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05-17-2010, 04:13 PM   #1
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K20D Raw Info Problem - fyi

I am going to share this with the forum so someone else doesn't loose sleep over a non-issue.

Attended a destination wedding in California (about 15 hours driving from my home). I took a lot of pics of the wedding and the Oregon coast coming home. All the pics were taken in RAW.

I downloaded photos to my laptop during my trip and have been having major anxiety attacks because the info from the RAW images has not transferred during download and I could not adjust parameters of images. This has never happened before and often during this past week I have been having nightmares that my K20D was messed up.

Today on my arrival home used USB cord to download images rather than card reader in computer. Presto! All info for RAW images transferred correctly.

Problem...now obvious...not all card readers will transfer RAW image data.


I am sharing this to save some other DSLR user from stressing over what should have been obvious.

I'll sleep good tonight.

05-17-2010, 04:59 PM   #2
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I don't understand.

The RAW files are just that - single binary files (pic1.dng etc) with specific file sizes, saved to disk and stored in a FAT or FAT32 (usually) partition on the SD card. Just like any other DOS file on your computer. Any 'info' for the RAW files is embedded in the file, it doesn't exist outside of the file. When you copy a RAW image file to your computer via a card reader or via the USB cable, only one file gets transferred per image. Nothing else comes across via the USB cable that is any different from what comes across via a card reader.

If the card reader transfers the file intact, the RAW data will be in there. Only if the file has been physically corrupted or mangled (eg chopped in half or something) would any RAW image information be lost. If your card reader is doing that, you certainly do have a problem, either with your SD card or the card reader, and not just with image files too, probably.

It sounds to me like the software you are using to read the files has the issues.
05-17-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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I don't know if this is the same problem or not. I've been having problems with my "SanDisk" brand "ImageMate 5 in 1 Reader". for the last month its taken a number of insertions to get the card to read the files on there. Today, no matter what i did, it appeared like my card was empty. I put the card back in my camera, and the files are still there.

Do i throw it away, or put an electrical spray in it. Probably just contacts getting dirty, but i can't see any way to take it apart.

Phil
05-17-2010, 05:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I don't know if this is the same problem or not. I've been having problems with my "SanDisk" brand "ImageMate 5 in 1 Reader". for the last month its taken a number of insertions to get the card to read the files on there. Today, no matter what i did, it appeared like my card was empty. I put the card back in my camera, and the files are still there.

Do i throw it away, or put an electrical spray in it. Probably just contacts getting dirty, but i can't see any way to take it apart.

Phil
If you are certain it is the card reader, throw it away. They are cheap to replace, and even come bundled with cards sometimes.

05-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #5
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Rawr

The software I use is not the problem and I definitely did not "chop my card in half" so we can rule these out as the problem. We can also rule out the card as contributing to the problem as the info was transferred correctly when I used the USB cord. That leaves us with the card reader...you are obviously a lot more technically qualified with regard to how these things work..so I am going to have to go with MY card reader is Kaput on my laptop (not my assumption that some card readers cannot transfer RAW data).

Note: when using the card reader on my laptop the image was transferred from the RAW file just no attached info or ability to do any processing on the image. After your comments I used an auxillary card reader and the info/image was downloaded correctly.

Therefore, must by my card reader and therefore not a big issue for forum members...Apologies to card reader manufacturers in general and forum members for crying wolf
05-17-2010, 07:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by troutman Quote
Note: when using the card reader on my laptop the image was transferred from the RAW file just no attached info or ability to do any processing on the image.
This part still concerns me. It doesn't seem like you know what a raw file is. What do you mean by the image was transferred from the RAW file? What is attached info? Why can't you do any processing?

If the raw file made it to the computer, then you can edit it. You might not have the right software on the computer to do so, but if the file is there (and not corrupt) then everything is there.
05-17-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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Really!!! You are right I didn't know exactly what a RAW file was (I have however been shooting in RAW format for the past 3 years and had no issues until recently) but I do now what the techno speak for RAW is thanks to Google ( Raw image format - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

To answer your comments I will drill down a little further into what I was doing.
(1) inserted card into computer card reader
(2) downloaded photo
(3) opened Pentax Photo Browser...photo was visible with "RAW" designation but no info accompanying "RAW" photo (ie all parameters were blank". Corresponding JPEG photo had all parameters filled in

Next:
(1) open "RAW" photo in Pentax Photo Lab
(2) error message "failed to display preview" (ie no photo, no ablility for post processing)

Next:
USB cable download same photo...all is well ie can open RAW photo and process

What part of this dont I understand?

Maybe as I have said the card reader on my computer is NFG and I should never have started this thread
05-18-2010, 12:55 AM   #8
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Is it an SDHC card?
Older card readers have problems dealing with SDHC cards.

Try another, newer card reader.

05-18-2010, 05:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by troutman Quote
the image was transferred from the RAW file just no attached info or ability to do any processing on the image. After your comments I used an auxillary card reader and the info/image was downloaded correctly.
The part in BOLD makes no sense whatsover. Either the file transfered, or it didn't.

All you're doing is copying the file from the memory card to your hard drive. Do you believe that somehow the copy process goes INTO the file and manages to strip out the EXIF/metadata, but leaves intact the embedded JPG and/or raw sensor data? I don't think the O/S knows anything about the structure of the DNG/PEF file to do this.

You are aware that a raw file isn't an "image" ? It's just a data file that contains EXIF/metadata, the raw sensor data, and an embedded JPG (among other stuff)
05-18-2010, 08:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
Is it an SDHC card?
Older card readers have problems dealing with SDHC cards.

Try another, newer card reader.

You are correct. When I tried a newer card reader there was no problem. I guess the card reader in my laptop is the issue.
05-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
The part in BOLD makes no sense whatsover. Either the file transfered, or it didn't.

All you're doing is copying the file from the memory card to your hard drive. Do you believe that somehow the copy process goes INTO the file and manages to strip out the EXIF/metadata, but leaves intact the embedded JPG and/or raw sensor data? I don't think the O/S knows anything about the structure of the DNG/PEF file to do this.

You are aware that a raw file isn't an "image" ? It's just a data file that contains EXIF/metadata, the raw sensor data, and an embedded JPG (among other stuff)
You are right this makes no sense. All I can tell you is that if I use the card reader on my laptop there is an image with the word RAW attached and this image can be viewed in Pentax Photo Browser (but there is no accompanying data) and when attempt to view in Pentax Photo Laboratory the image cannot be viewed let alone any post processing be done.

Appreciate your trying to help but I can only tell you what I see. At this point we are just going in circles. I am going to go with my laptop card reader doesn't work and continue using RAW but downloading with an alternative reader/USB cord.
05-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #12
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That explained why using the cable I was not able to transfer the raw file, but using a Card Reader I was able to do. I knew it! I wasn't going crazy.

Thanks for the info
05-18-2010, 08:51 AM   #13
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troutman, I'm glad you've managed to isolate the issue to the card reader on the laptop.

It seems to have some problems, as you say. It's good to know that you probably can't trust it to reliably read your SD cards and transfer files. Finding this out now might save you grief in future.
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