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04-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
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Pentax Camera Utility 5

Hi!

I have been shooting RAW+ and found that after editing my RAW files in Adobe Camera RAW I could not get them as good as out of camera. I have used ACR for many years and never the Pentax program until now. The JPGs out of the program looks more natural than out of ACR so I started to have them beside one another to see if I could understand why. The first pic is with Pentax program and the second with ACR. Shot today with K-3+DA*300 and the new 1.4x TC, handheld. This after having them side by side tweaking all over the place. Especially the sharpness is an issue. I think I got close this time.


What I would like to be able to do is move between these two programs without making TIFF-files. Just xmp-files. Anyone with an idea if this is possible? I thought that the DNG files would store the changes made in the Pentax program as the ACR does but it does not seem to do that so DNG is not the answer.






Last edited by Tjompen1968; 04-11-2014 at 02:01 PM.
04-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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The reason ACR is different (and generally not as good looking without significant tweaking) is that Adobe has rather poor camera profiles. Older versions of their software are even worse in this regard. In fact, IMO their whole editing engine wasn't that good until they re-designed it for LR4 and the corresponding CS (CS6, IIRC). This is the main reason I moved to Capture One, because it has very good camera profiles and an equal or sometimes better editing engine. It's yet a third option to consider. 60 day trial is free and it handles XMP files. Unlike LR, you can use it with or without their library. I do most of my work (including printing - I like their print module) in C1, and then send the file to PS CC the few times I want to do more with it.

The Pentax DCU isn't well polished (it crashes sometimes) but it does a good job of replicating the camera's settings, and (as you've no doubt discovered) has a number of useful adjustments beyond that.


But if you still want to go Pentax DCU to CS/CC, I'm not sure how to do it without the intermediate file. Nevertheless, LR and C1 (as well as others) have fairly complete editing, so you should probably skip the ACR portion of PS and go straight into the main program when you need it.
04-11-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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I have had a similar experience, though with the in-camera JPEG conversion (essentially the same as PCU) in comparison to Lightroom (ACR). For some photos, I was never able to fully reproduce the JPEG. I can't imagine what the difference might be. I don't think it is camera profiles since I should be able to do anything in ACR that any profile would be capable of.*


Steve

* LR user since 2007 and pretty good at getting it to jump through hoops.
04-11-2014, 05:14 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have had a similar experience, though with the in-camera JPEG conversion (essentially the same as PCU) in comparison to Lightroom (ACR). For some photos, I was never able to fully reproduce the JPEG. I can't imagine what the difference might be. I don't think it is camera profiles since I should be able to do anything in ACR that any profile would be capable of.*


Steve

* LR user since 2007 and pretty good at getting it to jump through hoops.
I still think it's largely due to the camera profiles, but either way your statement really gets to the point:


- It's very frustrating, whatever the cause;
- It's difficult to correct (if it can be done at all);
- It's particularly endemic to Adobe.


You can do great things with their software, and there's no replacement for PS when you need it, but this characteristic is hard for me to accept - especially since I see no good reason for it, and competitors have done better for a long time.

04-11-2014, 05:39 PM   #5
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To help with colours in Lightroom go down to "Camera calibration" and select a different profile, like "embedded." You can also try finding a user-made one specifically for your camera.
I find Lightroom to be pretty powerful. SilkyPix might be better for Pentax photos, but I find it difficult to use. Its a little squiggly and has a function layout that is (for me) confusing. Its too bad that each software has its pros and cons. Lightroom is a goo compromise in my opinion. It does everything all right.
Btw, not sure of Capture One actually has such great Pentax camera profiles. In fact, this was often pointed out as a bit of a problem with that particular software, but lots of Pentaxians still like to use it, as its pretty powerful overall. Lots of Pentaxians also like FastStone, as a free alternative. And Corel Aftershot Pro. Using some free trials is a good idea, so you can find one that suits you best.
04-11-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Btw, not sure of Capture One actually has such great Pentax camera profiles. In fact, this was often pointed out as a bit of a problem with that particular software, but lots of Pentaxians still like to use it, as its pretty powerful overall.
I haven't seen it as a problem, and the photos look good to me with it. Maybe not identical to Pentax JPEGs, but they look good - and that's what matters to me. Obviously personal taste can come into play here.


But I haven't heard of complaints about their Pentax profiles. I do know they re-did the K-5 profile a while after its release, and labeled it as "K-5 v.2." And they currently don't have a profile for the K-3, which means K-3 RAW files look absolutely awful. But they do have them for most Pentax cameras, and the ones I've used are good. Is one of these two cases possibly what you're referring to?



Personally, I was impressed that Phase One went back and created a 2nd K-5 profile, just because somebody thought it could be better. But one of their more technical employees told me face-to-face that making camera profiles is not a task to enter into lightly. There are many challenges, so it's not easy for anyone.

I honestly think Adobe just doesn't try that hard sometimes. They have lots of employees, but too much of a "corporate" culture, from what I've heard.

Last edited by DSims; 04-11-2014 at 06:06 PM.
04-11-2014, 06:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
But I haven't heard of complaints about Pentax profiles. I do know they re-did the K-5 profile a while after its release, and labeled it as "K-5 v.2." Is this possibly what you're referring to?
Yeah, and some claim the K-3 profile is still very basic. And there is a thread going on about its 645D profiles. But I agree with you, it is still a good software, and if you are skilled you can process great photos with it
04-11-2014, 06:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Yeah, and some claim the K-3 profile is still very basic. And there is a thread going on about its 645D profiles. But I agree with you, it is still a good software, and if you are skilled you can process great photos with it
You can't count the K-3 and 645D, when they don't even have profiles for them. When they support a camera, the profiles are good, in my experience. And virtually all Pentax models are supported - even all 3 of the Qs. But they're not about to support the 645D, any more than they'd support Hasselblad. These are MF competitors to them. And both of them have relatively terrible software, whereas Phase One makes arguably the best software available. Their software is a real strength for them, and it only enhances the appeal of their already excellent digital backs.

So there are no 645D profiles. Officially, they don't support the camera at all. But I'm sure it can still read the files, if you shoot DNG. However, I'd expect the colors to look poor. So a mediocre Adobe profile is better than no Capture One profile at all. But mediocre doesn't equal good, either.



NEWS FLASH: I just noticed they added K-3 support within the last couple of weeks or so. Their sometimes slower support of Pentax bodies is a genuine strike against them. But they do a much better job than Adobe of processing many specific cameras' files - especially ones like Fuji X-Trans. I'm downloading the update right now - I suspect the K-3 profile will be good.


Last edited by DSims; 04-11-2014 at 06:40 PM.
04-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I still think it's largely due to the camera profiles, but either way your statement really gets to the point:
QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
- It's particularly endemic to Adobe.
I didn't say that.


Steve
04-11-2014, 09:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I didn't say that.


Steve
Sorry, I didn't mean to put words in your mouth. Poorly stated on my part.

They're all my points, but your statement supports the idea that this is problematic, even for those with much Adobe experience.



I thought it was interesting that we had different perspectives, yet we both experienced a similar difficulty.
04-13-2014, 01:05 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your replies. I will try some new software and see if it helps me.
04-13-2014, 01:33 PM   #12
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I came to a conclusion, that even scenes from one set, show with one camera and one lens sometimes need to be processed with different software to achieve the results that satisfy me the most. For low light shooting and for some complex lighting conditions I much prefer DxO over anything else. For sunny shots and for certain nature shots I much prefer SilkyPix. In some cases the results I need can be achieved only in Lightroom or PDCU. In some very rare cases I used RawTherapee.
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