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03-20-2008, 02:47 AM   #1
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PEF vs DNG

I am still not sure which format is better for my use. Regarding color fidelity etc. I see no difference in the output between these two formats. I have downloaded ACR 4.4 and the PEF's open perfectly in ACR PS3. Prior to that 4.3 did not open PEF's. Other than universal compatibility what are the differences? Any comments on your observations between the qualities of shooting DNG or PEF in the K20D's?

Ben

03-20-2008, 03:28 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
I am still not sure which format is better for my use. Regarding color fidelity etc. I see no difference in the output between these two formats. I have downloaded ACR 4.4 and the PEF's open perfectly in ACR PS3. Prior to that 4.3 did not open PEF's. Other than universal compatibility what are the differences? Any comments on your observations between the qualities of shooting DNG or PEF in the K20D's?

Ben
Hi, Ben

Prior to ACR 4.4 I used PPL to convert pef's in dng's and imported those in Lightroom 1.3.1 for further processing and edited a copy in PS when needed. After I installed ACR 4.4 (both in PS CS3 and as LR 1.4) I tried to reprocess couple of pef's (ISO 3200 shots) and although the differences were minor at best they still appeared on the screen. A minor tint variation and a bit more detail in older dng's. I guess it is visible only at 1:1 magnification and doesn't affect the day to day workflow.

Anyway for me it is business as usual with ACR 4.4 the reported bugs don't seem to affect what I do and it is much easier to return to my regular workflow (pef's -> LR sometimes -> PS almost every time).

Hope that helps,
Radu
03-20-2008, 05:43 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
I am still not sure which format is better for my use. Regarding color fidelity etc. I see no difference in the output between these two formats. I have downloaded ACR 4.4 and the PEF's open perfectly in ACR PS3. Prior to that 4.3 did not open PEF's. Other than universal compatibility what are the differences? Any comments on your observations between the qualities of shooting DNG or PEF in the K20D's?
They're both lossless, and both contain full metadata. So there's really no difference at all — mathematically as well as practically — in terms of the image results.
03-20-2008, 06:24 AM   #4
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For printing needs, DNG is the preferred file because of it's wider color gamut. Otherwise, for day to day operation, you won,t see much difference.

03-20-2008, 07:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
For printing needs, DNG is the preferred file because of it's wider color gamut. Otherwise, for day to day operation, you won,t see much difference.
RAW files (be it DNG or PEF) don't even have colour, how can one have a wider color gamut then ?
Maybe you confused the DNG vs. PEF debate with sRGB vs. AdobeRGB debate ?
03-20-2008, 08:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by procyon Quote
RAW files (be it DNG or PEF) don't even have colour, how can one have a wider color gamut then ?
Maybe you confused the DNG vs. PEF debate with sRGB vs. AdobeRGB debate ?
The information recorded for PEF and DNG is different and you have a larger color gamut with DNG than with PEF. Not by much, but there is a difference. If you where working in the pre-press dept. of a printing shop, you would know that.
03-20-2008, 10:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
The information recorded for PEF and DNG is different and you have a larger color gamut with DNG than with PEF. Not by much, but there is a difference. If you where working in the pre-press dept. of a printing shop, you would know that.
Do you have a reference to back up that claim ? This is the first time I've read anything of the sort.

My understanding of things is that the K10D's raw files (as those of most other cameras, BTW) do NOT actually contain any color information whatsoever, but only the luminance of each photosite under the "RG/GB" bayer array. Converting *that* into regular RGB (and therefore into a color gamut) is performed by the raw converter. Therefore, I don't understand how DNG could have a wider color gamut than PEF...
03-20-2008, 10:53 AM   #8
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Quite likely it's all about how and with which software the files are converted. There are claims thet Adobe uses other settings for converting DNG files than it would for other formats (possibly to promote it's own format). In case that is true, getting the same result for PEF would probably just require tweaking some setting a bit.

03-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
The information recorded for PEF and DNG is different and you have a larger color gamut with DNG than with PEF. Not by much, but there is a difference. If you where working in the pre-press dept. of a printing shop, you would know that.
The colour gamut has nothing to do with file format. RAW files have no colour information just a luminance value and whether the value applies to a Red, Green or Blue photosite. The actual colour per pixel location is worked out by the RAW converter and the colour space info in the header is used to work out the output RGB value for each location. This conversion would be the same for either format if you used the same converter assuming you read the headers the same way.

Last edited by *isteve; 03-20-2008 at 11:21 AM.
03-20-2008, 11:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
The information recorded for PEF and DNG is different and you have a larger color gamut with DNG than with PEF. Not by much, but there is a difference.
DNGs & PEFs contain exactly the same image info. Colour gamut is a function of the conversion, not the format of the data container.

dave

EDIT: oops, typing at the same time as *isteve..
03-20-2008, 12:27 PM   #11
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The only pratical difference between shooting PEF or DNG is file size. The PEF is losslessly compressed, whereas the DNG isn't. The net benefit is that you will get approx 30-50% more shots on a card with PEF.

Here is some data on the difference between the two Raw formats, plus TIFF and JPEG, the first is for the K10D but the essential differences are the same for the K20D.





Another factor is that some earlier Epson storage viewers (e.g. the P-2000) can read the embedded JPEG's in the PEF files, but not in the DNG files. Therefore some users prefer to shoot in PEF and store and view them with their Epson viewers, then, if they prefer working with DNG files, they convert the PEF files to losslessly compressed DNG files either when uploading to their computers or at a later stage in their workflow. You can convert to lossless compressed DNG with either the stand alone DNG converter or within ACR, the difference in file size between a compressed DNG and compressed PEF is not much.

It's worth noting that Pentax's own Photo Browser and Photo Lab software will not read Adobe's compressed DNG format, only in-camera produced, or Photo Browser PEF -> DNG conversions, which are uncompressed.

Converters such as ACR and Silkypix can handle all types. Capture One v4.0 can read K10D PEF's but not K20D PEF's, it can read both compressed or uncompressed DNG's from both cameras. I don't know about others.

For those folk who don't have the latest Photoshop CS3, but want to convert the K20D PEF's (or the uncompressed in-camera DNG's) to compressed DNG's so that you can use your older software, you can download and use the latest DNG desktop converter (v4.4) free from the Adobe website:
Adobe - Photoshop : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter and Camera Raw 4.4 update : Thank You

Best regards
03-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
It's worth noting that Pentax's own Photo Browser and Photo Lab software will not read Adobe's compressed DNG format, only in-camera produced, or Photo Browser PEF -> DNG conversions, which are uncompressed.
Not true at all. I shoot DNG and use Photo Lab all of the time with them.
03-20-2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
Not true at all. I shoot DNG and use Photo Lab all of the time with them.
I think that you have missed the word "COMPRESSED".

PPL can't deal w/ compressed DNG.
03-20-2008, 01:07 PM   #14
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That's a great explanation Richard, although my k100d only deals with PEF, it's always good to know.

thanks
03-20-2008, 02:56 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
Here is some data on the difference between the two Raw formats, plus TIFF and JPEG, the first is for the K10D but the essential differences are the same for the K20D.
A great pair of very self explanatory and informative slides Richard, thanks for posting.


QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
For those folk who don't have the latest Photoshop CS3, but want to convert the K20D PEF's (or the uncompressed in-camera DNG's) to compressed DNG's so that you can use your older software, you can download and use the latest DNG desktop converter (v4.4) free from the Adobe website:
Adobe - Photoshop : For Windows : Adobe DNG Converter and Camera Raw 4.4 update : Thank You
Yes but now as of the last version unfortunately fails to execute under Wk2

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