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07-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #1
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Million questions of the K2000/K-M

Those who own a K2000/K-M, do you take more pictures in RAW or JPEG? And why is that? Which picture turns out cleaner and better?

Also when you transform your RAW file into a JPEG with your computer, does it retain its image quality? If you take the same RAW picture in JPEG form and you transform that RAW into a JPEG, how does that compare to the original JPEG that you took to the same RAW that was transformed into the JPEG?

Also what's the best RAW program for the K2000? And is there a specific RAW program from Pentax itself that works with the K2000?

If there's anymore questions I come up with, I'll ask here. Thanks.

07-02-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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I use RAW. With proper post-processing, RAW can deliver crisper, more detailed images and greater dynamic range. RAW also preserves the most fundamental state of the image (well, aside from the 0's & 1's). Think of RAW as the equivalent of a film negative.

There is always going to be a loss of quality when converting to jpeg, because jpeg is a lossy codec - it discards information in order to reduce the file size. Often, this can be barely noticeable, or even unnoticeable.

Pentax ships a program for RAW conversion with their cameras, but I use Photoshop.

Images converted from RAW can look much better than jpeg - or they can look much worse. It all depends on the user.
07-03-2009, 01:04 AM   #3
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I use RAW (PEF), K-m/k2000's internal jpeg engine is not the best one in terms of controlling amount of sharpness/sharpening. So the best way to control sharpness is post-processing raw files. You can use Light Room, CS4 - ACR or SilkyPix. Personally I like Light Room, very easy and intuitive interface and no lags, SilkyPix is slow like hell - I don't know why. I have Core2Duo 3Ghz+4Gb of ram.

I shoot in Av mode or M mode.

BTW, check your K2000 Firmware version, if you have 1.0, you can easily upgrade it to the newest one: 1.10. I've already upgraded my firmware. New Firmware has new digital filter - "outlines", so you can apply decent amount of sharpness to jpeg picture using camera only, pretty nice, but still i prefer doing it myself!

Good luck!
07-03-2009, 01:13 AM   #4
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The questions you asked has nothing to do with the camera. What you get from RAW totally depends on you and the software you use. You can get better, worse or nearly the same result as camera JPG - it all depends on your skills and the RAW development software you use.

Btw I just shoot JPG. I could not really get better results than camera JPG after playing with dozens of RAW development softwares for days. I also do not want to waste time with RAW development/conversion.

07-03-2009, 04:40 AM   #5
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My major complaint with the K2000's jpeg engine: too much compression. Fine details, such as hair and feathers, get blurred, and the artifacting is unpleasant. It's actually quite easy to get RAW files looking much better than the in-camera jpegs, and in fact in some programs (Lightroom, for example) the development settings can be set to apply to all photographs, so there is little "wasted time".
07-03-2009, 09:27 AM   #6
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If you don't intend to do any post-processing (PP) on your pictures. there is essentially no difference between shooting RAW and JPEG. Sure, some RAW converters might create *slightly* better results than the in-camera JPEG, but we're talking *tiny* differences, and subjectie ones at that - someone else might easily still prefer the JPEG.

The point of shooting with RAW with any camera isn't to get better results without PP, but to get better results if you *do* PP. You can get far better results and get them far more easily by shooting RAW, especially if you are making significant changes to color or exposure. So if you think there is a chance you will eant to PP your pictures, that's why one shoots RAW. You could try to guess which shots might need PP and which won't, and switch back and forth between RAW and JPEG accordingly, but with any decent RAW processing software, working with RAW is as easy as or easier than working with JPEG, so there is no real reason not to just shoot RAW all the time if you're inclined to do it at all.
07-03-2009, 09:57 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot you guys. What is post processing effects? Is it like HDR or something? And how do you do HDR? Is it built into the camera or do you have to use a RAW program like Light Room? And what other RAW programs do you suggest for the K-M/K2000?
07-03-2009, 10:57 AM   #8
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Hello and Welcome LeDave,
I also have a K-m. It's my first dslr. Having a dslr, I decided to give raw a try. I'm glad I did because shooting in raw allows me to correct mistakes I made when shooting the picture. Of course you should always try to get it right in-camera. But I'm still learning and I doubt that I will ever be able to to without PP from now on. I initially did not like the idea of spending extra time doing PP, but it's growing on me. I think everyone else has answered your questions regargding jpeg. Remember, the K-m (like other Pentax dslrs) have been known to have soft jpgs. It's Pentax' philosophy to let the user decide how much sharpness and noise reduction to apply to the picture rather than having it done in-camera. Also, because of that, more detail is retained in the image.

07-03-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Thanks a lot you guys. What is post processing effects?
I'm not sure what you mean by "post processing effects". Several us mention post-processing, but I don't think any said anything about "effects". We're talking about very basic processing here - adjusting exposure, color etc - like if a picture came out too dark or too light or too bluish. It's *possible8 to adjust those things to some extent with JPEG, but you can't do it nearly as much, as well, or as easily. And that's what RAW is about - getting better results when doing post-processing. If all you do is use the files straight from the camera with no post-processing , there will be little or no difference between RAW and JPEG.

As for what processing programs to use, there are many options. I use ACDSee Pro; Lightroom is probably the most popular choice. Photoshop Elements works well enough too, and there are lots more to check out. Most have free trials.
07-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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Do you guys that own the K2000/K-M take pictures in PEF or DNG and why? Which one comes out in better quality overall without editing?
07-03-2009, 09:00 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Do you guys that own the K2000/K-M take pictures in PEF or DNG and why? Which one comes out in better quality overall without editing?
There's absolutely no difference there. They're the same information in different packages.

Furthermore, no RAW file "comes out" without editing. The word "raw" should be your cue here. The sensor data is largely unprocessed, and can't even be seen properly as a color image without some processing.

So the question isn't what RAW format gives better quality, but rather "what RAW converter gives better default results without bothering to change any settings?"

And one completely legitimate answer to that is: the in-camera JPEG engine. If you've got the disk space (and, if you consider a meaningful level of backups including off-site you may not have the disk space) you could shoot everything in RAW+JPEG and have great initial results which require little post-processing, and also the "original negatives" if you ever want to go back and work on a particular image further.
07-06-2009, 01:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
My major complaint with the K2000's jpeg engine: too much compression. Fine details, such as hair and feathers, get blurred, and the artifacting is unpleasant.
Then you're doing something wrong. I took more than 800 pictures of my daughter since February and there's absolutely no blur on her hair, no artifacts either in any of the pictures.

Btw *** quality setting is using 96-97% jpeg compression quality, that's hardly "too much compression", in fact that is commonly used high quality setting.
07-06-2009, 09:01 AM   #13
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I shoot everything in RAW + JPEG. I don't bother with developing all RAW files, but I like to have the option if needed (the amount of detail that can be recovered from RAW is incredible).

The K-m's internal JPEG engine seems fine to me (do't forget you can tweak the default values to your liking).

I use Raw Therapee and Gimp to develop and process pics. RawTherapee V2.4 Release Candidate 2 GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program



For HDR you have to do multiple exposures and then process them together.


I loved DPHDR Dynamic Photo HDR, high dynamic range imaging software with Anti-Ghosting but the above picture was done with Qtpfsgui (seriously, that's the name). Qtpfsgui - Home
07-06-2009, 10:44 AM   #14
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Sweet! Thanks a lot impact. That's awesome, I just googled Dynamic Photo HDR and found a lot of good experiences from them as well as easy to use interface. I'm definitely going to download this program. I'm also going to download rawthereapee right now to check it out.
07-06-2009, 12:15 PM   #15
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flippedgazelle's comment

When I was researching cameras a few months ago, someone linked a site that permits comparisons of the same shot done with different cameras under the same conditions. Don't remember the link, but the shot is a female mannekin sitting at a cafe table with a wine glass, bottle, and rose on the table. If you've seen it, you'll know what I mean.

Anyhow, there was definitely more compression in the higher ISO K-m photos on that site, even relative to the K200D. I don't say this to make folks defensive; I just bought the K-m, and it is my first DLSR.

If there are settings that permit better results, I'd be interested to know them (i.e. what default in-camera sharpening folks are using, etc.).

On the topic of post-processing, which of the programs mentioned might represent the best balance of initial financial cost/manageable learning curve for rank amateurs /room to grow as one's skills develop?

thanks!

vince
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