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11-27-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
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Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 - Why Use it?

Hey all,

A question that may seem silly, but here goes.

Should I use Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4?

I have previously been doing all my importing, cataloguing and editing in Lightroom.

Are there any advantages of PDCU4 over lightroom?

Thanks in advance.

11-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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You can continue to use Lightroom. Nothing wrong.

PDCU is useful for those of us (incl. myself) who do not have a prior software. PDCU is not bad but still has a few bugs. It does not bother me, but I cna easily understand others prefer other softwares.

If you like Ligthroom, keep using it.

My only suggestion could be to consider some specialised plug-in's, for example for lens distortion correction and noise reduction.

* For example, PTLens is excellent for lens distortion and more accurate than PDCU or other general softwares. This is particularly relevant if you use zoom lenses and need some accuracy in the lens distortion correction.

* For noise reduction, some dedicated softwares like Noiseware and NosieNinja (for example) give better results than PDCU or basic softwares. This is important if you shoot in low light conditions.

Hope that the comment will help...
11-27-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
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I have not used Lightroom but I can say the Pentax camera utility offers nothing over Adobe CS5, I also do realize that the Pentax software is free and CS5 is > $2000 but I nothing else to compare it to.

I would assume Lightroom is better Pentax Utility and I doubt it offers anything that Lightroom cannot do.
11-27-2010, 06:25 PM   #4
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The benefit of the Pentax software is that it enables your in-camera jpeg settings to be applied to the raw file. A set of shooters prefers that look. Lightroom can replicate on-camera settings for Nikon & Canon images but not Pentax. That's a shame as for my Canon post work I'll sometimes indeed favor the "portrait" or "landscape" look as a starting point.


11-27-2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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I have the older version (3.51) of the Pentax software. I actually processed PEFs with Photo Lab for 18 months before finally going with Elements 6. The reason I switched was a) there was no healing brush to fix dust spots or other details, and b) the interface was just bad (too much wasted white space, for one thing).

I still use Photo Browser for a) viewing PEFs and deleting the duds, b) extracting the jpg from the PEFs for comparison purposes in another more-convenient viewer, and c) saving the data list of exif info.
11-28-2010, 05:11 AM   #6
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I like the output from DCU a lot. But I also have some major probs using it as part of my workflow. BTW I shoot RAW+. I have PSE7 and I did all the tags using PSE. Ideally I would want to do all the JPG conversion using DCU but I find that when i bring the DNG files (already tagged in PSE) to DCU, the output JPG files will lose all the IPTC info....and big bummer for me...if there is a way to do this, I sure would like to know.

I downloaded a trial version of silkypix and it is able to read the tags from PSE and output correctly as well. So I am not sure why DCU is so much more difficult in this regards.
12-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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I have Lightroom 3.2 and DCU4. I have compared RAW conversion from both programs and have concluded that when I have an image that requires the colors to really pop and be vibrant (like sunsets), DCU4 will give me a better starting point than the ACR converter in Lightroom. It is very difficult to find the adjustments in Lightroom that will duplicate the DCU color. On the other hand, if a particular photo requires more in the areas of contrast, sharpness, and effects, it's Lightroom all the way. Normally, I prefer to stay in Lightroom because the Develop tools and interface are much better than DCU4.
On a side note, since I got the Topaz Adjust plugin, I use DCU4 even less since Adjust is able to bring dramatic vibrance into any photo. However, I find that when using Adjust, I need to use a layers-based program like Photoshop to fade the Adjust effects into the original photo to get the best control over the effects.


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