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04-27-2011, 09:11 AM   #1
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Which settings apply to RAW mode, which don't?

For the benefit of being able to re-adjust my taken images afterwards better, I usually shoot with my K20D only in RAW mode.

Unfortunately, the manual doesn't appear to explain well which settings are applicable for RAW shoots.

Is there a overview which tells me which settings I don't have to care about, and which ones matter?

Here's what I believe to be true so far:

Settings that do not matter in RAW mode:
* The bright/natural/portraits etc settings behind Fn->OK ("custom image")
* White balance settings
* DNG/PEF formats (they are identical in outcome, right?)
* Noise Reduction

Here I'm not so sure:
* Color Space (sRGB etc.)

04-27-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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NONE of the settings actually affect the raw image, except that they are applied to the imbedded jpeg preview.

You are always shooting in raw, regardless of your raw/jpeg settings. The difference is that when you set it to "jpeg only" the raw image isn't saved to the card.
04-27-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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An interesting question. I'm looking at my K-7 manual now. On p. 250, there's a chart of parameters that can be changed when you use the camera to process a RAW file into a JPEG or TIFF. They list:

Recorded Pixels (14, 10, 6 or 2 Mp)
Quality Level (4 to 1 stars)
Custom Image (Bright/Natural/Monochrome/Vibrant etc., plus filters)
White Balance
Sensitivity (says -2 to +2, not explained)
High ISO NR
Shadow Correction (part of D-range)
Distortion Correction
Lateral CA Correction
Color Space (SRGB or Adobe RGB)

Based on the last item, color space doesn't apply to the RAW image. I would have said it did.

Other stuff not on that list:
D-range highlight correction
HDR (setting this automatically sets file format to JPEG)

I'm not sure about Composition Adjustment.

The preview you see on the LCD is created from the camera's JPEG settings, so extreme JPEG settings can throw off the blinking highlights, color histograms, and maybe other things. I keep an eye on white balance for that reason. It won't affect the RAW file but it can cause you to make the wrong decisions when shooting.
04-27-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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Expanding on what Parallax said: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed affect RAW images. I am not sure about Color Space -- I suspect it does, but I haven't had reason to test that. I think I have read that PEF stores more data than DNG, but I could be wrong.

ALL other settings are recorded in the RAW file and will be your defaults for 'developing' the RAW into a JPEG or TIFF or whatever. But those other settings, including EV, WB / color temp, anti-noise, Custom Image etc, can be tweaked in development. To me, they are still factors in the exposure, which means you have gazillions (well, many tens of millions, anyway) of possible exposure settings for any given shot.

04-27-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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Wow, that's some interesting informations you all found there, so thanks!

A summary of things I find important in this regard:

* The settings apply to the JPEG preview img shown on the rear display (and therefore probably also to the preview img inside the RAW files).
* The settings are put into the RAW (PEF only, perhaps?) file and used as defaults for "RAW development" (I wonder which RAW converters will actually use these settings then, and which not. E.g, if this really is the case, then I expect that the software from Pentax will use the data, while perhaps 3rd party converters such as those installed on OSX by Apple, LibRaw, Bibble do not. Who knows...)
* HDR mode (not avail in K20D, but in K5) isn't storing several RAW files - I had expected it would.

Anyone else having clarifications on these?
04-27-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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As I understand it, a raw file is a data file, not an image file, so you're stuck with the iso, aperture, and shutter speed used, but other than that, pretty much everything can be changed prior to converting to an image file. Depending of course on the features of the raw conversion software being used.

Raw, by the way, is not an acronym. No need to type in all caps.
04-27-2011, 07:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tempelorg Quote
Wow, that's some interesting informations you all found there, so thanks!

A summary of things I find important in this regard:

* The settings apply to the JPEG preview img shown on the rear display (and therefore probably also to the preview img inside the RAW files).
* The settings are put into the RAW (PEF only, perhaps?) file and used as defaults for "RAW development" (I wonder which RAW converters will actually use these settings then, and which not. E.g, if this really is the case, then I expect that the software from Pentax will use the data, while perhaps 3rd party converters such as those installed on OSX by Apple, LibRaw, Bibble do not. Who knows...)
* HDR mode (not avail in K20D, but in K5) isn't storing several RAW files - I had expected it would.

Anyone else having clarifications on these?
Adobe Camera RAW seems to ignore everything except white balance and color space, both of which are easily altered. It treats the files the same whether they are PEFs, DNGs from the camera, or DNGs created from the PEFs by Adobe's DNG converter. At least as far as I can tell.

Probably every converter is going to use the white balance number applied when the image was shot, just because it's there and the converter needs something.

A quick test is to set your camera to monochrome, shoot in RAW, then see what the image looks like to the software you use.

I'm not sure what the HDR mode does exactly, but you can bracket exposures on even creaky old models and have a lot more control over the process in software.

By the way, I know RAW should be raw but I got used to typing it wrong and it always comes out that way.
04-28-2011, 02:30 AM   #8
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HDR is not relevant to raw. From the K-7 manual: "When HDR capture is set, the file format is always set to [JPEG] and cannot be changed. You cannot use HDR Capture when the file format is set to [RAW]." I assume the same holds true for the K-5.

04-28-2011, 06:04 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tempelorg Quote
Wow, that's some interesting informations you all found there, so thanks!

A summary of things I find important in this regard:

* The settings apply to the JPEG preview img shown on the rear display (and therefore probably also to the preview img inside the RAW files).
* The settings are put into the RAW (PEF only, perhaps?) file and used as defaults for "RAW development" (I wonder which RAW converters will actually use these settings then, and which not. E.g, if this really is the case, then I expect that the software from Pentax will use the data, while perhaps 3rd party converters such as those installed on OSX by Apple, LibRaw, Bibble do not. Who knows...)
* HDR mode (not avail in K20D, but in K5) isn't storing several RAW files - I had expected it would.

Anyone else having clarifications on these?
There was some discussion once, about WB directly impacting RAW, but I forget now the conclusion. Maybe do a search through the forums.

But the most important thing to consider and this does vary from RAW converter to RAW converter, is that when you import an image, each converter may offer the option to use the camera settings as the default. If you actually think a little about what you are doing, when shooting, and set your jpeg settings to represent the scene and finished product you want, even if you shoot raw, the images shown in the preview, and the default for importing will be close to your finished values. After a while, if you are good at it, aside from mistake recovery, where RAW is clearly better than JPEG, you can actually forget RAW and shoot JPEGs only.
04-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
After a while, if you are good at it, aside from mistake recovery, where RAW is clearly better than JPEG, you can actually forget RAW and shoot JPEGs only.
And then I hit a situation with varied lighting, where every shot has a different WB, and I have a choice: manually adjust WB and miss a dynamic shot; decide that I'll REMOVE COLOR CAST while PP'ing the JPEG; or stick with RAW and properly adjust WB in development. There's a similar quandary when shooting with manual lenses that don't meter consistently with aperture changes. And I shoot a lot of B&W; in RAW development I can control results better than if I were PP'ing JPEGs.

RAW development isn't just for fixing; it's for generating various versions of images, for making images looka as you want them to look.

Last edited by RioRico; 04-28-2011 at 10:01 AM.
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