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10-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #1
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PDCU 4 and RAW DNG images from a K5/K7 - noise handling questions.

I have been using PDCU ever since I got my first Pentax DSLR (K10D) to "develop" my DNG (not PEF) RAW files taken with either my K5 and/or my K7.

After years of doing this ... (be gentle here), I have realized today only that once the file has been "saved" as a JPEG image, that there is some obvious waxing effect (looks like smoothing of the details) to the extent that fine details are lost, especially at high ISO (2400 and up).
This is when I pixel peek at 60 to 100 %.

If I take that same RAW file and extract it with Photoshop CS5 ACR, there is no such waxing of the details.
But there is a fair amount of noise which I usually deal with Topaz Denoise (plug-in). That in turn will cause some loss of details but not as much as with RAW to JPEG files with PDCU.

When I looked at the parameters (default) set in PDCU, I see that the only noise reduction option that is "checked" is something called spurious noise reduction".

The question(s):

1. Should I reset the PDCU option for spurious noise reduction at zero?
2. Is there any way to make sure that the RAW file will not show loss of details once converted to JPEG?
3. Any alternative way suggested?

Thanks for all suggestion(s) and/or comment(s) !

JP

10-09-2014, 05:41 AM   #2
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I'm not a seasoned professional, nor even a particularly experienced amateur, but I do know this: jpeg is a compressed format and when you convert a file to jpeg you *will* lose detail. In some software, at least, you can set the compression to zero and preserve detail but then you give up the smaller footprint of the digital file. It seems to me that one should work with a raw file until all the post processing is complete then only convert to jpeg when it is ready to be published and archive the raw file for any future work. The final result will be a balancing act between image quality and file size.


*edit* I should also add the every time you open a jpeg, modify it in any way then resave it you lose additional detail. If there is any possible way to avoid it, never edit a derivative image; only work with an original. If the original is already jpeg, save it in a raw format for any subsequent editing. Never edit an already edited jpeg.

Last edited by dakight; 10-09-2014 at 05:48 AM.
10-09-2014, 07:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dakight Quote
I'm not a seasoned professional, nor even a particularly experienced amateur, but I do know this: jpeg is a compressed format and when you convert a file to jpeg you *will* lose detail. In some software, at least, you can set the compression to zero and preserve detail but then you give up the smaller footprint of the digital file. It seems to me that one should work with a raw file until all the post processing is complete then only convert to jpeg when it is ready to be published and archive the raw file for any future work. The final result will be a balancing act between image quality and file size.


*edit* I should also add the every time you open a jpeg, modify it in any way then resave it you lose additional detail. If there is any possible way to avoid it, never edit a derivative image; only work with an original. If the original is already jpeg, save it in a raw format for any subsequent editing. Never edit an already edited jpeg.
Thanks for the info.
Much appreciated!
I will return here later: I would like to ask a couple more things.

JP
10-09-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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There are sliders for Spurious, Multi-level and Random noise. The Spurious description in the Help file sounds kind of like chroma NR; who knows what the others are. I'd try a lower setting.

You should be able to export as a 16-bit TIFF just to see whether JPEG conversion is your problem. The resulting file size is huge, but probably better for a separate NR program to work with.

11-24-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
There are sliders for Spurious, Multi-level and Random noise. The Spurious description in the Help file sounds kind of like chroma NR; who knows what the others are. I'd try a lower setting.

You should be able to export as a 16-bit TIFF just to see whether JPEG conversion is your problem. The resulting file size is huge, but probably better for a separate NR program to work with.
Hi Dave.
Thanks a bunch for the reply.
Sorry to reply late, as usual.

I started another thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/32-digital-processing-software-printing/2...ps-wanted.html
to see if I would get more interest/suggestions.

How would you "export" a RAW file to TIFF, direct from either software PDCU and/or Photoshop CS5 ?

Cheers!

JP
11-24-2014, 11:58 AM   #6
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Since you're using PDCU4, all camera settings are imported with the raw file. Check your camera settings for High ISO Noise Reduction, it sounds like they are too aggressive. When I used DCU, I adjusted levels in the camera for noise, and rarely had to play with NR settings in raw. When I do need extra NR, I use Noiseware. I've continued to use Noiseware even now that I've transitioned to LR5. It does a fantastic job and there is a free shareware edition.
11-26-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Since you're using PDCU4, all camera settings are imported with the raw file. Check your camera settings for High ISO Noise Reduction, it sounds like they are too aggressive. When I used DCU, I adjusted levels in the camera for noise, and rarely had to play with NR settings in raw. When I do need extra NR, I use Noiseware. I've continued to use Noiseware even now that I've transitioned to LR5. It does a fantastic job and there is a free shareware edition.
It seems to me that I set the K5 for noise reduction at the minimum, if any, for High ISO NR (shots).
I am not at home at the moment but will double check when I get there and report back here.
Thanks for the reply.
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