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08-14-2014, 10:10 AM   #1
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Pentax K-50 && RawTherapee 4.1

Hello... I'm very near having to move from a Windows- based to a Linux- based computer system. Don't get me wrong, I think Windows swell and all, but there are a few good reasons for the switch. Unfortunately, this means I will no longer be able to use Lightroom for processing Raw files from my K-50.
I have been looking at several alternatives to Lr, and have heard some nice things about RawTherapee. My question to those with first-hand experience is whether it will handle the K-50's DNG Raw format, and can it interpret Pentax-specific settings such as highlight correction? As is par for the course, I haven't been able to find a definitive listing of supported cameras for this program.

08-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #2
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darktable | the photo workflow software ?It may work
08-14-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
Darktable looks like a very high quality piece of software, too. But it still uses slightly older Raw libraries (Rawspeed and libRaw?), which apparently doesn't support highlight correction on the K-50 (just going by what I've read) I found that a useful feature on more than one occasion.
Now, the newer raw library apparently supports the K-50 "full"y, but I'm gonna check it out anyway (after the weekend) since the definition of "supported" is scanty. (I've heard excellent things about both of these programs, yet the documentation is scattered compared with Lr. One minus for open source.)
AfterShot Pro 2 is still a commercial option, but I've heard some very mixed reviews... As it stands RawTherapee and Darktable are my forerunners. Hopefully they get their respective updates sooner rather than later.
08-14-2014, 11:25 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi

Try this, works with my K5II
http://lightzoneproject.org/

08-14-2014, 11:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobpur Quote
Hi

Try this, works with my K5II
http://lightzoneproject.org/
That might be the ticket it uses dcraw 9.21 (I notice that K-50 just showed up the dcraw 9.20 list. Honestly, I have no idea what that means in reality). But I'm still looking for answers on RawTherapee...I've been hearing so many good things about it that I'd really like to know more. But failing that, it's good to know there's a ready alternative.
08-15-2014, 12:18 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobpur Quote
Hi

Try this, works with my K5II
http://lightzoneproject.org/
Seems to be an interesting software. Thanks!
08-18-2014, 01:52 AM   #7
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Hi Schmidt,

I would give darktable a try. I'm using both Lightroom on Windows 7 myself, but needed something for Mint-Linux as well, so I gave it a try during holidays, where I had some time to try it out. Even if Lightroom has more powerfull cataloging functions (sorting by exifdate, nested collections) darktable has at least some cataloging, whereas raw therapee has none, which I find quite uncomfortable. Image processing in darktable is very powerfull and the results are absolutely comparable to lightroom. Even geotagging is possible. Both darktable and rawtherapee are resource hungry, so there is not much difference on this. Overall I think darktable is more convenient for people already familiar with lightroom, and it keeps it's image meta-data in a sqlite database, whereas Raw Therapee clutters your directories with it's pp3-files (darktable creates side-car-files as well, but as far as i can tell these are used for processing instructions only). This is of course only my opinion, but if I would start with image-processing on linux I definitely would go Darktable.
08-18-2014, 10:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rullrich Quote
Hi Schmidt,

I would give darktable a try. I'm using both Lightroom on Windows 7 myself, but needed something for Mint-Linux as well, so I gave it a try during holidays, where I had some time to try it out. Even if Lightroom has more powerfull cataloging functions (sorting by exifdate, nested collections) darktable has at least some cataloging, whereas raw therapee has none, which I find quite uncomfortable. Image processing in darktable is very powerfull and the results are absolutely comparable to lightroom. Even geotagging is possible. Both darktable and rawtherapee are resource hungry, so there is not much difference on this. Overall I think darktable is more convenient for people already familiar with lightroom, and it keeps it's image meta-data in a sqlite database, whereas Raw Therapee clutters your directories with it's pp3-files (darktable creates side-car-files as well, but as far as i can tell these are used for processing instructions only). This is of course only my opinion, but if I would start with image-processing on linux I definitely would go Darktable.
Thanks for the suggestion. I've looked into Darktable, and it seems extremely well thought-out and stable most of the reviews that I've read are abound in kind words for its output. I'd seriously like to give it a go, but before I invest any time going through all the old images taken with my K-50, I'd like to know how well the latest version of Darktable (now at 1.4.2, I believe) handles those raw files: specifically things like highlight correction bits. The reason I'm so concerned about this is because, a while ago I spent over two weeks evaluating a small raw developer for Windows, only to find that highlight correction threw it off (some pictures had splotches in lit places). I realize Darktable is free, but investing my time is something I take seriously.
I truly wish that good software like Dt had a good, comprehensive list of supported cameras to go with it. So I wonder: what's the K-50's official status is Darktable. If it's supported I'm willing to use it... I'm quite convinced.

08-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
So I wonder: what's the K-50's official status is Darktable.
Why not just download it and give it a try once you get the Linux box built up?

Another thing you might want to consider is to set your box up with both Linux and Windows virtual machines. You can then continue to use Lightroom.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-18-2014 at 12:09 PM.
08-18-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Why not just download it and give it a try once you get the Linux box built up?

Another thing you might want to consider is to set your box up with both Linux and Windows virtual machines. You can then continue to use Lightroom.


Steve
Just trying it out might not be enough for my untrained eyes. There's more I'm concered with than just highlight correction, which is pretty obvious when you see the result. Given my options, I'll just have to take the plunge and give it a try... VMs are another pain I don't have the time to contend with right now.
Trying it just makes sense and, if it doesn't work, at least I have some old Canon files I know it'll process. Thanks to all, for taking the time to air your suggestions. I'm gonna give Dt a shot for now.
08-19-2014, 08:43 AM   #11
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Does the K50 not have the DNG option ?
Have not found a program yet that does not support it.
I use Oracle's Virtual box to run Win in my Linux. 1: With the utils installed it runs better than stand alone. 2: The virtual drives can be saved and ported to another drive if
your computer dies, gives you a full backup. 3: I can pull the linux drive from my computer and put it in any other regardless if AMD or Intel and everything works.
including the different Win versions in the Vbox.
Win won't even let you clone to another drive, much safer with Vm's
08-19-2014, 09:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobpur Quote
Does the K50 not have the DNG option ?
Have not found a program yet that does not support it.
I use Oracle's Virtual box to run Win in my Linux. 1: With the utils installed it runs better than stand alone. 2: The virtual drives can be saved and ported to another drive if
your computer dies, gives you a full backup. 3: I can pull the linux drive from my computer and put it in any other regardless if AMD or Intel and everything works.
including the different Win versions in the Vbox.
Win won't even let you clone to another drive, much safer with Vm's
Yep, the K-50 exclusively uses DNG as its raw format; the problem isn't in getting a Linux-based raw developer (i.e. Darktable, UFRaw, etc.) to recognize and open a Pentax DNG file, the problem occurs when a Pentax-specific option (such as "Highlight Correction") had been enabled when the photo was taken. In this case, the picture appears very under-exposed when compared with a program like Lightroom, or viewing the photo in-camera. This is just one example, and sure to be fixed with time as free converters catch up to the features in the commercial ones.
The DNG specification seems to give each manufacturer a bit of latitude in what information gets stored in the file, despite it being marketed as a 'universal' raw format. This means camera makers like Pentax can save some proprietary bits in their DNG files, and each raw converter needs to recognize these specific bits to render the image accurately (but the DNG-capable ones with no specific K-50 profile will open the image but ignore that critical information, causing problems when treating these files in a generic way). DNG still saves a lot of work rather than coding for disparate and sundry raw formats, but subtle differences do apparently exist I know because I'm not the only one who's seeing this. For what it's worth, I think that DNG was a solid choice by Pentax. (By the way, the information I have on DNG is based on what I've gleaned from forums, and I have not read the actual specification!)

As for the use of virtual machines (VMs), your arguments have begun to sway my perception in their favour. Clearly there are advantages to be had using them, and I know softwares such as MS Office or WordPerfect will run silky smooth in a Windows VM ... But my concerns have always been: programs like Lightroom or Elements slowing to a crawl, and the laptop overheating when running graphics software in a VM. I could dedicate, say, two 2.4 GHz CPU cores, 3GB of RAM, and run with the on-board Intel HD4600 graphics chip, but will that be enough for Lr? Will that cause the machine to overheat?

Last edited by Schmidt; 08-19-2014 at 10:03 AM.
08-19-2014, 11:09 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
In this case, the picture appears very under-exposed when compared with a program like Lightroom, or viewing the photo in-camera.
That is because the highlight correction "hint" may or may not be honored by the RAW converter. It is my understanding that most open-source products use the common RawSpeed/libRaw code which explicitly ignore camera-specific "hints" present in the exif.


Steve

---------- Post added 08-19-14 at 11:17 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
As for the use of virtual machines (VMs), your arguments have begun to sway my perception in their favour. Clearly there are advantages to be had using them, and I know softwares such as MS Office or WordPerfect will run silky smooth in a Windows VM ... But my concerns have always been: programs like Lightroom or Elements slowing to a crawl, and the laptop overheating when running graphics software in a VM. I could dedicate, say, two 2.4 GHz CPU cores, 3GB of RAM, and run with the on-board Intel HD4600 graphics chip, but will that be enough for Lr? Will that cause the machine to overheat?
Those are a hard set of questions. An idling VM is not likely to generate much heat, but it will definitely tie up at least some resources. A former coworker ran both Windows XP and CentOS using (IIRC) QEMU over KVM. Both worked quite nicely with the Linux VM being used for software development (pretty continuously) and the XP VM being used for testing purposes (periodically). The box was a nicely endowed desktop, not a laptop however, so YMMV.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-19-2014 at 11:18 AM.
08-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is because the highlight correction "hint" may or may not be honored by the RAW converter. It is my understanding that most open-source products use the common RawSpeed/libRaw code which explicitly ignore camera-specific "hints" present in the exif.


Steve
Thanks for a good, straightforward explanation. I had no idea this stuff was in the EXIF! (I oughtta poke around a bit more...)
I know from experience that Lightroom and AfterShot Pro can and do acknowledge those camera-specific "hints," as you say. Maybe one day those converters built upon libRaw/RawSpeed will see them too, and actually give you the option of viewing the image without any interpretation (as they do now), or viewing it with a 'hint-aware' profile. (I wonder why they chose to ignore those bits in the EXIF in the first place...)
I, as many others do, see the quality inherent in some of the free programs. There are plenty of examples of photos processed with the likes of Darktable, Photivo, RawTherapee, etc. demonstrating their worth.
But, for now, a previous post has convinced me to try something with a VM. I think this will roughly work out for me.
08-19-2014, 03:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schmidt Quote
But, for now, a previous post has convinced me to try something with a VM. I think this will roughly work out for me.
Cool! I hope it works out for you.


Steve
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