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02-15-2011, 04:51 AM   #1
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K-x: RAW or JPEG for 3 days?

Hello, I'm using a K-x. I'll be going on vacation tomorrow. I'll shoot landscapes and family portraits. My problems are:

1) I can't currently process RAW. I previously used Photoshop CS3 on my HP laptop, but something horrible happened to it, Windows Vista. I managed to get all my files, but found the .exe files are gone. While the HP was unusable, I got a Toshiba Satellite. I'll probably reinstall Photoshop on my HP, but I don't know when. I've tried Lightroom on my Toshiba, but it's too confusing.

2) I have limited space, 2 Gigs on an SD card. I had a 16 GB SDHC card, but was stupid enough to use my laptop's built-in card reader. It's scratched up. But I might take my Toshiba with me, so I can still shoot around 93 DNGs, and then put them on my laptop, and shoot again.

Basically, I used to shoot RAW DNG, then use Photoshop's Camera RAW to adjust the sharpness and contrast. I'll be using the DA L 18-55mm, and I usually needed to use Focus Magic with it. Last few months I've been busy, so I barely had time to shoot, I might've forgotten something.

What I'm asking is, should I shoot jpeg or RAW for the trip? Editing jpegs is painful. Will the jpegs come out sharper than RAWs? And do the K-x's in-camera editing options (sharpness, contrast etc.) make a difference with jpegs?

Thanks
AJ

PS. I am sorry as I know these questions have probably been answered previously, but I really don't have the time to search through thousands of threads. :-)

02-15-2011, 06:04 AM   #2
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I don't see any issue with JPEG, but I guess that is because I am a JPEG shooter any way.

Every year or so, I switch back to RAW but I find my adjustments and editing needs do not demand RAW so for me, it seems a waste.

If you shoot high resolution JPEG about all you lose is the 12 bit color, and the ability to recover gross errors.

to me, if you pay attention, just a little, JPEG can resolve those points.
02-15-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ... is free and reads PEF files (Pentax raw files) I use it to view on my travel netbook.

Buy a couple more cards, backup to computer.

When you get back, you can get Elements, which is decent and under $100.
02-15-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
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Hrm. Your going on vacation tomorrow. I would personally try to get another memory card if not possible then I would shoot in JPEG. As for quality issue there will be some but unless your going to be extremely picky about it I wouldn't worry. As for the sharpness and contrast settings those do affect the camera JPEG settings. As in you will see it in the photo after you take it.

Personal experience is that for the shots that I'd be worried about if they would turn out I'd switch it to raw recording mode. So that I could PP afterwards.

02-17-2011, 06:19 AM   #5
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+1 buy another card!
I have only been shooting for a short time but I switched to RAW and Lightroom in December and have never looked back. I find the auto WB on my KX isnt as good as I would like it to be and and this is where LR really is good and its non destructive. I read some place where some said (paraphrasing here and credit to the person that said this) 'shooting jpeg is like picking up your photo prints from the drugstore and then throwing away the negatives'.
Interestingly I have many jpeg photos from 12-15 yr ago and many are definitely degraded over time (from constant viewing? screensaver?)...I am not sure if this is a jpeg thing...not trying to pass on bogus info)
02-17-2011, 06:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lkjr Quote
Interestingly I have many jpeg photos from 12-15 yr ago and many are definitely degraded over time (from constant viewing? screensaver?)...I am not sure if this is a jpeg thing...not trying to pass on bogus info)
Copying and reading JPGS doesn't affect them, SAVING them does as then the compression is recalculated and it gradually degrades.

I have no idea what a screen saver does, but I can't think it rewrites JPGs other than by copying.
02-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #7
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A compromise: shoot RAW+jpeg, save any RAW files that would really benefit from being processed as RAWs, and delete the rest of the RAWs while keeping the jpegs.

I'm not a huge fan of the K-x's jpeg engine, so I tend to feel if you're stuck for storage, it's best to just be really selective about what you keep and what you delete. It usually means an improvement in your photography, in the end.
02-18-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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One thing I am trying out is shooting RAW + jpeg but I set the jpeg size to 2Meg that way the jpeg is just for viewing purposes on my computer because there is no simple way to view RAW files in explorer, these small jpeg files will take less room on my SD card as well.

02-18-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
One thing I am trying out is shooting RAW + jpeg but I set the jpeg size to 2Meg that way the jpeg is just for viewing purposes on my computer because there is no simple way to view RAW files in explorer, these small jpeg files will take less room on my SD card as well.
One of the few things the Pentax software is handy for is "extracting a jpg" from the PEF in the tools menu. Takes less than a minute for a whole card, and you don't waste card space.
02-19-2011, 01:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BirdDude007 Quote
One thing I am trying out is shooting RAW + jpeg but I set the jpeg size to 2Meg that way the jpeg is just for viewing purposes on my computer because there is no simple way to view RAW files in explorer, these small jpeg files will take less room on my SD card as well.
Yes. The lack of a Codec for viewing PEFs on Vista / 7 x64 is a real pain. I have one for my ORFs though not for the RAFs.
02-19-2011, 07:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Yes. The lack of a Codec for viewing PEFs on Vista / 7 x64 is a real pain. I have one for my ORFs though not for the RAFs.
I'm running vista and I have a PEF codec that lets me see them just fine. I don't remember where I got it from, but I'm sure you can just google it.
02-19-2011, 10:03 AM   #12
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Well, I'm back! Can anyone tell me how to post full-sized images, or links to them?
02-19-2011, 09:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by shadmanaj Quote
Well, I'm back! Can anyone tell me how to post full-sized images, or links to them?
Photobucket or Flickr account. Paste the the image URL here. I only post 1/2 size on the web.
02-20-2011, 09:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
I'm running vista and I have a PEF codec that lets me see them just fine. I don't remember where I got it from, but I'm sure you can just google it.
If you are running 64-bit Vista the official download from Pentax doesn't work.

PENTAX RAW codec software for Windows : Software Downloads : PENTAX

There are a number of paid-for solutions around, personally I think Pentax should port their code to x64 Windows.
02-22-2011, 06:32 AM   #15
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Thanks for the replies. Here are some photos. All are jpegs taken with the kit lens.
1. Fill light and contrast
Flowers | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

2. Fill Light and contrast. My favourite.
Purple flowers | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

3. SOOC
Purple and white Flowers | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

So far, I guess shooting Jpegs wasn't a big problem, just less editing capabilities. My main concern was the photos would need to be brightened. Well, the K-x's ISO 100 made unbelievable amounts of light fill possible :-D.
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