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05-14-2013, 02:24 PM   #1
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Is the image processor in Pentax K-r is good enough?

I have a Pentax K-r and I am new to DSLR.

What I found was in order to get good picture quality, most of the time I need to use PS auto-color or auto-brightness to correct my pictures. Is this normal?

If it is normal, then why not Pentax put those Auto-color/brightness correction into the camera? Is it to save cost so that they don't need to put a fancy image processor. This lead to my next question, does that mean if I use mid-range or high end DSLR, I don't need to use PS that often because their image processors are better?

In my situation, is RAW and the PP into JPEG a better way if I want nice quality pictures?

05-14-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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The camera has adjustments for you to change the way the camera processes the image, to make it more or less contrasty, saturated, etc.

RAW processing software usually has more flexibility and options available, and does not need to be complicated.
05-14-2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmnf Quote
I have a Pentax K-r and I am new to DSLR.

What I found was in order to get good picture quality, most of the time I need to use PS auto-color or auto-brightness to correct my pictures. Is this normal?

If it is normal, then why not Pentax put those Auto-color/brightness correction into the camera? Is it to save cost so that they don't need to put a fancy image processor. This lead to my next question, does that mean if I use mid-range or high end DSLR, I don't need to use PS that often because their image processors are better?

In my situation, is RAW and the PP into JPEG a better way if I want nice quality pictures?
SpecialK's answer is correct, but at least in my opinion, doesn't have enough information to be useful....

RAW is in general always a better option but it also requires PP work. The K-r in-camera color rendering impacts only your jpeg images.

If you are shooting either AutoPict or one of the scene modes, you are telling the camera to pick a built-in color profile as determined by the Pentax programmers.
In any of the other modes, if you hit your INFO button, you can select from one of several pre-built color profiles, or you can create your own custom color profile. I will suggest you take a couple shooting scenarios that you might normally tackle and rotate through your color profile options. You might find something you like much better than the default of 'Bright'.
05-14-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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Why don't you post some shots that you don't think look good, and then compare them with shots processed by "auto" in your software that you do think look normal or preferred. Each of us have our preferences, and pictures go a long way to communicating what yours are.
Thanks,

M

05-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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Good idea. A picture is worth a thousand of words. I think all the EXIF is there.
It was taken 9am. Pentax K-r kit lens. Av mode, AWB, color profile is Bright (default). I thought the default profile is the most generic one.
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05-14-2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmnf Quote
Good idea. A picture is worth a thousand of words. I think all the EXIF is there.
It was taken 9am. Pentax K-r kit lens. Av mode, AWB, color profile is Bright (default). I thought the default profile is the most generic one.
Ok, so please provide context around this image.
Do you like it? Or is this the not-good one? Please post a version you think is more worthy.
Considering the lighting, this looks pretty normal to me.
Thanks,

M
05-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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I feel the color is a bit strange but I am new to the DSLR world so I don't know if my judgement is correct or not.

If you think it is normal, then I feel better about my settings. I guess my question is:
Is it true that low end cameras need more PP because the image processor is not very sophisticated. High end cameras need less PP?
K-r is a low end camera so should I use more PP or RAW+PP to make up the deficiency?

I like my K-r and this is not a big deal for me. I just curious.
05-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmnf Quote
Is it true that low end cameras need more PP because the image processor is not very sophisticated. High end cameras need less PP? K-r is a low end camera so should I use more PP or RAW+PP to make up the deficiency?
I think your assumptions about this are not close to accurate. All DSLRs are capable of excellent pictures as are most mirrorless and P&S cameras. The image processor in all of them varies, but for basic shots on a sunny day as yours, it should not be a challenge for any camera to output a decent image. If you are shooting jpeg, you are limiting (outsourcing really) the extent of your potential judgment to any camera. The configuration can be managed somewhat by learning about the settings and their consequences. It would behoove you to do that.

You can also learn about the option of shooting RAW, but that requires you to understand photographic exposure to a greater depth and be confident in overriding the auto settings on both camera and software. Or just lucky.

Your camera is not low-end BTW. It has way more capabilities than DSLRs from just a few years ago. But ultimately it is the shooter's skills that are more a difference maker.

M

05-14-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmnf Quote
I feel the color is a bit strange but I am new to the DSLR world so I don't know if my judgement is correct or not.
I just sold my K-r but not because of the image output. I wanted the dual wheels and a couple other features on the K-30.

May I ask what kind of monitor you are using to view these images, and has it been carefully calibrated? Notebook monitors are bad because if you don't have the viewing angle the same every time, you will see something different every time. Further, manufacturer defaults for all monitors are almost always over saturated, contrast too high, and the color temp is too high.

And now for the really bad news - your brain lies to you. It uses its own version of AWB and auto ISO. All software-only based calibration tools depend on what you see, and what you see is generally a lie. Invest a $100 in a used hardware based monitor calibration tool.

I'll bet when the hardware based calibration is done, your brain will tell you it is all wrong. Give it a couple days and your brain will acclimate, because guess what? The hardware based tool was right.
05-14-2013, 10:34 PM   #10
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For that image, you are shooting into the sun, more or less, in a contrasty situation, with a kit lens. It looks OK for that situation.

Sorry if my first post was too simplified for you or others. Slightly expanded, there are settings on the camera that allow you to alter the way the image looks to you. I recommend you shoot the same test subject - such as the houses on your street or a park fountain, etc, and change the settings one at time so you can see what they do individually. If you like higher contrast and more saturation - great. Other may not. That is why there are different settings, and no single setting works for everyone. Pentax comes default on Vivid (or Bright) only because it is a supposed "feature" for jpg shooters.

Just because you let the camera process your image does not mean it is finished. Many people, it seems, neglect to level a crooked horizon or clone out the sensor spots. I can only assume such people shoot only jpgs and therefore think they do not need to do anything else or want to spend time on it. Too bad :-(

However, if you shoot raw, you have to process the image. This does not have to be complicated as I mentioned in my first post. In many cases you can click a button, and/or slide a slider or two to adjust the image - individually, for the best result. Isn't that what you want, really?

I spend as much time chimping, renaming, moving, and archiving files as the actual processing. I don't see the argument against it.

To me shooting jpg is (perhaps) mastering the camera, shooting and processing raw is mastering the image (hopefully).

I use only software-based monitor calibration tools. Then I look at a few of the longer post-your-photo threads to make sure everyone else's images look right - I know they all have calibrated monitors :-)
05-15-2013, 09:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. I just use regular computer monitor and no calibration has been done. I will research this.

I will pay more attention to different color profiles. So far, I always use the default (bright) and portrait.
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