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09-07-2015, 01:31 PM   #1
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RAW color issue

Hello,

I`m having this strange (stupid?) problem with colours in my K-3. First of all I assumed that colour settings (e.g. natural, portrait) should not affect output images when shooting RAW. I`ve read it here on the forum and it was logical to the point that I`ve never actually tested it. But ever since I`ve updated my camera to K-3 my photos lack saturation, so I did a little research. Maybe I am wrong, miss something... Here are 2 samples just to show the idea:

1. Natural


2.Bright


Both images copied to the computer as a RAW file (DNG) and then processed to JPEG using faststone. Both have same aperture, shutter speed etc. Funny thing is that using DxO 10 both images look very similar when not using any preset and converting to JPEG.

Same goes with other colour settings- I can tweak them and they still apply to the images. I know that I can use natural and just edit all of them later or just tweak in-camera setting to satisfy my taste, but this is slightly annoying as I do not recall having those issues with my older K-r- I just shot an image and edit it if it lacked something. The base RAW file there was good enough to start with, while now I can see that I need to "do the job" every single time. And shooting in JPEG is not an option, as those damn presets work just as well in RAW, so whats the point anyways...

09-07-2015, 01:47 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kay350 Quote
I`m having this strange (stupid?) problem with colours in my K-3. First of all I assumed that colour settings (e.g. natural, portrait) should not affect output images when shooting RAW. I`ve read it here on the forum and it was logical to the point that I`ve never actually tested it.
Oh, well here we need to be very clear.
First of all, you need to take photos in raw format (dng or pef) and not jpeg. This is an in-camera setting. A lot of raw software allows you to import something "as raw" even if it is not actually raw to begin with.
Secondly, each raw file (like dng) contains all the raw data and also a preview thumbnail, which is a jpeg and is affected by all the camera settings. This is why things like lens corrections will slow down the camera even if you shoot raw, despite the fact that they don't affect the raw data itself.
Moving on. Another problem is that some raw preview software opens the jpeg thumbnail instead of the actual raw data. I don't know how to deal with this and what to do in Faststone, though. I don't use Faststone, but I have heard good things about it and I know some forum users enjoy it.

And yes, raw files are usually a little bland. The idea is that instead of the camera adding saturation, contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, lens corrections, etc. you do it by hand. Thus you can choose more settings, use more sophisticated tools/software, and you have more data to work with (since jpeg is highly compressed).

To summarize: Make sure you are taking photos in raw, in-camera. Make sure the raw software is reading the actual raw data and not importing jpegs or displaying previews.
The raw files should be significantly bigger than jpeg files (depending on camera, but around 14-20MB, can be even more).

Edit: You might want to edit the thread name to include "FastStone", so that people using that same software will notice it and check it out

Last edited by Na Horuk; 09-07-2015 at 01:54 PM.
09-07-2015, 01:52 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Some programs probably also use the jpeg settings as guidelines as to the starting point display of the RAW data (even if it isn't just showing the thumbnail) -- after all, the software has to give it SOME settings or you couldn't see an image, so it will either be their own defaults or something embedded in the RAW file. So while the jpeg settings do not "lock in" anything about the RAW file, it still may affect initial display or simple default processing for some programs...
09-07-2015, 02:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
A lot of raw software allows you to import something "as raw" even if it is not actually raw to begin with.
I copied files using Windows file explorer, so no importing through software.

QuoteQuote:
some raw preview software opens the jpeg thumbnail instead of the actual raw data.
This should be illegal

QuoteQuote:
Make sure you are taking photos in raw, in-camera.
Tick.

QuoteQuote:
Make sure the raw software is reading the actual raw data and not importing jpegs or displaying previews.
How to do that? Any tips, or programs that can do that? By the way, this is complete nonsense. If I shoot RAW I want to see my RAW file, not some fake processing fakely applied by the camera to fool me. Absurd. First the camera tricks me by displaying the "JPEG`d" file on its screen, then the software is reading DNG as JPEG... Man, the world is not a simple place to live...

QuoteQuote:
The raw files should be significantly bigger than jpeg files (depending on camera, but around 14-20MB, can be even more).
Tick. I double-checked myself: those files are RAW files, with .DNG at the of the file name.

09-07-2015, 02:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kay350 Quote
If I shoot RAW I want to see my RAW file, not some fake processing fakely applied by the camera to fool me. Absurd. First the camera tricks me by displaying the "JPEG`d" file on its screen
Well, there is no such thing as "seeing" the RAW file -- it has to be "developed" somehow. (A RAW file is like raw ingredients of recipe that hasn't been cooked yet.) The question is how, with what settings? There is no default way. And that's a process that takes time also -- so some programs just show you the embedded jpeg (which was created by the camera using its particular recipe) until asked to do more, if they are even capable of doing more.
09-07-2015, 02:40 PM   #6
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That's how every Pentax dslr has worked back to the *ist D, as far as I know. Probably other brands too. When you shoot a RAW shot, the camera also generates a JPEG, using the settings you've applied. When you open the file in fast stone, you only access that JPEG. If you use Pentax utility, you see the JPEG to start but can change any of the settings as if you had them set differently in the camera.

I think dxo generates its own JPEG from the raw file. So that might explain the difference. I'm not sure what was happening with your old camera.

Bottom line: fast stone, although very useful, only edits jpegs. Good luck!
09-07-2015, 02:47 PM   #7
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So what's the point of using RAW +JPEG if you get a JPEG image while shooting RAW only?

So the next conclusion would be that output image is not a product of a sensor but of software. So, if I were to put a Canon sensor inside my camera the only difference between images from it and those coming out of original K-3 would be resolution?
09-07-2015, 02:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kay350 Quote
So what's the point of using RAW +JPEG if you get a JPEG image while shooting RAW only?
The jpg embedded in the RAW is not normally full-size, and is intended as a thumbnail so programs don't have to "develop" them (which is computer intensive) just in order to see what is in them. And of course, many programs can't develop them.

QuoteQuote:
So the next conclusion would be that output image is not a product of a sensor but of software.
That's like saying a cookie is a product of a cookbook and not of flour, eggs, and sugar. Of course it is both, but raw materials matter. A lot.

09-07-2015, 03:04 PM   #9
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With FASTSTONE, the JPEG is displayed by default..
To load the RAW press 'A'.


QuoteQuote:
A lot of raw software allows you to import something "as raw" even if it is not actually raw to begin with.
I have never heard of any application that will load JPG as RAW... I'm not even sure if this is possible.

QuoteQuote:
The jpg embedded in the RAW is not normally full-size, and is intended as a thumbnail so programs don't have to "develop" them (which is computer intensive) just in order to see what is in them.
All PENTAX RAW contains a full res JPG (I've had 3 pentax DSLRs, two mirrorless and MX-1 compact.. All embedded JPG are full res).
The only RAW I have come across which doesn't have full res JPG is the GR.
I have also Seen Nikon DSLR RAW which also have full res embedded JPG.
09-07-2015, 03:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kay350 Quote
This should be illegal
It's generally much faster to use the embedded preview than to generate an image from the raw file. In Faststone, under Settings > RAW > "View RAW files in" you can change its behavior.

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
The jpg embedded in the RAW is not normally full-size, and is intended as a thumbnail so programs don't have to "develop" them (which is computer intensive) just in order to see what is in them. And of course, many programs can't develop them.
I'm maybe nitpicking "full-size", but the embedded preview is full size in terms of resolution, but will be of a lower star quality than the maximum (I tested this on my k5iis after a k3 user mentioned it). It's good enough quality that it makes raw+jpeg less attractive.
09-07-2015, 03:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
With FASTSTONE, the JPEG is displayed by default..
To load the RAW press 'A'.




I have never heard of any application that will load JPG as RAW... I'm not even sure if this is possible.


All PENTAX RAW contains a full res JPG (I've had 3 pentax DSLRs, two mirrorless and MX-1 compact.. All embedded JPG are full res).
The only RAW I have come across which doesn't have full res JPG is the GR.
I have also Seen Nikon DSLR RAW which also have full res embedded JPG.
Well, even if they are dimensionally the same, they aren't highest quality, right? (Compressed more with lossy compression.) I've seen comparisons between "highest quality" out of the camera jpegs vs the extracted embedded RAWs -- they embedded ones aren't necessarily bad, but they are not full quality...
09-07-2015, 03:12 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
fast stone, although very useful, only edits jpegs.
It converts raws files, too.

Last edited by SpecialK; 09-07-2015 at 07:52 PM.
09-07-2015, 03:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I've seen comparisons between "highest quality" out of the camera jpegs vs the extracted embedded RAWs -- they embedded ones aren't necessarily bad, but they are not full quality...
The difference is tiny. The Pentax dslr highest star rating is generally well into the "larger file size for very little change in quality" territory.
09-07-2015, 03:16 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kay350 Quote
So what's the point of using RAW +JPEG if you get a JPEG image while shooting RAW only?
The RAW file will always contain a jpeg 'thumbnail' designed to show you roughly what the RAW might look like. This is what is displayed on the camera LCD. Without this thumbnail you would not be able to review your files on the camera. I always assumed this was a lo-res jpeg but Steve above says it is high resolution and I'll defer to his experience on this. Shooting RAW+jpeg gives you the RAW (with embedded jpeg thumbnail) and a full res jpeg baked using the jpeg settings you have in the camera.

As noted above the default on Faststone is to show the jpeg thumbnail unless you tell it otherwise.

Many programs, including Lightroom, initially show the embedded jpeg, then create their own view according to the settings in the software, especially your develop preset. On a fast computer this happens so fast you don't notice but on a slow computer you can watch the file display using the embedded jpeg then change as lightroom creates it's own view.
09-07-2015, 03:37 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
I have never heard of any application that will load JPG as RAW... I'm not even sure if this is possible.
Adobe Camera Raw can. But the only reason you'd do this is to leverage the better noise reduction algorithms and moire removal brush compared to what's in photoshop, for instance.

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