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01-11-2014, 12:10 PM   #1
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Pentax, please improve the JPEG engine

Set the JPEG output to Bright with -1 Saturation. A couple other little tweaks in WB, too. Most important, shot was taken with -1 EV to avoid blowing out the reds which was successful as judged by the RAW file. Here is the OOC JPEG (1st image) compared to what Aperture converted to a JPEG from RAW without any adjustment (2nd image). For reference (and a little surprisingly) setting the camera to Natural produced even muddier images. If Apple can handle this well, why can't Pentax?

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01-11-2014, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Um, because Apple has a whole computer and Pentax is limited to a little camera with limited buffer and much slower processor?
Also, you took a shot of a most challenging subject - red is difficult for bayer sensor DSLRs. And flowers are hard to photograph because they can be reflective and highly colourful. Low light is also problematic because it means low contrasts, higher ISO and more noise.
And of course raw files will look better once you process them - that is why people shoot raw.
01-11-2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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Maybe the red color has something to do with this as well?
01-11-2014, 12:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Um, because Apple has a whole computer and Pentax is limited to a little camera with limited buffer and much slower processor?
My camera cost more than my computer.
QuoteQuote:
Also, you took a shot of a most challenging subject - red is difficult for bayer sensor DSLRs. And flowers are hard to photograph because they can be reflective and highly colourful. Low light is also problematic because it means low contrasts, higher ISO and more noise.
None of those are real problems otherwise the RAW files would be bad, too.
QuoteQuote:
And of course raw files will look better once you process them - that is why people shoot raw.
The camera is processing them which is no different than my computer processing them.

I brought this up because a friend showed my his new D7100 last night. None of this was a problem for him but I'm not about to go out and buy a Nikon especially considering how non-intuitive that thing was to play with.

01-11-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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Adjust the JPEG output settings to your liking. There is a reason for them being adjustable
The camera can not read your mind and figure out your personal preference.

edit: just realized that you are comparing a K30 to 7100 Be interesting to see how K3 compared to 7100...

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 01-11-2014 at 01:31 PM.
01-11-2014, 01:29 PM   #6
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Just in case the question centers around insufficient processing power, here's the OOC JPEG from my wife's lowly Panny LX-7 which probably cost one third what my Pentax did:
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01-11-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Just in case the question centers around insufficient processing power, here's the OOC JPEG from my wife's lowly Panny LX-7 which probably cost one third what my Pentax did:
It has less to do with processing power and more with the engineers interpretation of what it should look like.
Most of them seem to go with the assumption that, over-saturated and over-sharpened JPEGS please the general masses
01-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #8
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well, what quality settings were the jpg's taken with? what is the sharpening that is applyd by the camera.
It lookes like the shot is not in focus, and when that is the case, a jpg out of the camera will look very soft already.

01-11-2014, 01:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
It has less to do with processing power and more with the engineers interpretation of what it should look like.
Most of them seem to go with the assumption that, over-saturated and over-sharpened JPEGS please the general masses
That's why I turned down the saturation from the default (not to mention setting EV to -1). Pentax can fix this if they want as this problem with reds doesn't plaque other camera brands like it does with Pentax. Do they want to bother?
01-11-2014, 02:19 PM   #10
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Just asking because I really don't know the answer, but is there a common situation in which Pentax outshines the competitors' processing algorithms? I think we all sort of know Pentax is and has been intentionally different from CaNikony. We suspect they plan to become known as an alternative camera maker, not just "another" camera maker.

Does the "red problem," which has apparently existed for quite some time in the Pentax processors, have a deeper root cause than merely an engineer's choice? Does it necessarily mean Pentax must "improve" its jpeg engine or is this a call to "change" the jpeg engine?

Inquiring minds want to know
01-11-2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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Ooh, there might be one more thing. I am not seeing a huge difference between the three photos you posted so far. So this might have to do with monitor calibration. Maybe on a different monitor the difference is bigger. I'm not trying to convince you, but I really don't see these particular examples to be indicative of a huge "Pentax problem." Its just that problems with red colours are well known as a general DSLR problem, then things like NR, WB, and jpeg mode can have huge effects. Maybe try the "nature" (or is it "flower"?) mode.
Regarding red flowers, I know that they are very hard to process, even by hand. Usually you need good light and a polarizing filter. Doesn't surprise me the in-camera algorithms have problems in that specific situation.

But to say that reds in general are often portrayed too pink or that red channel is very likely to clip/oversaturate is correct. And NR can also be odd with reds sometimes.
01-11-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
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Myself Not knowing a real lot about Digital Colours if they fix the so called Red problem will this not change the other colours mix ?

There was a couple of threads going around recently complaining about Canikon colours, just to the question does it change the Pentax colour/look ?
01-11-2014, 02:37 PM   #13
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Just checked K7 and K5, both set to Bright. I have been happy with the OOC JPEGs from both of them.
01-11-2014, 02:38 PM   #14
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I'm personally not seeing much of a problem in the interpretive processing the Pentax camera has done on this very red scene. OOC results here are less saturated (a good thing to prevent highlight clipping) and the fact that you had the EVC set to -1 makes a big difference in the way the camera renders such bright colours. Check out the histogram of all your images above and you may find that the detail is all preserved in the Pentax image. Try shooting again with EV 0 and compare results. Shouldn't be too far off the competition. Definitely not an aspect to base jumping ship on.

Last edited by Ash; 01-13-2014 at 02:41 PM.
01-11-2014, 03:23 PM   #15
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In case anyone is interested, here is the JPEG shot with stock Natural and EV-1 (1st image) and the corresponding JPEG produced from the RAW by Aperture:
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