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07-26-2012, 05:21 AM   #1
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Pentax RAW files

I have just tried selecting RAW file format on my Pentax K-m and shooting a couple of frames [they seem to have the extention .PEF] just to see if Photoshop Elements or Paintshop Pro will process them. Neither programme recognises the files.

What software can I use to process these files and/or convert them to .TIF format?

Thanks for any information or advice.

07-26-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendrick Pereira Quote
I have just tried selecting RAW file format on my Pentax K-m and shooting a couple of frames [they seem to have the extention .PEF] just to see if Photoshop Elements or Paintshop Pro will process them. Neither programme recognises the files.

What software can I use to process these files and/or convert them to .TIF format?

Thanks for any information or advice.
DNG file format is what you are looking for I think.
Your camera should give you the choice of saving in PEF or DNG.
Adobe supplies a converter - see Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter 7.1
07-26-2012, 05:55 AM   #3
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The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack 16.0.0652.0621 teaches Vista+ServicePack2 and Windows7 to handle PEF generally. It enables every software which uses Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC) to display pictures saved as PEF (MS Explorer and Viewer, and a range of 3rd party software).

hxxp://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26829
(change "xx" to "tt")

It also supports 64 bit Vista and W7, but generally not XP and not (yet?) W8.

It works for PEF formats created with K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K7, K-x, *ist D, *ist DL, *ist DS.

It DOES NOT support PEF files from K5, as this uses some new enhancements of PEF not existing or used up to K7.

As the K01 doesn't offer PEF format anymore, it looks as if Pentax may skip it in the future. That's why I recently stopped using it.
07-26-2012, 06:07 AM   #4
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On the K-m (or the K-2000, which I have, and is the same exact camera), you have a choice of .PEF and .DNG. As stevewig says, you should choose .DNG; I'm not aware of any benefit of PEF over DNG, and if I understood the reviews, the K-30 no longer even supports PEF, it's DNG or JPG.

DNG, standing for "Digital NeGative", is a standard RAW format defined by Adobe for exactly this purpose. Since it's a standard, everybody supports it, so you can be much more confident that your images will be readable in the future.

07-26-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWuestefeld Quote
... I'm not aware of any benefit of PEF over DNG....
At least on the K200D, PEFs use lossless compression and are thus about half the size of DNGs. But if Pentax is dropping PEFs, I might switch my K200D to shoot DNG.
07-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
At least on the K200D, PEFs use lossless compression and are thus about half the size of DNGs.
To the best of my recollection, on my K2000 the PEFs were just marginally smaller than the DNGs, not enough to drive any decision. So it may be that
  1. On the K2000, the RAW data is compressed into the DNG
  2. On the K2000, the RAW data is not compressed into the PEF
  3. I'm misremembering the behavior completely
But in the end, I do think the question is moot, because it's my understanding that PEF is going away and that DNG is the sole RAW format supported.
07-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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I understand that the K-30 does not offer PEF as an option any longer. Seems a smart move to me to use an industry standard instead of a proprietary format.
07-26-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevewig Quote
DNG file format is what you are looking for I think.
Your camera should give you the choice of saving in PEF or DNG.
Adobe supplies a converter - see Adobe - Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter 7.1
It doesn't.

The only choice offered is between .jpg and RAW and selecting the latter results in .PEF files.

The choice is also offered to have BOTH .jpg and RAW recorded in which case you find TWO files - a .jpg and a .PEF - but the RAW file is still a .PEF file.

07-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWuestefeld Quote
On the K-m (or the K-2000, which I have, and is the same exact camera), you have a choice of .PEF and .DNG. As stevewig says, you should choose .DNG; I'm not aware of any benefit of PEF over DNG, and if I understood the reviews, the K-30 no longer even supports PEF, it's DNG or JPG.

DNG, standing for "Digital NeGative", is a standard RAW format defined by Adobe for exactly this purpose. Since it's a standard, everybody supports it, so you can be much more confident that your images will be readable in the future.
There must be some difference between the K-m and the K-2000.

There is no option to have .DNG format files recorded on the K-m.

It seems to me that what replies to my question add up to is - there is no RAW option offered on the K-m, only .jpg. There is no use having files recorded which cannot be processed.

Do Pentax themselves offer software to convert their .PEF files, does anyone know?
07-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendrick Pereira Quote
I have just tried selecting RAW file format on my Pentax K-m
...
QuoteOriginally posted by Kendrick Pereira Quote
but the RAW file is still a .PEF file.
I'm looking at my K2000, which according to everything I've read is exactly the same camera as the K-m.

On my camera, if I bring up the menu, on the very first page of settings, 6th item down (or next to the bottom, if you prefer), is "RAW file format", which I have set to DNG. But it offers a choice of that or PEF.

From DPReview:
QuoteQuote:
Image formats
JPEG (Conforms to Exif 2.21), (Best, Better, Good)
Compressed RAW ( PEF )
Non-compressed RAW ( DNG )

Last edited by CWuestefeld; 07-26-2012 at 05:51 PM. Reason: add citation
07-26-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendrick Pereira Quote
There is no option to have .DNG format files recorded on the K-m.
Yes there is. Page 153 in the users manual. You can download the pdf file here: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-m.pdf
Hope this helps.
07-27-2012, 05:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendrick Pereira Quote
It doesn't.

The only choice offered is between .jpg and RAW and selecting the latter results in .PEF files.

The choice is also offered to have BOTH .jpg and RAW recorded in which case you find TWO files - a .jpg and a .PEF - but the RAW file is still a .PEF file.

Yes it does - see attachment!
Attached Files
File Type: doc DNG Option.doc (128.0 KB, 200 views)
07-27-2012, 05:52 AM   #13
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Thanks, everyone.

Yes, you are right about the available options.

I had previously no knowledge of the existence of DNG files. I thought RAW was RAW.

I have also installed the packaged software. I had never done this before and had totally forgotten that there was a disk packaged with the camera. That also offers a conversion facility.

Thanks again for your help.
07-27-2012, 07:50 AM   #14
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Photoshop Elements can process Pentax .PEF files. You just need to download Adobe's free add-on, "Adobe Camera Raw". Just go to Adobe's website and look for it. I'm not sure, but you may need it, even for DNG files.
07-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Photoshop Elements can process Pentax .PEF files. You just need to download Adobe's free add-on, "Adobe Camera Raw". Just go to Adobe's website and look for it. I'm not sure, but you may need it, even for DNG files.
This is true though some older versions (say v6) can not be updated to newer cameras. In my case, the K20 was as far as I could go. I'm now on v9 for the K5, but I'm happy with it, and still use PEFs. The only downside I see is the extra small file that is created, whereas the data is stored within DNGs.
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