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01-10-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
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Install Silkypix or ?

Being a newcomer to the world of digital photography and have no experience whatsoever in post processing is the silkypix software that came with my K-50 a good place to start? Other options/recommendations? Thanks.

01-10-2016, 11:06 AM   #2
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I mean give it a try, you could always uninstall and try something else if you don't like it.

I've never used it but I'm sure it works just fine.
01-10-2016, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #3
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There are folks here who use it and like it. I installed it and quickly came to dislike it. It seemed too quirky and proprietary for me. Went back to Lightroom, which suits my needs very well.
01-10-2016, 11:24 AM   #4
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Sometimes the color from Silkypix just seems to really nail it. But IMO the usabillity kinda stinks.

01-10-2016, 11:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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just get photoshop elements and be done with it, then when you feel ready get photoshop cc with lightroom. both come with Adobe camera raw which is considered by most to be the gold standard for raw processing.
01-10-2016, 11:59 AM   #6
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The biggest problem with it is hardly anyone uses it. You have to learn the software and all the jargon of post-processing mostly on your own. I think it only works with files from a few Pentax models. It's harder to figure out all this on your own. It should help a little that it is specific to your camera. It's maybe the only software besides the other Pentax software, Digital Camera Utility 5, that is camera-specific. (I think DCU5 works with K50 files.)

Very popular software like Photoshop Elements has enough online information to learn it easily. It is deliberately limited to sell you more Adobe software later, and not camera-specific. But many people know where all the settings are hidden and what cryptic terms like "threshold" and "radius" mean. You can find online examples of starting with a sample image and every step along the way. It's not a huge investment, and will probably save you some time.
01-10-2016, 12:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeD Quote
just get photoshop elements and be done with it, then when you feel ready get photoshop cc with lightroom. both come with Adobe camera raw which is considered by most to be the gold standard for raw processing.


I second PS Elements. If you shoot JPEG, then thats all you need. If you shoot RAW then get Lightroom as well. Elements RAW converting is a bit tedious. I have tried to use DCU and its not really all that good.
01-10-2016, 12:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the rapid responses. What a great site!


PS Elements sounds like the way to go for me. Thanks again for the help.

01-14-2016, 05:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DW58 Quote
Being a newcomer to the world of digital photography and have no experience whatsoever in post processing is the silkypix software that came with my K-50 a good place to start? Other options/recommendations? Thanks.
There's a lot of confusion around the bundled software that comes with various Pentax cameras. You should have got an older/locked version of the full Silkypix with your K-50 - version 3.0 I believe. The commercial product ( popular in Japan apparently ) is at version 6 currently.

The software has been modified so that it will only process photos from those Pentax cameras that it comes bundled with ( K-30, K-50, MX-1 and K-1 I think ). This is inconvenient if you happen to also own say a K10 or a K200D, and want to use the same converter for all your RAW photos. The commercial version that you can buy or upgrade to will process RAW files from any camera.

Otherwise, this program is fully functional. If you're accustomed to using Adobe products, you might find their implementation of some functions unusual, but it's just a different design. There's nothing magically "correct" about the way Adobe chose to design their product. Some functions have odd names because it's a Japanese product and things have been translated - for example, what would normally be called a "crop" function is called "trim" in Silkypix. Once I got used to it, I found that there were certain aspects of the design I really liked. It suits my workflow much better than a lot of other products - in fact, it may have the best ergonomics of the products I've tried, but I'm not 100% happy with the output.

But hey, it's free. One nice thing I've seen with Silkypix is that it is easy on system resources. It will run just fine on older, underpowered computers that slow to a crawl when running Adobe software.

Sometimes, when people see "Silkypix", they think you're talking about PDCU ( Pentax Digital Camera Utility ). That's a different program, which is based on a Silkypix engine, but it has a clunky interface. This is the software that comes with most Pentax cameras. Why Pentax chose to bundle the "real" Silkypix with a certain subset of their cameras is unclear, since PDCU will process the RAW files from any Pentax DSLR ( obviously, you need the most recent version to handle files from the most recent cameras ).

Some users who are prepared to work with the shortcomings of the interface find that they really like the output from this program. In my own experience, it comes the closest to emulating the qualities of the JPG engine in the camera. Because it can do this, and because it can correctly interpret all your camera settings stored in the EXIF, I suspect that PDCU is actually very close to the software that's actually inside the camera. They just bolted a clunky UI onto it.

Despite spending a fair amount of time messing with settings, I was unable to exactly replicate the output of PDCU using Silkypix 3.0. There's always a subtle difference. Both programs may be based on software designed by Silkypix, but there's some pixie dust in PDCU that does something special for Pentax RAW files. This makes sense since PDCU is designed for Pentax cameras. The Silkypix 3.0 you get with the K-50 is locked to only handle RAW files from certain Pentax cameras, but it was originally a generic RAW converter that would handle RAW files from any camera.

For occasional use, PDCU is not bad, but if you wouldn't want to process vast numbers of photos with it. Even if you didn't get a copy with your K-50, it's possible to download the software from the Ricoh site. There are instructions in the forum for how to install it.

Bottom line is that your Silkypix is not the same as the PDCU that comes with other Pentax camera, and you have to be careful when reading comments in this forum because some people use the two interchangeably ( often because they don't actually use
either program ).

For more on this topic, see various threads in the Digital Processing, Software, and Printing section of the forum.
01-14-2016, 04:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DW58 Quote
Being a newcomer to the world of digital photography and have no experience whatsoever in post processing is the silkypix software that came with my K-50 a good place to start? Other options/recommendations? Thanks.
I highly recommend FastStone software. It's a very easy program to use. It's free & has many capabilities to suit you, until you decide to buy software. If you buy, as others mentioned Photoshop Elements is excellent also.
01-14-2016, 04:32 PM   #11
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I don't like the version that came with the camera. The stand alone that you pay for looks much better, I have never used it, but it seems that there are different options, I have never delved into it too much. There are many options for RAW processing, and some are free and worth checking out. LIghtzone, Darktable, to name a few. I am always looking at different software. I use Lightroom but I feel like I have to continue with it at this point.
01-14-2016, 04:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeD Quote
when you feel ready get Photoshop CC with Lightroom CC
+1 on this, for me $8.00 or so a month is a no brainer and I had already bought the stand alone versions of Lightroom 5 and PS 6.
01-14-2016, 08:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
(I think DCU5 works with K50 files.
It does. And unlike Silkypix that came with my K-30, DCU5 works with RAW (PEF) files from my old K100D Super.

QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
PDCU is not bad, but if you wouldn't want to process vast numbers of photos with it.
That's my experience too.

Its real party trick is the ability to simulate the jpg conversion options (including distortion correction) from the camera with a couple of clicks. For example, you can apply Pentax's "Scene: Pets" or "Landscape" mode - even modes that weren't supplied in the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
There are many options for RAW processing, and some are free and worth checking out. LIghtzone, Darktable, to name a few
The trial versions of commercial programs like CaptureOne or DxO Optics Pro are also worth checking.

Most people tend to settle on one program, get used to it, and stick with it. It is worth trying a few to see which one you like, because you will probably stay with it.

As usual on PF, you'll get a range of suggestions, so I'll add mine: DxO Optics Pro (Elite, don't bother with the basic version). To mention a few things: it is easy to use, it automatically corrects for distortion/CA/vignetting etc (with supported camera and lens combinations), it has a number of useful presets and you can create your own, you can simulate the look and feel of various cameras or film types, the ClearView function is great for countering atmospheric haze and its PRIME noise reduction is excellent. The ViewPoint plugin is a great addition if you have an ultrwide lens. It can output to Lightroom, so you can use the best of both. Don't pay full price though - DxO have sales about twice a year when the software is heavily discounted.

Last edited by Des; 01-14-2016 at 08:20 PM.
01-14-2016, 09:12 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeD Quote
just get photoshop elements and be done with it, then when you feel ready get photoshop cc with lightroom. both come with Adobe camera raw which is considered by most to be the gold standard for raw processing.
QuoteOriginally posted by Bengan Quote
I second PS Elements. If you shoot JPEG, then thats all you need. If you shoot RAW then get Lightroom as well. Elements RAW converting is a bit tedious. I have tried to use DCU and its not really all that good.
Kind of funny, but, yeah :-) I bailed on the Pentax software when it was v3.51 - it had no healing brush, and a couple other things I wanted. Got Element v6 --> 9 --> 11 --> 13. Really it does just about everything, has tutorials on the web plus books, and does not cost too much.

Many people tout Lightroom for its cataloging features, but that is not a biggie for me. Elements has tags and an organizer, thogh somewhat basic. I do not find converting tedious, and it does batches though I never use it that way.

It likes more RAM than I can install on my current 32-bit system, but that is only an actual issue after using the lens correction filter...
01-15-2016, 09:29 AM - 1 Like   #15
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RawTherapee is another great choice for raw processing.
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