpegs for that matter and you don't hear this many complaints about it. We could have the sharpness of the Canon 40D in jpegs, but then you get artifacts and aliasing which I'm definitely not a fan of. When I shoot the 40D I have to turn down the in jpeg or be very careful in RAW to make sure to turn of the sharpness in ACR off or i'll have artifact galore in harsh contrast areas, plus aliasing jaggies. It's a camera, it takes pictures, pictures are meant to be printed, pictures aren't meant to be debated on microscopic parts of it, pictures are meant to be seen as the whole picture.

But again, they have listened and you won't have as much trouble with the K20D, it's just unfortunate that people have been so harsh on the same topic since the first day it came out. Topics like this make new users afraid of their equipment even though there is no need to be.
12-09-2007, 09:05 AM   #12
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Well actually yes, JPEG quality of my GX-10 is great. I mean really GREAT. It gives great opportunities for cropping. Sharp (yes, yes, they ARE very sharp), colorful, full of details. That took sime tweaking of settings, but hey, that's good that the camera can adjust for everyone!
But with one more setting - less JPG compression (one more mode in JPEG quality setting) those pics can be even better!

So if it looks like I am complaining about BAD jpeg quality, then it's my fault. I am not. I just want them to be even better, knowing it IS possible with just lower compression. But as they are now, those pictures are already better then from most of all other DSRLs!
12-09-2007, 09:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snowcat Quote
Well actually yes, JPEG quality of my GX-10 is great. I mean really GREAT. It gives great opportunities for cropping. Sharp (yes, yes, they ARE very sharp), colorful, full of details. That took sime tweaking of settings, but hey, that's good that the camera can adjust for everyone!
But with one more setting - less JPG compression (one more mode in JPEG quality setting) those pics can be even better!

So if it looks like I am complaining about BAD jpeg quality, then it's my fault. I am not. I just want them to be even better, knowing it IS possible with just lower compression. But as they are now, those pictures are already better then from most of all other DSRLs!
Snowcat, do you have problems with shooting RAW? I shoot RAW only, DNG, and can still get over 200 images on a 4 Gb card. Then using PP I can get the jpeg quality I want. The only places I need jpg is for the weekly newspaper I string for and for printing cheaply. For printing I want to tweak not only the quality, but the WB, the constrast, the saturation the ...
12-09-2007, 10:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mutley Quote
With all the loud posters here snootily posting Only Use RAW, Only Use RAW, Only Use RAW, on and on clouding the actual issue, did Pentax consider this aspect of jpeg quality for the K20D? Those with the all-impressive NDA's might know this - any comment (other than the "new file format" it is supposed to have?

Well I only use RAW. I have from day 1, and it has nothing to do with being "snooty".

I shoot RAW for 2 reasons:

Number 1 and most important, I am an imperfect photographer. I want and need the extra latitude RAW gives me to recover an improperly exposed image. On more than one occasion that image was THE image from a shoot. I also like the fact I don't have to deal with WB until I process. It is one less thing to think about.

Second, these aren't $200-300 film bodies. If like me you bought your K10 last year when it came out, you paid close to $1000. Paid about that for my DS also. I've invested a considerable amount of money on excellent quality glass. I just feel I should squeeze every bit of quality I can out of this equipment for what I have paid for it, and that means RAW (For any DSLR).

It constantly amazes me that people want and expect an imperfect file format in only 8bits produced by an underpowered very small computer should be perfect out of the camera. Frankly, it amazes me also, that any of these cameras produce as good a jpeg as they do.

Someone over at another forum wrote that jpeg is is like shooting a Polaroid, and we all know how crappy they look. I would not go so far, but I would say the difference is like sending your film to a local "Photomat" to be printed, or sending them to a custom lab, or doing them your self. Some people will not see the difference, and that is fine, I did see the difference with film, and did my own processing and printing. I'm just carrying that work flow over to digital.

I'm not being snooty, and resent the implication. If you are happy with jpeg, fine. Shoot jpeg and be happy. Keep in mind that all Pentax jpegs except the K100/110 have taken big hits in reviews. You should know going in that you need to do some work to extract the image potential with a Pentax DSLR whatever format you shoot.

Just my opinion, YMMV.
12-09-2007, 10:53 AM   #15
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I didn't have a problem with the look of the K10 jpegs, I was just curious about the size difference. I shoot raw anyway because I far prefer my own post processing to in camera post processing. It really isn't that big of a deal.
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