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11-17-2011, 02:59 AM   #1
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Digital Camera Utility Help

hello.

i have been looking through various forums for assistance with PDCU4 since i got my K5 and have a question that i hope you might be able to answer.

i have moved to Pentax from using a Panasonic LX3 which shoots raw.

with PDCU i dont understand why if i shoot RAW + JPEG both images look absolutely identical. the histogram's look slightly different but i thought i woudl be able to see what the camera is doing to the DNG to make the JPEG.

i assumed that when viewing in PDCU in the laboratory tab that the DNG would look a little rough and that under the exposure tone menu on the right that when i clicked the jpeg there would be a curve on the exposure tone graph rather than a flat diagonal.

i plan to just shoot raw and am finding it difficult to work out what i should do with the raw files to get the software to mimic the JPEG that the camera would create, do i need to be "creating" a curve on the raw file using that graph and then putting the images in the queue for processing. it is not the most intuitive software but i understand it does quite a good job, especially as it is free!

11-18-2011, 12:12 AM   #2
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Having never looked so close at the Raw v JPG comparison I couldn't answer what I think your question is. What I can say, however is development in PDCU has saved a number of photo's for me, as the extra info in the raw file has helped me change white balance, or increase/decrease exposure with great success. I've also used it to create single exposure HDR images - the purist would balk, but its still quite effective. St.Andrews @ Dusk - a set on Flickr
11-18-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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Clarification

i fully understand that there are a number of adjustments that i can make to my raw images, the better way to ask my original question would be under the following terms:-

1. if i have the DNG file on my screen and simply add it to process queue without any alterations and then hit ok from image process queue will it create a jpeg exactly as the camera would have created a jpeg, and

2. my understanding of when a camera creates a jpeg from a raw file is that one of the things that it does is create a tone curve, why when i open a jpeg in PDCU is the curve flat, when i process a DNG is a tone curve being created at all or is that one of the things i am supposed to be doing myself as a matter of routine.

3. Is "extract jpeg" used when you have made alterations to just provide a preview image of what the final jpeg should look like

4. if i have a histogram where there is no data at one end, should i be dragging the arrows in the exposure pane curve to cause the histogram to have data spread evenly. (this question may not make sense!) i have used other software that allows levels adjustments, dragging the sliders to the black and white points. what should i be doing in PDCU instead?

5. i am assuming i will find a set of adjustments that i will like to be generally applied to my photos and then save those adjustments as a parameter?

hope to receive some replies!

Mark

Last edited by mcut; 11-18-2011 at 07:48 AM.
11-18-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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As far as #3 goes, "Extract" takes the lower quality un-modified jpeg out of the RAW file. I think of them as contact proof prints...

For a quick look (to view in a better editor) I sometimes "extract" a whole card full of images (in perhaps a minute at most) versus a few seconds each for the conversion.

11-18-2011, 11:23 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcut Quote
i plan to just shoot raw and am finding it difficult to work out what i should do with the raw files to get the software to mimic the JPEG that the camera would create, do i need to be "creating" a curve on the raw file using that graph and then putting the images in the queue for processing. it is not the most intuitive software but i understand it does quite a good job, especially as it is free!
I'm afraid your previous software is not very relevant to DCU4. The way DCU4 works is very simple. The raw data is displayed with all camera settings (image tone, contrast, sharpness, white balance etc) exactly as they were in the camera when you took the photo. If you do a straight conversion (Save As), all of these settings will be written to the jpeg. In other words, the converted raw photo will look pretty much identical to a camera produced jpeg.

Note though, that the camera settings are not set until you do the conversion. Let's say you shoot a mountain vista with Natural image tone, all other settings (saturation, sharpness etc) set to defaults. The photo will be lack pop, it will be a little drab. So in processing, you change the image tone to Landscape, with maybe an extra nudge in contrast, and you warm up the white balance. Now if you do Save As, the jpeg will incorporate the new DCU4 settings. No settings are written to the raw photo, they are still fully adjustable, so you could process the shot in a number of different ways, saving each resulting jpeg with its own name (or overwriting a previous copy if you wish).

If you use Extract JPEG, the settings will again default to the original camera settings, none of the DCU4 settings will be incorporated. Another thing to be aware of with Extract JPEG, is that the compression is very heavy. With my K20D for example, a 20MB raw file, which may end up around 6MB using Save As, will only be about 1MB if I use Extract JPEG. Not great for printing.

I hope this answers your questions.
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