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10-10-2016, 08:30 AM   #1
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K-r lens correction - good idea for beginners or is it gateway to laziness?

I'm too old to worry about getting criticized for just getting around NOW to to reading up on my 4 year old camera. So here goes... I read the in-depth review of the K-r and saw this:

QuoteQuote:
Lens Correction: Like the K-5, the K-r has the ability to correct for lens distortion and lateral aberration in all DA, SA L, D, FA and select FA lenses. The corrections are applied directly to jpg files. In RAW files the information is applied automatically by the Digital Camera Utility software in post-processing.
I used to shoot in JPG but a friend who knows more than I do (one assumes) told me to shoot in RAW (he fixes things in Lightroom, I have access to it but have never messed with it). I also probably tossed the CD with the DCU app but know from the forums how to get it installed anyway.

Bottom line: I am a hobbyist and I am [currently] more interested in taking pictures that make me happy than taking pictures that I have to [currently] learn how to fix. I'm not lazy, just time constricted. As my skills in composition improve, I can tackle the RAW --> Lightroom issue, but right now I wonder the following:

Am I better off shooting (in the short term):

1 - JPG and let the camera do its thing
2 - RAW and use the DCU to fix in post
3 - RAW+ mode so I use a lot more space but I have my choice of #1 & #2
4 - Quit being a baby and learn Lightroom

10-10-2016, 09:01 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I used to shoot JPG only; now I shoot almost exclusively in RAW and do my cutting-edge processing in Raw Therapee and I don't care about the in-lens corrections (especially since I extensively shoot film-era inc. M42). If I'm happy with the composition and the lighting is close enough, and I only have one or two pics to put up (e.g. single-in) I will often do the raw-jpg processing in-camera (I have the K-5; not sure if the K-r can do this), and apply e.g. minor exposure corrections and sharpen things up a touch. At that point I can upload directly using my Android tablet.
10-10-2016, 10:27 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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How about this ... Switch to RAW plus JPEG for now. Keep your RAW files in a separate folder for now, and just use the JPEGS normally for now ... Set the custom image settings to taste and use the lens corrections.

After a while, choose a few favourite shots. Load up the saved RAW files in a programme you're interested in, and play around. See if you can get them looking like the JPEGs, and then try and improve on a few things. See if you can actually get something that looks better than what the camera can do.

After that process I suspect you will be able to answer your questions with ease.
10-10-2016, 10:57 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Hehe - four years, eh! My wife has a cardinal rule never to read manuals, just keep pushing those buttons until something happens.

The quality that can be got from development of RAW files certainly allows more flexibility in how your images ultimately look (as well as utilising the dynamic range), and making those adjustments in post is to me more convenient and more satisfying than trying to get the camera to do it on the fly, which is why my camera is set to RAW only. This is especially so as turning on things like distortion and lateral chromatic aberration correction in the camera slows down the processing regardless of whether you have it set to RAW or JPG. Even with the K-3II I have all of these turned off, and use them (or not) in DCU5.

10-10-2016, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
Bottom line: I am a hobbyist and I am [currently] more interested in taking pictures that make me happy than taking pictures that I have to [currently] learn how to fix. I'm not lazy, just time constricted. As my skills in composition improve, I can tackle the RAW --> Lightroom issue, but right now I wonder the following:

Am I better off shooting (in the short term):

1 - JPG and let the camera do its thing
2 - RAW and use the DCU to fix in post
3 - RAW+ mode so I use a lot more space but I have my choice of #1 & #2
4 - Quit being a baby and learn Lightroom
#3. Because if you have the RAW, you can also use in body RAW development to get a JPG with more approriate settings... This is very useful.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
How about this ... Switch to RAW plus JPEG for now. Keep your RAW files in a separate folder for now, and just use the JPEGS normally for now ... Set the custom image settings to taste and use the lens corrections.

After a while, choose a few favourite shots. Load up the saved RAW files in a programme you're interested in, and play around. See if you can get them looking like the JPEGs, and then try and improve on a few things. See if you can actually get something that looks better than what the camera can do.

After that process I suspect you will be able to answer your questions with ease.
Excellent suggestion and what I'm doing myself. Something like over than 95% of my pics never go past the OOC jpg. But when I have one that stands out, I still can process the RAW to get the best out of it. It's the best of both world. That way, no need to take an insane amount of time to process all your files in LR if you already have OOC JPGs that you're happy with.
10-10-2016, 01:30 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The in camera lens correction makes your pictures take longer to process. This might be inconvenient if making several shots in quick succession. If you're happy with the 'uncorrected' images that you're getting now, I suggest you leave it turned off.

QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
Bottom line: I am a hobbyist and I am [currently] more interested in taking pictures that make me happy than taking pictures that I have to [currently] learn how to fix.
If it ain't (to your eyes) broke, don't fix it.
10-10-2016, 02:44 PM - 1 Like   #7
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There is no shame in shooting jpeg.
Here is my bottom line:
Jpeg will give you acceptable, even fine results. But it will rarely give you spectacular results. Since there are so many photographers and so many photos everywhere, "acceptable" quickly becomes "bland."
Raw itself looks worse than jpeg, and if you don't have skills it will take some time to make it look fine. But once you know it, you can achieve spectacular more easily - if you took the shot right in the first place.

I would recommend you stay with jpeg and you can try using the varous Scene modes (Landscape, Portrait, etc.) or the Jpeg mode (choose Av or any of the other modes, then press Info, then choose one of them. Bright is the default one. I like Film reversal. You can press Info again to edit most of these modes further. Its not as many options as shooting raw, but it is still a lot).
10-11-2016, 12:49 AM - 1 Like   #8
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See attached screen-shot. This is from a recent article I wrote on Lightroom processing with the Pentax Q (but just as relevant for any camera), and compares 1:1 crops of a straight-out-of-camera "high quality" JPEG file on the left, versus the Lightroom-processed version on the right (shot as RAW, processed, then exported as JPEG), for a shot taken at ISO 3200. This is quite an extreme example (as in-camera noise reduction really takes its toll on the JPEG), but demonstrates rather well how shooting RAW and processing in Lightroom can yield much better results...



10-11-2016, 03:23 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Thats a good demo there .... its often hard to really quantify the actual tangible differences between the two, certainly when trying to explain to those who haven't tried RAW. The usual statements about RAW being for higher quality, more latitude, and about getting the most out of your camera, would often fall on deaf ears frankly .... mainly because the target people for those comments can't see anything specific that makes RAW better, they can't see it in front of them.

There's also the often frustrating attitude and belief that RAW image processing is mainly about 'rescueing' shots that have gone wrong, or were taken in extreme challenging light and so need loads of 'correcting', 'pushing and pulling', 'shadow recovery',even 'cheating' ! This process is often seen as undesirable and compared to 'proper' photography where things were captured right 'in the camera' .....

I myself see camera JPEGs as a compromise, although handy sometimes ..... they can be seen as an efficient type of batch processing when you need to shoot loads of images in similar lighting, for example. The compromise surely is in the fact that the camera processor is a tiny computer brain ... tiny compared to our PCs and laptops and the sophisticated image processing software we have available.

I just want to qualify here that I in no way apply these comments to the Original Poster here, who seems to be really interested in the question of the RAW advantage, and I'm sure will enjoy trying it out and experimenting with learning new software. It can be a fun and rewarding new dimension to photography, and I find I love working on, and bringing to life, my shots on the computer, on days when I can't get out with camera.

Last edited by mcgregni; 10-11-2016 at 03:28 AM.
10-11-2016, 04:16 AM - 1 Like   #10
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It's also worth mentioning that most straight-out-of-camera JPEGs can still be improved considerably with a little post-processing. Whilst you can't recover crushed shadows, blown highlights, or detail lost to noise reduction and compression, it's possible to optimise the overall look of JPEGs with some subtle tweaks in exposure, contrast, clarity, tone curve and masked sharpening. RAW will still give superior results every time, but often the JPEG capture can be more than good enough.
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