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11-20-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
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RAW+ - JPG different from RAW?

When shooting in RAW+, once in a while, I get a JPG that seems to be very different from the RAW. Especially in tonality. If I process the RAW with the Digital Camera Utility 4, I get a JPG that looks like the RAW, not the JPG.

What's frustrating is the original JPG looks quite a bit better in color and skin tones vs the RAW. At least to my eyes. I've not figured out which settings needs to be tweeked (or untweeked) to get that effect out of the RAW.

These are all flash pictures on my K-x.
Any idea why this happens?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.


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11-20-2010, 08:53 PM   #2
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The original jpg is processed in the camera, the second with different software on your computer. I would not expect identical results. However, I only shoot RAW-no jpg, so I do not have first hand experience. You might try extracting rather than converting the jpg from the RAW file to see if it is a closer match to the original jpg.
11-20-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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Still learning this stuff myself, but I believe that what you see when you're looking at a RAW 'image' is a jpeg preview constructed either by the camera (that appears on the LCD) or by your image editor if you've opened it on your computer.

RAW files aren't image files at all, they are collections of all the information collected by the sensor and must be processed. If your camera does the processing the resulting jpeg will be based on the settings you have entered for jpeg shooting and should look exactly like the in-camera jpeg. If you process it yourself, your image editor will choose a starting point, sometimes based on the in-camera settings, sometimes based on the image editor's default settings, and create a preview. You can then change everything, from exposure to colour temperature to the saturation and luminosity of individual colour channels. What you end up with might look like the in-camera jpeg, or might be completely different.
11-20-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
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I never use the software that came with the camera, so I'm not sure, but I would expect the camera utility to understand the settings that the camera is capable of and would create a JPEG from the RAW file that matches with JPEG that was created in-camera.

Is there an "As-Shot" setting that would apply the camera settings to the RAW image? Although I don't know why that would not be the default.

11-20-2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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SpecialK, when you say extracting, can you explain that? Do I load the raw back into the camera to recreate the jpg?

I understand that I'm getting 2 different outputs because of the difference between in-camera vs. post conversion. What's frustrating is that the JPG is occasionally better. 99.9% of the time, the RAW is all I need. It's that 1 picture in a 1000 that I just can't explain why it's so much better looking in tonality than the RAW. I may need to upgrade from the Pentax software to something more professional.

Thank you for your advice.

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11-20-2010, 09:18 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
I never use the software that came with the camera, so I'm not sure, but I would expect the camera utility to understand the settings that the camera is capable of and would create a JPEG from the RAW file that matches with JPEG that was created in-camera.

Is there an "As-Shot" setting that would apply the camera settings to the RAW image? Although I don't know why that would not be the default.
I also figured the included software would closely mimic the RAW to JPG conversion of the camera. And I believe it's very close the majority of the time. The default does seem to take all the camera settings as defaults. However when looking at the RAW and JPG in the Digital Camera Utility 4 side by side, you can definitely see differences. The pixels I understand will be different due to the JPG compression. It's the tonality that I would expect to be very close.

Thank you for your time. I'll just have to keep playing with it to figure out what the settings really are when it converts from RAW to JPG.

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11-20-2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
What's frustrating is that the JPG is occasionally better. 99.9% of the time, the RAW is all I need. It's that 1 picture in a 1000 that I just can't explain why it's so much better looking in tonality than the RAW. I may need to upgrade from the Pentax software to something more professional.
That jpeg that looks so good was created from the same RAW file - all the information is there, you just need to practice with a good RAW converter. I've only used Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), but you should be able to out-do almost any in-camera jpeg with any RAW converter.
11-20-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikecoboss Quote
If you process it yourself, your image editor will choose a starting point, sometimes based on the in-camera settings, sometimes based on the image editor's default settings, and create a preview. You can then change everything, from exposure to colour temperature to the saturation and luminosity of individual colour channels. What you end up with might look like the in-camera jpeg, or might be completely different.
I guess I was just expecting it to be really close since I was using the bundled software. It's not that the image is bad or anything, I just like the tonality of the in-camera jpg converter.

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11-20-2010, 09:21 PM   #9
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I would guess it is a white balance issue, try tweaking that.

The RAW image itself is what the sensor sees and as such it has not been corrected in this respect. Any conversion where you get something that you can see on the monitor has applied some sort of white balance as it has combined the sensor's component color pixels (reg, green and blue) to display pixels. Given that the images look different it would seem that a different white balance setting was used for the camera JPEG conversion vs. that you see when looking at the RAW (on the computer display). Because there is a difference you probably aren't looking at JPEG embedded in the RAW file (This should just be a lower quality (more compressed) version of the JPEG you get with RAW+).
11-20-2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikecoboss Quote
That jpeg that looks so good was created from the same RAW file - all the information is there, you just need to practice with a good RAW converter. I've only used Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), but you should be able to out-do almost any in-camera jpeg with any RAW converter.
ACR is on my list to download tonight. Thank you for the suggestion.

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11-20-2010, 09:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
I would guess it is a white balance issue, try tweaking that.

The RAW image itself is what the sensor sees and as such it has not been corrected in this respect. Any conversion where you get something that you can see on the monitor has applied some sort of white balance as it has combined the sensor's component color pixels (reg, green and blue) to display pixels. Given that the images look different it would seem that a different white balance setting was used for the camera JPEG conversion vs. that you see when looking at the RAW (on the computer display). Because there is a difference you probably aren't looking at JPEG embedded in the RAW file (This should just be a lower quality (more compressed) version of the JPEG you get with RAW+).
Thank you for your advice. I'll trying tweeking the white balance more. I'm planning to download ACR tonight so I'll see if that makes a difference in the way the white balance is handled.

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11-20-2010, 09:36 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
I guess I was just expecting it to be really close since I was using the bundled software.
I think the bundled software is a third-party RAW converter that Pentax has licenced, so it should treat Pentax RAW files the same as Nikon or Canon.

Which makes me wonder, are your RAW files set for DNG (Adobe's Digital Negative cross platform RAW format) or PEF (Pentax's proprietary RAW format)? That might have something to do with it, but I've never been clear on their differences. I use the DNG format mostly because I use Adobe's ACR.
11-20-2010, 09:41 PM - 1 Like   #13
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When your Pentax creates a RAW image file, it simultaneously creates a jpeg thumbnail file. This lets you see a visual "close enough" view of the image file in your LCD.

Unlike RAW files, jpeg files by their very nature have some level of sharpening, NR, color tones etc baked in. Your camera settings (natural, bright etc.) provide those data reference points.

A RAW file has no sharpening, color styles, NR, added saturation etc. added. It is more pure so to speak.

Thus, a jpeg should look "better" at first glance because some of our visual cues are built around sharpness perception and color brilliancy.

As noted above by bikecoboss, RAW files are not image files per se. Most post-processing applications provide you with a screen image that reflects the unadulterated RAW file. They almost always need sharpening, NR, color tone corrections etc. In Lightroom for example, you initially see that embedded jpeg for quick convenience; then Lightroom replaces that with a flat image of its own creation as a starting point once you begin the work of post processing.

The Pentax digital camera utility is different in that it applies your in-camera settings to the rendering of a RAW file. Essentially, when you shoot RAW+jpeg, the resulting two files from this software should look pretty close. Some people really like that, especially if they like the color rendering of the jpegs produced by the camera.

Personally I don't--but--it's all good to me.

M
11-20-2010, 09:56 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 7samurai Quote
I'm planning to download ACR tonight so I'll see if that makes a difference in the way the white balance is handled.
Just note that ACR is a plug-in that runs within Adobe's CS applications, like Bridge and Photoshop (and Elements) - I don't think a stand-alone version exists.
11-20-2010, 10:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
The Pentax digital camera utility is different in that it applies your in-camera settings to the rendering of a RAW file. Essentially, when you shoot RAW+jpeg, the resulting two files from this software should look pretty close. Some people really like that, especially if they like the color rendering of the jpegs produced by the camera.
M
Miguel,

Thank you for your explaination. That's clears up how the Pentax software applies the in-camera settings and why everything looks so close when viewed using their software.

7samurai
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