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09-30-2014, 07:03 AM   #1
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645Z - RAW: Pentax PEF or DNG?

In the REC Mode Menu you have the option of choosing either Pentax PEF or DNG
I picked DNG just because I know Lightroom won't have any issues with DNG files
Is there a compelling reason to choose PEF over DNG?
Thanks,
Bob

09-30-2014, 07:07 AM   #2
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On the K20D PEF was compressed and DNG wasn't. The K-7 added compression to DNG, so there is no reason to use PEF over DNG even if your software supports PEF. I'm surprised PEF is even still included (it wasn't on K-01, K-30 & K-50/500). Ricoh never had its own RAW format and used DNG.
09-30-2014, 07:09 AM   #3
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As far as I know, they are the same thing more or less, however the difference lays in how the image file is coded, PEF is Pentax's own version of RAW files, where as DNG is Adobe's standard, personally I would use DNG as it is the most common RAW file type, and the only extra software you need to view them on your Windows PC (Assuming you have one) is Adobe DNG Codec 2.0, furthermore, with the PEF I believe you need to use Pentax software to view it, I could be wrong. I have never used PEF RAW format before. I imagine Adobe supports this also? One way to find out is to try shooting some PEF photos, and bringing them onto your PC and see what happens.
09-30-2014, 07:47 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bcrary3 Quote
As far as I know, they are the same thing more or less, however the difference lays in how the image file is coded, PEF is Pentax's own version of RAW files, where as DNG is Adobe's standard, personally I would use DNG as it is the most common RAW file type, and the only extra software you need to view them on your Windows PC (Assuming you have one) is Adobe DNG Codec 2.0, furthermore, with the PEF I believe you need to use Pentax software to view it, I could be wrong. I have never used PEF RAW format before. I imagine Adobe supports this also? One way to find out is to try shooting some PEF photos, and bringing them onto your PC and see what happens.
You don't need Pentax software to view PEF-photo's. Aperture and I believe Lightroom (and many more programs) have no problem with reading this Pentax own RAW format. It's the same as for instance the NEF RAW format for Nikon camera's. The DNG RAW-file structure is a extra option on Pentax camera's.

09-30-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fries Quote
You don't need Pentax software to view PEF-photo's. Aperture and I believe Lightroom (and many more programs) have no problem with reading this Pentax own RAW format. It's the same as for instance the NEF RAW format for Nikon camera's. The DNG RAW-file structure is a extra option on Pentax camera's.
Alright, thank you for correcting me, I was unsure of that, as I have never used the PEF, I have always used DNG.
09-30-2014, 07:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bcrary3 Quote
Alright, thank you for correcting me, I was unsure of that, as I have never used the PEF, I have always used DNG.
No problem!
09-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #7
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As I understand it, DNG is not proprietary to Adobe but is the open source RAW option. The main reason that many cite for using DNG is that because it is not proprietary there is a greater likelihood that it will be supported long term when your great grand children want to view your photos.

FYI, Leica committed to it a few years but tough for anybody else to follow exclusively. I'v eused DNG for all kinds of cameras and never had any issues but then again I'm no pixel peeper.
09-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fries Quote
You don't need Pentax software to view PEF-photo's. Aperture and I believe Lightroom (and many more programs) have no problem with reading this Pentax own RAW format. It's the same as for instance the NEF RAW format for Nikon camera's. The DNG RAW-file structure is a extra option on Pentax camera's.
But Apple has to update Digital Camera RAW Compatibility to support PEF in each new camera. The 645D took years to be supported, and the 645Z isn't supported yet. DNG should work out of the box, but the K-3 broke something in DNG so that Aperture didn't support it until the update.

09-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fries Quote
You don't need Pentax software to view PEF-photo's. Aperture and I believe Lightroom (and many more programs) have no problem with reading this Pentax own RAW format. It's the same as for instance the NEF RAW format for Nikon camera's. The DNG RAW-file structure is a extra option on Pentax camera's.
It's not quite as simple as that, unfortunately. When I got the Canon 5D mk III, it took a few weeks for me to be able to download direct to Lightroom, I had to use the DNG converter. I had been using the mk II and so the extension was the same as previously, but Lightroom still had to be able to recognise the codec which it couldn't. Nikon are usually pretty quick at getting the info to Adobe, Canon less so. Pentax I am not sure about.
09-30-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
so there is no reason to use PEF over DNG even if your software supports PEF
The two are supposed to be quite equivalent. My understanding is that Pentax DNG is just a PEF in a DNG wrapper. (The DNG spec allows for that.) That being said, there is one strong case for using PEF over DNG. With Lightroom there is the option to save the catalog metadata (develop and library stuff) to file. With DNG, the original file is overwritten with the metadata included in the file. With PEF, it is written as an XML "side-car" file.

The difference is important if:
  • You want to retain the original RAW files with all data untouched
  • You want to have lightweight settings files to share to/from a service bureau/printer.
The second case is more common. There may be a way to force Lightroom to write to side-car files only, but if there is, I have not found it.


Steve
09-30-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
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Yes, my answer wasn't complete but was just meant to correct the assumption that PEF's only can be viewed trough Pentax software. Every time a new camera is released we have to wait until the raw converter for Lightroom, Aperture, Capture One, etcetera... is updated with a profile for the PEF files from the new camera. I'm not sure but wasn't there a problem with the way some raw converters handled the K-3 DNG files juster after the camera was released. I seem te remember that the generic profile did weird things with the DNG output of the K-3?
09-30-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
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I use DNG. Much more future-compatible in my view.

YMMV.
11-16-2014, 03:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I use DNG. Much more future-compatible in my view.

YMMV.
I used to use DNG but Lightroom is quite boneheaded and won't write an xmp sidecar file for DNGs. Got tired of multigigabytes of backups each time I even synchronized the folder.
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