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05-21-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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Has Pentax abandoned PEF? Time to switch to DNG?

No pentax camera released since the K-5 has supported PEF as a RAW format, only DNG. Since the K-5 we've had the Q and K-01 which to some degree this absense of PEF in preference for DNG could be explained away due to them not being "serious" DSLR's. But now we have the K-30 which also shoots RAW DNG only, no PEF.

What do you think are the implications for this?
Has Pentax abandoned PEF?
For how long into the future will software be able to decode PEF?
Is it time to switch to DNG to ensure our RAW's will be able to be opened by future RAW software?

Personal disclaimer, I shoot DNG but if I shot PEF I'd be switching.

05-21-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Personally, I don't worry. But I'm not buying a new Pentax camera yet.
Yes, switch your pre-Q cam to DNG, so you're ready for the bright future.
Yes, keep your old PEF-processing warez, so you can re-work older shots.
05-21-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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It may be advisable to convert old PEFs to a different format. Problem with keeping old software which can read PEFs is that eventually that old software can't be installed on the new operating system.

I'm paranoid though, I even convert my DNG "keepers" to JPEG and back them up all over the place (cloud, local, offsite, prints). I want my family pics to be able to be viewed by future generations
05-21-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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I use DNG as well and think it is the better choice over PEF. But I suspect you will be able to read PEF for a long time. Adobe includes it as a RAW format in LR, I cannot imagine why they would ever take it out. So worst case you convert your PEF's to DNG in LR or some future software. If Pentax really has abandoned PEF I applaud them for moving to an industry standard, not because it is a standard but because it is cheaper and easier for them to use DNG than to maintain their own file format.

To me that is one more bullet point for the marketing team (assuming they have one) to use. "Pentax cameras use industry standard RAW format not those silly proprietary formats used by other manufacturers."

I guess I am also hoping for enough close ties with Adobe that they will add tethering for Pentax into LR.

05-21-2012, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I want my family pics to be able to be viewed by future generations
Trouble with that is, will anyone care? My wife is the family historian and she has boxes of family prints going back generations we have inherited from various family members. We scan them, try to identify who is in them and then try to get the originals to the family member most closely related. The hard part is getting anyone to even care, hopefully your family is better.
05-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Trouble with that is, will anyone care? My wife is the family historian and she has boxes of family prints going back generations we have inherited from various family members. We scan them, try to identify who is in them and then try to get the originals to the family member most closely related. The hard part is getting anyone to even care, hopefully your family is better.
LOL, well that's a good point. People who care most are those that appear in the pics, so I think my kids will care. I have very very few pics of myself as a kid and I would like to have more. Maybe the usefulness of our pics is ~80 years, or about the life span of those in them
05-21-2012, 06:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Maybe the usefulness of our pics is ~80 years, or about the life span of those in them
Likely correct, our rule of thumb is that if we cannot identify who is in it then it goes in the trash. We do work very hard to 'tag' the digital copies with as much info as possible. Maybe that will extend the useful life. It is very sad though to look at B&W prints and have no idea who the people are. We still have a few people from my mother's generation so we make copies and send them off and see if they can tell us who the people are. Sometimes they remember, sometimes not.........
05-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
It may be advisable to convert old PEFs to a different format. Problem with keeping old software which can read PEFs is that eventually that old software can't be installed on the new operating system.

I'm paranoid though, I even convert my DNG "keepers" to JPEG and back them up all over the place (cloud, local, offsite, prints). I want my family pics to be able to be viewed by future generations
Why convert to JPEG and not perhaps PNG, or something else with lossless compression?

Paul

05-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Why convert to JPEG and not perhaps PNG, or something else with lossless compression?

Paul
Good question. Because I want the highest chance of the format being read, and JPEG seems that. I save as Original Size and "Quality 11". Of course I also backup up all my DNG RAW's as well (keepers and non-keepers), but in 50 years time maybe the DNG's can't be read, and the JPEGs can?
05-21-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
maybe the DNG's can't be read, and the JPEGs can
And the jpegs can be instantly viewed by most anybody with a computer, RAW files would need some software to process them in order to be viewed. Even assuming the software is available the person wanting to view the pictures may not have the technical expertise to convert from RAW.
05-21-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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Ever since I started shooting Pentax DSLR's, I've been shooting RAW+ (DNG and JPEG).
My bases are covered.

Since Capture One started playing nice with Pentax DNG's, pretty much all the main commercial RAW processors (LR/ACR, DXO, C1, AfterShot) process DNG just as well as they process PEF, so a big reason to stay with PEF has now gone.
05-21-2012, 06:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
And the jpegs can be instantly viewed by most anybody with a computer, RAW files would need some software to process them in order to be viewed. Even assuming the software is available the person wanting to view the pictures may not have the technical expertise to convert from RAW.
Indeed. The JPEGs also have all the adjustments applied, whereas the DNG's are the masters in an Aperture v3 library that probably has a slim chance of anyone being able to open in even 10 years if I dropped off the perch today.
05-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #13
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This is an opposite strategy from Nikon. They all do NEF and the ff do NEF and TIFF.
05-21-2012, 06:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
This is an opposite strategy from Nikon. They all do NEF and the ff do NEF and TIFF.
Yes, I think this is because Nikon want to sell their Capture NX software.
05-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #15
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I actually think it's a good move that they are moving to (and only) an industry standard. That's a way to avoid their customers to shoot themselves in the foot by shooting in a proprietary format and losing support for it in the future.
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