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01-30-2007, 07:37 AM   #1
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K100D shooting RAW, what do I need?

I have the K100D camera and Adobe Photoshop 7. Do I need more than this to process RAW shots. If so, what software can I use that's easy to understand and easy on my low budget. Appreciate any help, ...Freddy

01-30-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I have the K100D camera and Adobe Photoshop 7. Do I need more than this to process RAW shots. If so, what software can I use that's easy to understand and easy on my low budget. Appreciate any help, ...Freddy

Well, there are some cheap RAW editors (maybe even freeware) available to open/process K100D RAW files.

If you want to edit K100D RAW files in Photoshop you need the Adobe Camera RAW plugin available free on the Adobe website. However, I believe ACR only works with CS, CS2, CS3, Elements 3, Elements 4, and Elements 5.
01-30-2007, 08:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I have the K100D camera and Adobe Photoshop 7. Do I need more than this to process RAW shots. If so, what software can I use that's easy to understand and easy on my low budget. Appreciate any help, ...Freddy
Freddy,

I can't answer the question about Photoshop 7 as I don't use it. You do need to understand that there is no such thing, really, "Raw", at least not as a practical matter. In theory, a Raw file is any file that preserves all of the data that your camera's sensor collected during the exposure. But in practice, there are many different types of Raw files: NEF (produced by Nikon files), PEF (produced by Pentax cameras), DNG (the "digital negative" file format invented by Adobe and intended as a common standard), etc. What it means is that, whatever program you use, it needs to be able to read PEF files, since that's the Raw file format used by your Pentax K100D. So when you look at a program, look first to see if it supports your specific model.

That said, you have lots of options, especially if you're on a PC. Some of the following may be available for Mac OS X, too, but I can't say about most of them. The software that came with your camera (the Pentax Lab) is not too bad and of course you've paid for it already. Not a bad place to start. Not sure about Photoshop 7, but the latest version of Photoshop (CS2? or is it CS3?) comes with two ancillary programs - Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) and Bridge - that help you process and organize Raw photos in a variety of supported formats, including PEF and DNG.

Anyway, the main Raw photo processing program options seem to be:
  1. Adobe Camera Raw + Bridge
  2. Adobe Lightroom
  3. Adobe Photoshop Elements
  4. Apple Aperture
  5. Bibble
  6. Digital Light & Color's Picture Window
  7. Lightcrafts Lightzone
  8. Phase One's Capture One
  9. Silkypix
All of those programs are commercial products that cost money. Bibble is the least expensive - and it can do just about everything the others can do. There used to be another excellent option - Pixmantec's Raw Shooter - but Pixmantic was purchased by Adobe last year and their programmers are now working on Lightroom.

Most of the options above are first and foremost image editing programs. They are best used with individual images, although all of the options above include photo browsers. At least two of them - Aperture and Lightroom - are designed to be start-to-finish post-production workflow programs, designed not just to help you fix problems with individual pictures but equally to process hundreds of images at once.

There are many other options. Picasa (Windows only) is a free program from Google that has a great photo browser and organizer with a pretty decent and easy to understand set of image adjustment tools. Not as powerful a tool as those mentioned above, but that's not a drawback: it's not trying to compete in that league. Picasa can read and display your PEF files and you can make adjustments to them; unfortunately, at this time, it can't read the EXIF info from PEF files. I expect that will be remedied some time soon. Anyway, Picasa is excellent for organizing your photos. And did I mention that it's free?

Another free program that's much more powerful than Picasa as an editor is something called The Gimp. I can't recommend it, partly because I've never used it, but partly because it doesn't respond to your "easy to use" criterion at all. It's crazy powerful, though.

And there are many more commercial options, including image editing programs from ACDSee and Corel that are more or less like Photoshop.

All of these programs have free demos available.

Will
01-30-2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Hi, Will.
Thanks for all the useful info. I'm thinking about downloading GIMP but do you know what they mean by "unstable" and "stable" versions?

01-30-2007, 09:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JJJPhoto Quote
Well, there are some cheap RAW editors (maybe even freeware) available to open/process K100D RAW files.

If you want to edit K100D RAW files in Photoshop you need the Adobe Camera RAW plugin available free on the Adobe website. However, I believe ACR only works with CS, CS2, CS3, Elements 3, Elements 4, and Elements 5.

If you use one of the Photoshop Programs.

Be sure, when you download the plug-in, that you download the ".dng converter"

I didn't initially and it caused me quite a bit of grief for a couple of days.

I'm just beginning to dibble in "RAW" on a very limited basis. Which will probably increase once I'm more comfortable with the RAW process.

Good Luck.

Ed
01-30-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Freddy,

I can't answer the question about Photoshop 7 as I don't use it. You do need to understand that there is no such thing, really, "Raw", at least not as a practical matter.
Will
Dang Will,

You sure give good, complete and helpful answers.

Ed

01-30-2007, 09:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Hi, Will. Thanks for all the useful info. I'm thinking about downloading GIMP but do you know what they mean by "unstable" and "stable" versions?
I'm inclined to answer unhelpfully by saying, if you have to ask that question, you should stay away from the GIMP. But I try to be helpful, so I won't say that. :-)

The stable version is going to be the version that is believed to be relatively bug-free and usable. This is the "release" version, if you want to look at it that way. The unstable version, on the other hand, is the public beta, designed to be used either by folks who want to be live on the bleeding edge of technology or by other testers and developers. In any case, you don't want to use the unstable version unless you understand the risks involved and are willing to accept them.

I'm pretty sure that the GIMP is an open-source project similar in some respects to the Mozilla Firefox browser, the Open Office office suite and others. Or, translating into plain English, these are programs written by geeks, for geeks. Are you a geek? Have you ever been a geek? Then put down the GIMP and step away slowly.

Will
01-30-2007, 09:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Hi, Will.
Thanks for all the useful info. I'm thinking about downloading GIMP but do you know what they mean by "unstable" and "stable" versions?
This comes from linux land ... The stable release 2.2.x has a stable feature set and should be as bug free as any other bit of software. x is incremented each time a new release is made to fix bugs. The unstable release 2.3.x is currently under development (working towards the stable 2.4 release) ... expect loads of bugs, a rapidly changing feature set and frequent (ish) releases.

The other thing you'll need for RAW processing using gimp is ufraw :
UFRaw - Home

this is the bit that converts the RAW to a jpeg, tiff etc.

Two major drawbacks to Gimp ... no 16bit support and no colour profile support (the latter is being worked on in the unstable version but it's not working yet)

01-30-2007, 09:48 AM   #9
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I hear you, Will. I'm stepping away from Gimp!
I use and love Picasa 2 for my photo management but it is much less effective than Photoshop so I wouldn't use Picasa. Do you know if the Pentax software that came with the camera is better than Picasa. If not, I'm going to research Bibble. Freddy
01-30-2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I'm pretty sure that the GIMP is an open-source project similar in some respects to the Mozilla Firefox browser, the Open Office office suite and others.
Thats right.

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Or, translating into plain English, these are programs written by geeks, for geeks. Are you a geek? Have you ever been a geek? Then put down the GIMP and step away slowly.
That is just plain wrong and an idiotic statement ... Open Office, Firefox and Gimp are not just for geeks ... if you want to run the "unstable" or Beta in alternate parlance then yes things are a little unstable ... just the same as when Adobe releases a beta (lightroom any one ??? ) But the standard releases are just the same as any other package .... and when have you known Adobe or Microsoft to release a bugfix for a problem no one one the planet but you has experienced ?
01-30-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarneyCG Quote
That is just plain wrong and an idiotic statement. Open Office, Firefox and Gimp are not just for geeks ... if you want to run the "unstable" or Beta in alternate parlance then yes things are a little unstable ... just the same as when Adobe releases a beta (lightroom any one ??? ) But the standard releases are just the same as any other package ....
It is quite possible that I truly am an idiot. But in this case, I simply typed too fast and said something I did not mean to say. I apologize and would like to rephrase.

Anybody who wants to download the GIMP should do so. I have known many people who swore by it. As I said in my original post, it's very powerful.

However my impression is that the original question was asking for software that was easy to use. I cannot imagine that the GIMP is any easier to use than Photoshop.

As for my "by geeks, for geeks" comment, well, first, it was just a mistake for me to include Firefox in there. Its success has inspired the Firefox development team to clean up the presentation of the software to the public a great deal. I use Firefox myself and love it - and I recommend it to anybody and everybody. Even OpenOffice.org - which I have installed on all my computers and which I have used extensively for some time - has gotten much more approachable than it used to be, although years ago when I first tried to use it on the Mac, the options were rather bewildering.

And the GIMP? I just visited its web site (as I write this, it's 1-30-07). Here's the latest note at the top of the page, dated 1-13-07:
Version 2.3.14 is another development snapshot to w[h]et your appetite for the upcoming GIMP 2.4 release. The source code can be downloaded from the usual places. If you want to try this unstable development snapshot, please read the release notes for the development releases.
In the second sentence of the first note on the home page for the program, there's a link to the source code. The third sentence invites users to install an unstable release. I personally find this rather cool. I am very fond of the open-source concept and use quite a bit of open-source software myself. But it does lead to the sort of question that was asked above, "what's the difference between the stable and unstable release?"

Will
01-31-2007, 03:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
It is quite possible that I truly am an idiot. But in this case, I simply typed too fast and said something I did not mean to say. I apologize and would like to rephrase.
I too am sorry ... it hit a nerve ... it is the kind of talk that Microsoft comes out with to try and justify its ridiculous pricing and I get on a bit of a soap box
I think most* people get confused when dealing with Open Source ... The way I see it the packages are no different than their commercial counterparts in term of complexity ... I mean you can write Visual Basic programs in Word for ghads sake ... what tends to be more complex (not in the case Firefox etc) is the "installation" process. Also, in some ways the availability of instant support which results in lots of new versions, can cause confusion for those that are not truely techno geeks. Most* people want to install a program and then forget about it, so having 4 years between Office releases is a good thing, instead what you get are packages that go online and see if there are any patches that need to be installed and do it all for you.


* for some value of most.
01-31-2007, 03:31 AM   #13
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Following a mention on another thread here I recently downloaded UFRaw, which is a free Raw file processor. I haven't used it much "in anger" yet, but it seems to work (which is more than can be said for Pentax Photo Laboratory on my PC).

UFRaw can operate stand-alone or as a plug-in to GIMP, so I also downloaded GIMP 2 "for a laugh". It is much more usable than it was last time I tried it. Again I haven't suddenly converted from Paint Shop Pro, but it's there on my PC for when the urge takes me.

Someone on another thread (or maybe another forum) also pointed to GIMPshop which wraps GIMP in a user interface with a look and feel similar to Photoshop. I haven't tried it, but it looks interesting.

...and of course... all of this is free!

Simon
01-31-2007, 07:12 AM   #14
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Thanks, Will and Simon.
Will, I did download the stable GIMP, along with the UFraw that Simon mentioned. I didn't process anything raw yet but it does indeed seem to be a powerful program. So far, I'm impressed with it. Took me a while to find the tools such as curves, levels, sharpening , etc., while working with a jpeg. Trying to find a view same as
"actual pixels" in Photoshop but not sure which GIMP zoom corresponds.
I will continue testing out GIMP for my personal photo processing but not sure if it is compatible with Adobe Photoshop, which I need and for the moment continue to use for processing my business photography that I do at home for web, magazine ads, etcetera. If someone can answer the "actual pixels " question it would be very helpful. Thanks, guys, Freddy
01-31-2007, 07:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I will continue testing out GIMP for my personal photo processing but not sure if it is compatible with Adobe Photoshop, which I need and for the moment continue to use for processing my business photography that I do at home for web, magazine ads, etcetera. If someone can answer the "actual pixels " question it would be very helpful. Thanks, guys, Freddy
I'm no Photoshop expert, but I am guessing that "actual pixels" is just another way of saying 100%; i.e. one pixel on screen = one pixel in the image. That is obtained in the GIMP using View/Zoom/1:1 (100%).

I am not sure what you mean by "compatible with Adobe Photoshop". Providing you use standard image formats any image processing software should be compatible with any other (jpg, tiff, gif, etc.). IT's when you get into proprietary formats you can get difficulties (psd, pspimage, etc.). Having said that, the GIMP seems to have support for psd, so it might be worth trying to interchange psd files from PS to GIMP and from GIMP to PS as an experiment (support may be only partial or only at a specified version of PS, for example).

Simon

Last edited by Simon; 01-31-2007 at 07:27 AM. Reason: correct typo
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