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03-17-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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Newbie Alert - Lightroom? Photoshop? and what file format?

Hi,

Sorry for the newbie questions.... I tried searching and perhaps I am using the wrong words to search.

So here goes:

I have decided that I want to start using the RAW format when taking pictures so that I can do more with them in the post process.

I lost my CD rom that came with my K10D so I don't have the "real" Pentax software loaded on my PC. I contacted Pentax about getting a replacment but I haven't heard from them.... I am kind of at the point where I have a feeling this won't happen.

I downloaded the software from the Pentax site but it asks me to insert the CD into the drive ... well that just isn't going to work is it?

I DO have Adobe PhotoShop CS3 though. If I have this software loaded is it just as acceptable to use this software when dealing with RAW photos? Am I missing out on something by not using the Pentax software?

So that is my software question.... now... my format question.

I see that my K10D can do RAW and RAW+ What is this about?

Then I have the choice of RAW Formats: PEF or DNG

What is the difference between them and why would I use one over the other?

Again... sorry for the newbie questions.... I just don't think the manual does a good job of explaining in laymans terms what this stuff really does in the practical world.


Thanks,

Derek

03-17-2008, 05:45 PM   #2
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RAW is just that -- The K10D will save your shot as a RAW file in either PEF or DNG format (whichever you set in your camera)

RAW+ will save your shot both as a RAW file and as a JPG file. Again the type of RAW file will depend on which you set the camera up for and the quality of the JPG will also be whatever you set up beforehand.

PEF is the proprietary RAW format used by PENTAX DSLRs and is compressed. It is a lossless format.

DNG is the Adobe standard RAW format and is uncompressed.

Both RAW formats produce equivalent photos.

Some people use the DNG format because it is the Adobe standard (also used by other photo programs) and often does not require conversion. It will load faster in some programs.

Some people use the PEF format because it takes less space on your SD card and thus more pictures can be stored. In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom you can import both DNG and PEF files. If you import a PEF file to DNG format it is compressed a second time (which takes a little time) but yields an even smaller file for archive purposes with no loss of quality. But you are trading time for storage.
03-17-2008, 06:25 PM   #3
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Wow... what a great reply! Thanks

What about my software question.... do I need to bother with the Pentax software if I already have Adobe PhotoShop CS3?

I don't have Photoshop Lightroom.... should I get it or is just standard Photoshop enough?

D.
03-18-2008, 02:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gadget_Guy Quote
Wow... what a great reply! Thanks

What about my software question.... do I need to bother with the Pentax software if I already have Adobe PhotoShop CS3?
Well I guess Photoshop CS3 can do way more then the original Pentax software that you get with your camera so why use it ? (maybe some people will use it because it is easier to see all the EXIF data with the Pentax software or something like that).

QuoteQuote:

I don't have Photoshop Lightroom.... should I get it or is just standard Photoshop enough?

D.

Well from what I know is that you don't "need" Lightroom when you have Photoshop. But Lightroom does have some advantages for photographers that Photoshop doesn't have. Offcourse the question is if these few advantages are enough reason for you to buy Lightroom.

As far as I know Lightroom is optimized for photographers so it should speed-up the digital workflow a bit if you get to know howto use Lightroom. But it lacks most of the retouching features of Photoshop (and doesn't have layers).

So I would say that if you are happy with Photoshop then you don't need Lightroom.

Offcourse you can always download the trial version of Lightroom and see if it's worth buying.

03-18-2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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Let me give it a different angle...

Photoshop is good old software and your swiss army knife. Will be ok for your digital photos, of course.

Lightroom was created by Adobe to counter act Apple's release of Aperture every photographer was screaming about. What does it add?

It adds a time saver when working with bulks of photos by proposing a post-processing workflow. Lightroom and Photoshop share the same converter, Adobe Camera Raw aka ACR.

Compared to photo organizers (they include raw converters as well, like Acdsee, ThumbsPlus) Lightroom is still slow but it adds the workflow and is fun to look at

Pentax Photo Browser is useless.

Pentax Photo Laboratory (PPL) contains yet another raw converter, SilkyPix (or so) and this raw converter is considered by some to be superior. So, PPL is a keeper.
03-18-2008, 06:49 AM   #6
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Cool... good to know.

so.... if it would be advantageous to have PPL on my computer (I also want to play around with remote assistant too) how can I go about getting the CD?

I have contacted Pentax twice now with no reply back....

D.
03-18-2008, 07:02 AM   #7
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Lightroom is tailored towards professionals/serious amateur photographers. Its meant to optimize your workflow from getting the images off your camera to printing.

I swear by it. It organizes my photographs, lets me easily sort the keepers from the duds, and develop my RAW images in non destructive way. It functions using a database that archives the processing steps and only applies those steps once you export to jpg.

It also lets you apply any type of processing to any other image you have and save them as presets later. This is just like actions in photoshop, but I think its a little easier in Lightroom.

I do 98% of my work in Lightroom and the rest in PS. PS has much better sharpening and cloning/healing capabilities than Lightroom.

I should be paid by Adobe for how much I talk up Lightroom. Anyway you should try the 30 day trial. Pretty soon you'll just be shooting in RAW!
03-18-2008, 08:27 AM   #8
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Pentax Photo Laboratory (PPL) saves any adjustments you make to your PENTAX RAW file (PEF or DNG) to a JPG or TIF file. You have a choice to make. JPG with loss (compared to original RAW file) or TIF with less loss but with a large storage footprint.

Lightroom saves any adjustment you make to your PENTAX RAW file (PEF or DNG) as a set of instructions. Like PPL it does not change the original RAW file but unlike PPL your adjusted photo file is not stored as a degraded JPG or a bloated TIF. You only create a JPG or TIF (export) when you need one for some other purpose as printing, web posting, etc.

PS is valuable about 2% of the time when more artistic touches are need to make a good photo great. It is especially great when work with layers is necessary since Lightroom does not support layers.

03-18-2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
Pretty soon you'll just be shooting in RAW!
Lightroom can render the same great services if you shoot high quality JPEG.

Of course, with RAW you get extra headroom and noise and lens controls. But you would still say "develop" when processing JPEGs through LR. I use LR for both, my RAW and my JPGs.

So, the reasons for RAW are in the format, not the possible use of LR.
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