Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-08-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
K7 DNG vs PEF

Are there any benefits to using one RAW format over the other? One advantage I can see is that DNG is more widely supported by third-party software, but is there any other reason to pick one over the other with my K7?

12-08-2009, 04:14 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
I'd suggets a search of this forum, as this exact question has been discussed dozens of times. Basically, the sensor data is the same, but there are differences in the other metadata that can make one a better for certain purposes (eg, DNG allows IPTC and XMP to be embedded rather than requiring a sidecar). And while there are programs that support DNg but not PEF from the K-7, there are others that support PEF but not DNG, so it really comes down to the software *you* are using.
12-08-2009, 05:41 PM   #3
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'd suggets a search of this forum, as this exact question has been discussed dozens of times. Basically, the sensor data is the same, but there are differences in the other metadata that can make one a better for certain purposes (eg, DNG allows IPTC and XMP to be embedded rather than requiring a sidecar). And while there are programs that support DNg but not PEF from the K-7, there are others that support PEF but not DNG, so it really comes down to the software *you* are using.
Thanks for the reply. You're right! There are a bunch of threads on this already. But using the forum's search engine revealed none of them. I had to do a Google search to find the info I needed.

I use only open source tools, except for an old version of Photoshop 7 occasionally. I've been having trouble converting the PEF files generated by my K7 using ufraw 0.15, and have been using DNG instead. My understanding is that the newer version of ufraw (0.16) does support the K7's PEF format, but I don't have that available for my distribution yet. I was just curious to know if I was missing out on anything by using DNG over PEF.

And now I know!
12-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,765
One of the nice things about DNG is it's backwards compatibility with legacy Adobe products. For example, I can open K7 DNG files with Photoshop 7.
This is something to consider if you want the advantages of Adobe products but don't have the funding for the latest and greatest.

12-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #5
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One of the nice things about DNG is it's backwards compatibility with legacy Adobe products. For example, I can open K7 DNG files with Photoshop 7.
See, I had no idea Photoshop 7 did DNG files. I thought it was too old. Now I can stop trying to install Photoshop CS2 on my Linux box.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This is something to consider if you want the advantages of Adobe products but don't have the funding for the latest and greatest.
That's a can of worms best left unopened (whether the expensive stuff is any better than the free stuff)
12-09-2009, 05:53 AM   #6
Veteran Member
Jodokast96's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Erial, NJ USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,134
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One of the nice things about DNG is it's backwards compatibility with legacy Adobe products. For example, I can open K7 DNG files with Photoshop 7.
This is something to consider if you want the advantages of Adobe products but don't have the funding for the latest and greatest.
Odd. I'm unable to open K10D DNG files in PS 6.
12-09-2009, 07:45 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,765
QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
Odd. I'm unable to open K10D DNG files in PS 6.
I don't remember, does PS6 have a raw converter? You still need one of those.

PS7 does, and it opens K7 DNGs. If you are shooting PEF, you need CS-4 to open them. This would apply to the K-x as well as any future camera Pentax builds.
12-09-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
Original Poster
I think the RAW converter was added to Photoshop 7. Photoshop 6 was the big interface revamp, but 7 added a bunch of much-needed features.

This reminds me of the days of Photoshop 4. ONE undo, and no History!!! Mostly I remember filling up my hard drives with countless copies of my files because I kept doing "Save As" after every edit to make sure I could go back a few steps if my hand slipped.

12-09-2009, 10:30 AM   #9
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
Original Poster
Ok, upon further reading, it seems the main reason to use PEF over DNG is for file size, since PEF is losslessly compressed and DNG typically is not (but can be, based on the Adobe spec).

I just took a picture in PEF format, and then immediately took the exact same picture with the exact same settings in DNG format with my K7. Both file sizes are nearly identical.

PEF: 12.1 MB (12,669,434 bytes)
DNG: 12.2 MB (12,743,732 bytes)

Difference: 74 KB (74298 bytes)

That's not much of a difference at all. Negligeable, really. Wouldn't save squat on a typical memory card. I'd mostly attribute this difference to format overhead. Does this mean that Pentax is using the compressed DNG format now? Or that PEF is no longer copressed?
12-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #10
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Ok, upon further reading, it seems the main reason to use PEF over DNG is for file size, since PEF is losslessly compressed and DNG typically is not (but can be, based on the Adobe spec).
And is, on the K-7. It's only older Pentax cameras that don't compress DNG.
12-09-2009, 11:26 AM   #11
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
That's a can of worms best left unopened (whether the expensive stuff is any better than the free stuff)
Actually, it *is* relevant to discuss at least a little here. I'm not going to claim that Photoshop is worth it for everyone (it's not for me), but there are much less expensive programs around that still do provide some significant advantages to RAW shooters over anything I am aware of in the free / open source world. To my knowledge, none of the free / open source programs out there offer non-destructive parametric image editing, where the software automatically keeps tracks of your adjustments and doesn't force you to convert to another format to "lock"your changes in place. And as a result, the programs that don't support that kind of processing model also won't allow nearly the same flexibility in terms of batch facilities, copying of settings from image to image, and all the other dramatic workflow improvements that programs like ACR (the RAW processing facility of Photoshop), Lightroom, Aperture, ACDSee Pro, Lightzone, and others allow for. It's the major paradigm shift of the 2000's - as significant in its way as the paradigm shift from command-line to graphical user interfaces back in the 1980's - and so far, open source has not caught on that I am aware of.

So while I'm as big a fan and user of open source applications as they come, right now, there just isn't anything I am aware of out there that compares to what one can get by spending just $100-$200 for any of the programs I just mentioned (the full Photoshop is, of course, much more). The only free (but not open source) program I know of that does any of this is Picasa, but it's quite a but more limited. I am hopeful that some day, a more mature open source alternative will present itself.
12-09-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
Original Poster
That's definitely starting to change.

Currently, I can take a RAW file and do whatever I want to with it with open source software and get the exact same results I could with proprietary tools. The steps taken to reach those results is different, but that's just semantics.

But it's true that to keep those changes, I need to convert to a specific file format. I can't just turn off the computer, turn it back on and return to my RAW file to continue the adjusments I was making. I have to open the new file I "exported" to for that. So I've lost the original RAW data and am now working on a new format.

However I believe the upcoming Digikam 1.0 does in fact allow you to work on RAW files directly, and all changes are saved to a separate database rather than in the file. So I could open up a RAW file, adjust white balance, curves, and anything else I want (Digikam is very flexible), then close it and leave it alone. The next time I open the same RAW file, all my previous changes would get applied and I could continue where I left off. The original RAW data would still be present, and all adjustments would be happening in real-time based on the stored parameters in the database. So I could turn back the clock as much as I want, add and remove effects and adjustments, all on the original RAW file without modifying its original code.

I assume this is what you're referring to. My apologies if I misunderstood your statement.

I'm not going to get up on a soapbox and spew drivel about "rights" and "vendor lock-in" and all that crap. There are plenty of Linux advocates out there who do a fine job of it already. But I feel that the latest open source tools are opening up the doors to a lot of potential amateur photographers who might've been discouraged before by the high cost of this hobby. Normal people who don't want to make a career out of it can now get the same results as some professionals who are spending thousands of dollars on equipment and software. I'm not talking about advanced workflows, I'm talking about results, and that's what matters most to a hobbyist.

Heck, there's no way I could afford to buy any software on my own, whether it costs $50 or $1000. It took me endless months to save up enough money for a K7, and it'll be even more months before I can afford a new lens. If I had to waste my money on software too, I'd be pretty discouraged. Luckily, I got to inherit Photoshop (first 7 and now CS2) from a previous employer, but I consider that a luxury more than anything else. One most people don't have.

So as far as I'm concerned, the open source stuff is a lot more interesting, and in many ways more flexible, than any proprietary applications (whether they're free or not). It's what allows me to learn about photography and improve my skills.

...and don't get me started on software piracy...
12-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #13
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Currently, I can take a RAW file and do whatever I want to with it with open source software and get the exact same results I could with proprietary tools. The steps taken to reach those results is different, but that's just semantics.
It's not just semantics, though, if one tool lets you process a cardful of images in minutes while the other requires hours, and that is often the kind of difference one might be looking at. But you're right - if you're talking about results only, pretty much all applications can do the job.

QuoteQuote:
However I believe the upcoming Digikam 1.0 does in fact allow you to work on RAW files directly, and all changes are saved to a separate database rather than in the file.
That's definitely the one I have my eye on, and your description of the basic process is in line with my expectations (assuming there are also facilities for leveraging settings between images). Have they specifically promised this for 1.0? Last I heard, it was just something they were considering someday. I see there is a 1.0 release candidate; are you saying this functionality is there already? If so, I need to try it out (not that I'm unhappy with ACDSee Pro, but I like to keep abreast of what's out there).
12-09-2009, 01:49 PM   #14
Veteran Member
GoremanX's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,654
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
It's not just semantics, though, if one tool lets you process a cardful of images in minutes while the other requires hours, and that is often the kind of difference one might be looking at. But you're right - if you're talking about results only, pretty much all applications can do the job.
Right, and that's where I see the main difference between a professional in a production environment and a hobbyist at home (or as we established, "workflow" vs "result"). I totally agree that the proprietary stuff has an edge when it comes to workflow, but those are exactly the features I don't care about. I've done graphic design for 10+ years (both professionally and not), but photography itself is new for me, so in that respect I'm a hobbyist, and a green amateur at that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That's definitely the one I have my eye on, and your description of the basic process is in line with my expectations (assuming there are also facilities for leveraging settings between images). Have they specifically promised this for 1.0? Last I heard, it was just something they were considering someday. I see there is a 1.0 release candidate; are you saying this functionality is there already? If so, I need to try it out (not that I'm unhappy with ACDSee Pro, but I like to keep abreast of what's out there).
oops, I may have jumped the gun on that. I was reading this page a year ago:
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=142056
and had assumed that it had made it's way into 1.0 by now since the developers are actually in the midst of coding the feature. But I don't know if it did make it for 1.0 or if it's planned for 1.1. I haven't actually played with 1.0 rc1 yet because I can't find a package for my distro and I can't be bothered to compile it myself (I'm too lazy).

However, from re-reading that page (digikam bug report/wishlist), I noticed that F-Spot actually does include this workflow feature, where subsequent changes do not affect the original file. They use a series of interim "snapshot" pictures to show the current result, but it's possible to step back and modify things on a whim, always keeping the original file untouched.

I haven't tried it because it's a Gnome app that entails installing a crapload of Gnome dependencies I don't care for.
12-09-2009, 05:40 PM   #15
Veteran Member
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Right, and that's where I see the main difference between a professional in a production environment and a hobbyist at home (or as we established, "workflow" vs "result"). I totally agree that the proprietary stuff has an edge when it comes to workflow, but those are exactly the features I don't care about. I've done graphic design for 10+ years (both professionally and not), but photography itself is new for me, so in that respect I'm a hobbyist, and a green amateur at that.
OK, but even amateurs tend to value their time. I'm not a pro, either, but I don't like having to spend hours on PP (or settle for not doing as much as I'd like) if there are tools that let me do the job in minutes. Indeed, it's almost the other way around - if I were being paid to do it, I might not mind spending hours on PP.

Anyhow, I'd agree that this matters more to some people than others, but I wouldn't assume the distinction is hobbyist versus pro. I'd say it's people who want to do a fair amount of PP but don't want to allocate much time to it, versus people who either *don't* want to do much PP, or who don't mind allocating a lot of time to it.

QuoteQuote:
oops, I may have jumped the gun on that. I was reading this page a year ago:
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=142056
and had assumed that it had made it's way into 1.0 by now since the developers are actually in the midst of coding the feature.
That's OK. I'm in no hurry. I figure it's just a matter of time before it happens; if not in Digikam, then somewhere else. A quick look at F-spot suggests it's nowhere near as sophisticated as Digikam overall, and their implementation of non-destructive editing appears to be based on versioning - saving intermediate JPEG's - rather than true parametric image editing. Which would mean it actually doesn't provide any of the batch / setting copying advantages.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
dng, k7, k7 dng vs, photography, photoshop
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PEF or DNG? Jodokast96 Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 60 03-22-2010 11:34 AM
PEF vs DNG. sergio_fucchi Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 2 01-30-2009 07:06 PM
PEF or DNG? marius Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 3 08-17-2008 01:34 PM
PEF vs DNG MikeD Photographic Technique 3 01-24-2008 05:17 AM
PEF vs DNG Fireball Pentax DSLR Discussion 19 07-21-2007 08:01 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top