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01-31-2007, 06:39 AM   #1
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Secrets of K10D (Part 3 of 3): The IPU

I promised that in last year. Here it is:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: The Secrets of the K10D (Part 3 of 3) – The Brain: The IPU

Well, late is better than none, despite that I've beng written this article for two years! ;-)

01-31-2007, 01:05 PM   #2
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Your Article

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I promised that in last year. Here it is:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: The Secrets of the K10D (Part 3 of 3) The Brain: The IPU

Well, late is better than none, despite that I've beng written this article for two years! ;-)

Thank you for your finely written and objective research into the convoluted working of this camera. I found the thesis highly illuminating as well as informative.

Regards
Benjamin
01-31-2007, 01:50 PM   #3
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Your blog article is about half technical info and half a defense of Phil Askey. Of course Phil, like anyone, is not wrong about his opinion.

Looking at photos from the K10D, or any camera, shows none of the "problems" you and Phil and everyone else pines about unless you look at them on a computer screen at 100%. Look at the entire picture and it is entirely moot.

I don't know about others, but I look at my photos from an appropriate viewing distance - at least 2X the diagonal measurement of the ENTIRE image.
01-31-2007, 08:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Thank you for your finely written and objective research into the convoluted working of this camera. I found the thesis highly illuminating as well as informative.

Regards
Benjamin
Ben, you're welcome. And I'm glad that you could accept my opinions which are somehow contradicting to what many K10D users think and would like to see.

01-31-2007, 08:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rodeknyt Quote
Your blog article is about half technical info and half a defense of Phil Askey. Of course Phil, like anyone, is not wrong about his opinion.

Looking at photos from the K10D, or any camera, shows none of the "problems" you and Phil and everyone else pines about unless you look at them on a computer screen at 100%. Look at the entire picture and it is entirely moot.

I don't know about others, but I look at my photos from an appropriate viewing distance - at least 2X the diagonal measurement of the ENTIRE image.
Well, I think I'm not defending for Phil Askey. I just tell for what I've observed from my extensive research. Indeed, I was one of the very first persons who talked about the inferior jpeg problem of the K10D, well before Phil Askey published his report:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Dpreview puts Low Rating on the Image Quality of K10D

For Phil Askey, I think I have no reason to defend him as he banned me at his website long ago. But my own unshakeable principle to speak on the net is that I shall always try my best to share all my knowledge and findings at best based accurate facts and some grounds and evidences and I shall always be independent of what others say just because I make my own judgement by doing much research and then with my professional knowledge as far as possible as the analysis basis.
02-01-2007, 03:57 AM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
So, now it seems the “PRIME” is just a pure marketing name which either refers to the IPU alone or collectively refers to the image processing hardware and software inside the K10D, as a whole.
I find the analysis of whether "PRIME" is a technical entity, a marketing one or both, potentially interesting but of no value since there was no conclusion. If you had come to a conclusion it may have been interesting, but of no practical use - if it works good, if it doesn't bad. Companies give non-things marketing names all the time... they can always argue that it is a concept - it's best to read the claimed features and forget about the name.

QuoteQuote:
Finally, I wish to point out about the (huge) mis-concept and/or simply un-substantiatable argument by certain Pentax fans that “the image quality is not inferior, it just produces softer jpegs which allow the users more room to do further post processing”... totally groundless... if post processing is important, why bother to shoot JPEG?... the true value of the JPEG format IMHO is just to provide an option for direct out-of-the-camera “instant” product...
Indeed, if you are using raw as you suggest, then the sharpening or lack of it in jpeg results is irrelevant and of no interest.

Even if you are using jpegs it is reasonable to assume that the jpeg out of the camera usually isn't at the required resolution. It must first be downsized or upsized, then the sharpening should be done as the last stage. I agree that many aspects of jpeg processing should be done in-camera, but both resizing and sharpening must surely be "post-processing" activities for anyone but the most basic snapshooter... and for him, the camera provides greater degrees of sharpening if they are required.

Apart from those two points you had some interesting things to say. However, with your constant Pentax-bashing tone I am surprised you aren't drummed out of the forum. Before I am accused of anything, I have made my own (very basic) negative observations regarding the K10D.

Actually, regarding sharpening, what would be really useful to know is whether the neutral setting or the maximum negative setting applies "no sharpening". If it is the former, the assumption would be that negative settings actively soften the image. I know this varies from camera-to-camera and Pentax's statements may indicate that it is the neutral setting for the K10D, but confirmation would be nice.

Simon

Last edited by Simon; 02-01-2007 at 03:59 AM. Reason: Correct typo
02-01-2007, 07:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simon Quote
I find the analysis of whether "PRIME" is a technical entity, a marketing one or both, potentially interesting but of no value since there was no conclusion. If you had come to a conclusion it may have been interesting, but of no practical use - if it works good, if it doesn't bad. Companies give non-things marketing names all the time... they can always argue that it is a concept - it's best to read the claimed features and forget about the name.
I just wonder why when Pentax market the "PRIME", they need to intentionally wipe the name off from the chipset, as seen in their published photos.

If Samsung do not publish also their "own" photos on the chipset, I bet the Pentax users will never know.

Regarding for your query that if the name is important or not, I don't know. But since Pentax created the "PRIME" and have been promoting with the name, it's very normal that people wish to know more about it.

QuoteQuote:
Indeed, if you are using raw as you suggest, then the sharpening or lack of it in jpeg results is irrelevant and of no interest.
But the most worrying thing is that Phil Askey mentions about that the results are similar if K10D users shoot RAW and convert using the original Pentax Photo Lab which is bundled.

I haven't mentioned about this in my article as I haven't verified that myself. But, again, what I can say is that I have never found Phil Askey was obviously wrong in his conclusions in the past. But yet, brand fans have been keeping arguing and arguing about the "negative" points he suggested.

QuoteQuote:
Even if you are using jpegs it is reasonable to assume that the jpeg out of the camera usually isn't at the required resolution. It must first be downsized or upsized, then the sharpening should be done as the last stage. I agree that many aspects of jpeg processing should be done in-camera, but both resizing and sharpening must surely be "post-processing" activities for anyone but the most basic snapshooter... and for him, the camera provides greater degrees of sharpening if they are required.
Phil Askey also says that the "edge sharpness" cannot be increased by tuning up the sharpness setting in the camera. Again, I cannot verify this neither but I trust him.

QuoteQuote:
Apart from those two points you had some interesting things to say. However, with your constant Pentax-bashing tone I am surprised you aren't drummed out of the forum. Before I am accused of anything, I have made my own (very basic) negative observations regarding the K10D.
Well, that depends of the place where the forum belongs to. It happened at Dpreview and Steve's forums twice, but I don't think it will happen again here and do note that the PentaxForums is not a commercial one. And it's a good reason for me to select to stay and post here.

QuoteQuote:
Actually, regarding sharpening, what would be really useful to know is whether the neutral setting or the maximum negative setting applies "no sharpening". If it is the former, the assumption would be that negative settings actively soften the image. I know this varies from camera-to-camera and Pentax's statements may indicate that it is the neutral setting for the K10D, but confirmation would be nice.

Simon
Who knows, but my observation, I would mention it again, is that, the jpegs are not of little or less sharpening, but they are just having less details and somehow in a mess, with obvious artifacts, when viewed in 100%. Enough said.
02-02-2007, 04:05 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I just wonder why when Pentax market the "PRIME", they need to intentionally wipe the name off from the chipset, as seen in their published photos.
Who said it needed to be on the chipset - no one ever sees it unless they disassemble their camera, and who's going to do that? If they paste a fake label on a chip for advertising purposes, that's not exactly fraudulent, and they certainly wouldn't be the first to do it.

I understand PRIME to be an image processing concept, which may or may not be a combination of hardware, firmware and software. If I am wrong I don't see the big deal providing the concept delivers. If it doesn't then I might have a gripe.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Regarding for your query that if the name is important or not, I don't know. But since Pentax created the "PRIME" and have been promoting with the name, it's very normal that people wish to know more about it.
You're quite right, they will want to know more about it, but whether or not they can see the logo printed on a chip is not a significant piece of knowledge, though it might be of some passing interest. i.e. it's worth noting, but not significant when considering the value of PRIME.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
But the most worrying thing is that Phil Askey mentions about that the results are similar if K10D users shoot RAW and convert using the original Pentax Photo Lab which is bundled.
You can see in numerous posts here that people are not happy with PPL, but the beauty of Raw, if we choose to use it, is that we can decouple the capture from the processing, having the choice to use a third party application if we wish (that's even what Askey says). PPL presumably applies to all Pentax models.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Phil Askey also says that the "edge sharpness" cannot be increased by tuning up the sharpness setting in the camera. Again, I cannot verify this neither but I trust him.
So what does he see? Is there any difference? Is it that Pentax chose to make the sharpening subtle, rather than allowing gross over-sharpening in camera? I don't know, I haven't experimented. Maybe I am being too charitable to Pentax, but I am just a user. I think you need to do more investigation and experimentation before claimiung authority on the matter in your Blog. Not that Blogs have to be authoritative, but that's how you present yours here.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Well, that depends of the place where the forum belongs to. It happened at Dpreview and Steve's forums twice, but I don't think it will happen again here and do note that the PentaxForums is not a commercial one. And it's a good reason for me to select to stay and post here.
Maybe I was a bit harsh, but I simply meant that to express such an unbalanced view on a Pentax forum could be read as trolling by those less charitable than myself. I don't mean you shouldn't criticise, but it seems like the next thing you might pick on is that you don't like the logo (Oh, reminds me of people who gripe about "*ist") - if you haven't yet learnt how to see through marketing guff and select the best products for you, then you have a lot of learning still to do.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Who knows, but my observation, I would mention it again, is that, the jpegs are not of little or less sharpening, but they are just having less details and somehow in a mess, with obvious artifacts, when viewed in 100%. Enough said.
That's not quite what Askey says:

QuoteQuote:
Crop for crop the K10D actually delivers about the same amount of detail as the D80, the biggest difference is down to the crispness of edge detail which appears softer in the K10D image than the D80. As we speculated earlier this would appear to be down to the type of demosaicing / sharpening algorithms used as the actual detailed delivered by the CCD is higher and can be extracted fully by shooting RAW.
If it turns out to be significant then it may be what turns me on to full-time Raw. Having said that, if it is only visible to pixel-peeping I am unlikely to be bothered. From what Askey is saying though it appears that the two approaches are different, not that one is better or worse - the fact that he is accustomed to the C/N approach certainly colours his view. I am pleased for now to be free of the sharpening halos and purple fringing that have (occasionally) plagued my previous digital experience.

Simon

02-02-2007, 06:36 AM   #9
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Quotes from the review regarding sharpness. Sometimes I wonder if we all read the same review
Sharpness
As we have seen on previous Pentax digital SLR's the default sharpness level is a little more conservative than other cameras, that's not a bad thing and simply means that if you want your images a little sharper out of the camera just select +1 or +2. We also note that Pentax appear to be using a sharpening algorithm which produces 'undershoot' (a darkening of black side of contrast on an edge) rather than 'overshoot' (white halos), this can be seen most obviously on the watch fingers in the +3 crop. Unfortunately this appears to leave some black edges looking a little soft and increasing the sharpness setting doesn't help.
...................................
Resolution

Once again good resolution from all three with Photo Laboratory delivering slightly more detail at 2400 LPH than JPEG. And once again the biggest difference between the Pentax produced images and that of Adobe Camera RAW is the definition (sharpness) of edge detail, this most obvious in the numbers which run down the right side of each crop.
.............................................
Image tone resolution / sharpness difference

Note that there does also appear to be a subtle drop in sharpening going from the Bright to Natural tone, although it's not significant enough to lead to any loss of detail or resolution (in fact if anything it helps to avoid sharpening halos).
.......................................
Overall Image Quality / Specifics

The K10D delivered good results with plenty of detail and a neutral, smooth appearance to images which gives them a more film-like appearance although could also be described as slightly 'soft'.
................................
Image sharpness / demosaicing (JPEG vs. RAW)

We were a little disappointed that the K10D's built-in image processor didn't deliver the crisp sharp edges which can be produced by shooting RAW and converting using a third party engine (such as Adobe Camera RAW). It's speculation but it does appear to me to be a combination of the type of demosaicing algorithm used (not isolating edge detail well enough) and the type of sharpening algorithm (as discussed earlier this appears to work to enhance the 'undershoot', the black side, of an edge). As we saw in the Image Parameters section of this review increasing sharpening only appears to increase the visibility of texture type detail rather than edge sharpness.
.......................................
Conclusion - Cons

* In-camera image processor unable to deliver crisp sharp edges, better to shoot RAW
........................................
Either a poorly implemented demosaicing algorithm or a strange choice of sharpening parameters means that while the K10D's JPEG images have plenty of 'texture' they can lack the edge sharpness we're used to seeing from semi-pro digital SLR's.

Pentax may well have been aiming for a smooth film-like appearance but I at least feel that the inability to tweak this out by increasing sharpness is a mistake. That said it's unlikely you'll see this difference in any print up to A3 size, it's a 100% view thing so you have to decide if that's important to you or not. To get that absolute crisp appearance you'll need to shoot RAW, and use Adobe Camera RAW or another third party converter (as the supplied converter produces similar results to the camera).

Apologies for reliving these old worn out issues................

Last edited by jeffkrol; 02-02-2007 at 06:43 AM.
02-02-2007, 06:57 AM   #10
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I was of the opinion that the K10D was marketed towards people who are more experienced with digital cameras. As such the sharpness of in camera jpgs does not matter. This is due to the fact that, these people would either post-process their jpgs or use raw. I believe that there is a silent majority of people, who think the same way.
*NOTE TO PENTAX*
Please don't make the jpgs in the next camera over sharpened, I want 0 sharpening to really mean 0 sharpening.
02-02-2007, 07:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manwe Quote
I was of the opinion that the K10D was marketed towards people who are more experienced with digital cameras. As such the sharpness of in camera jpgs does not matter. This is due to the fact that, these people would either post-process their jpgs or use raw. I believe that there is a silent majority of people, who think the same way.
*NOTE TO PENTAX*
Please don't make the jpgs in the next camera over sharpened, I want 0 sharpening to really mean 0 sharpening.
Hear, hear. That's just what I've been trying to say.

Simon
02-02-2007, 08:03 AM   #12
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"Please don't make the jpgs in the next camera over sharpened, I want 0 sharpening to really mean 0 sharpening"

surely the sharpness option should be user selectable.. u want it u select it.. u dont want it u dont slect it.. everyone is happy then..

the negative arguement used against the k10 is that the user cannot select a nicely shapened jpeg..

the reason for this is that the jpeg algorithm used by pentax in the k10 isnt up to scratch.. neither is the raw conversion software provided by pentax up to scratch..

the rest is a mixture of denial and elitism..

trog
02-02-2007, 08:22 AM   #13
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If you really want to mince words it's the user cannot select a nicely sharpened jpg "out of the camera". Photolab aside, you can get a nicely sharpened jpg out of the RAW editor of your choice....Detail and sharpness are also somewhat un-related, even according to Mr. Askey (anyone really read the review?) Regardless of the brand, I really don't want some cheap processor/software doing the work anyways. Of course I'm a RAW elitest, who sees very little point in in camera jpg anyways
Even when I convert, they are usually 16bit Tiffs so even here jpg is irrelavent to a point.
Still not sure you CAN'T get a sharp jpg out of the K10D though (or maybe you can't get an "oversharpened" jpg), not owning one personally.
Last: Sharpening is different for different outputs. I "oversharpen" when printing for a better print. Print sharpening doesn't really look that good on screen.......If the camera would do this for me then it's perfect. PP is usually a fact of life for most.........
creativepro.com - Out of Gamut: Thoughts on a Sharpening Workflow

QuoteOriginally posted by trog100 Quote
"Please don't make the jpgs in the next camera over sharpened, I want 0 sharpening to really mean 0 sharpening"

surely the sharpness option should be user selectable.. u want it u select it.. u dont want it u dont slect it.. everyone is happy then..

the negative arguement used against the k10 is that the user cannot select a nicely shapened jpeg..

the reason for this is that the jpeg algorithm used by pentax in the k10 isnt up to scratch.. neither is the raw conversion software provided by pentax up to scratch..

the rest is a mixture of denial and elitism..

trog
02-02-2007, 09:05 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simon Quote
...However, with your constant Pentax-bashing tone...
RiceHigh, that "constant Pentax-bashing tone" is what largely diminishes your otherwise useful postings here and there. After reading your blog and postings I'm always left with an impression that you're on a some kind of a personal vendetta against Pentax and are trying to collect and exaggerate every possible negative bit of information or speculation around.
02-02-2007, 09:39 AM   #15
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i think R/H loves pentax.. he has as much "brand loyalty" as any fanboy.. but..

he hates the self imposed blindness which brand loyalty seems to bring about..

he thinks this is bad for pentax and is working against the odds to point out what he thinks could/should be improved which will ultimately be good for pentax and make his favoured brand a better brand..

i think his heart is in the right place.. he he

trog

ps.. but in the popularity stakes he aint gonna win any prizes..
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