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03-27-2015, 03:13 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by LoneWolf Quote
Hi Nicholas,

I accept your arguments. My award winning friends in my photographic society are surprised as you are at my lack of enthusiasm for Raw. However the uses I put my pictures to very rarely need that extra quality. Also, to be honest, after a life of maintaining mainframe computers and commercial applications running on them, via a PC front end, I prefer to avoid spending too much time on desktops and laptops. I would rather go for walk with my unnecessarily sophisticated Pentax DSLR camera or Canon (apologies for that word!) enthusiastic level compact, than do some serious editing. I suppose that basically I am just one of life's happy snappers with an inordinate love of well designed photographic equipment, past and present. Only lack of space and funding and fear of divorce proceedings prevents me from becoming a serious collector.

Sorry Nicholas!
Perfectly understand and no one has to do everything the same way... Just to say that the JPEG quality setting of the camera at least on the Pentax camera are the least relevant setting to think of overall. There not much storage problem anymore neither.

03-27-2015, 06:21 PM   #17
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LoneWolf.
Ask about JPEG photos here and sadly you will get "RAW is the only way to go" thrown at you, repeatedly
I'm with you, get the settings right, fire away, do minimal post work, have fun, and enjoy photography!
If I wanted to create a picture I would have taken a painting class.
Best regards from another JPEG only shooter.
03-28-2015, 05:00 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by LoneWolf Quote
I accept your arguments. My award winning friends in my photographic society are surprised as you are at my lack of enthusiasm for Raw. However the uses I put my pictures to very rarely need that extra quality.
I usually shoot RAW+. I've found that when I get my exposures right, I'm often hard pressed to better the JPG that comes out of my K30 regardless of what converter I use on the RAW file ( and I have several installed on my desktop ). In fact, I spent a fair amount of time comparing the output of several RAW converters and doing a lot of pixel peeping to evaluate noise/detail trade offs. The camera JPGs became the "gold standard" against which I compared the various converters. Most of them fell short on well exposed images. For those who consider this to be heresy, I concede that part of the problem may have been my own lack of skill/knowledge. My conclusion is that for the most part, the camera does a pretty good job of rendering images compared to what I can do with most of the RAW converters I tried.

Note that my K30 doesn't have the "premium" JPG setting. Given that I did my pixel peeping comparisons on JPGs at the lower setting, I would conclude that there is likely little noticeable improvement to be had from this higher setting.

But there are times when either I mess up an exposure, or lighting conditions are such that the default JPG doesn't yield the result I'm after. Under those conditions, having the RAW file can be handy. I only bother with a RAW converter for those images that really need and warrant special treatment. Like a film negative stashed away in a box, a RAW file is something you may decide you want to revisit at some point in the future.

So I'm very sympathetic to your position, but I try to hedge my bets by shooting RAW+. Bottom line is I would not worry about the lack of the highest JPG setting.
03-28-2015, 06:47 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
I usually shoot RAW+. I've found that when I get my exposures right, I'm often hard pressed to better the JPG that comes out of my K30 regardless of what converter I use on the RAW file ( and I have several installed on my desktop ). In fact, I spent a fair amount of time comparing the output of several RAW converters and doing a lot of pixel peeping to evaluate noise/detail trade offs. The camera JPGs became the "gold standard" against which I compared the various converters. Most of them fell short on well exposed images. For those who consider this to be heresy, I concede that part of the problem may have been my own lack of skill/knowledge. My conclusion is that for the most part, the camera does a pretty good job of rendering images compared to what I can do with most of the RAW converters I tried.

Note that my K30 doesn't have the "premium" JPG setting. Given that I did my pixel peeping comparisons on JPGs at the lower setting, I would conclude that there is likely little noticeable improvement to be had from this higher setting.

But there are times when either I mess up an exposure, or lighting conditions are such that the default JPG doesn't yield the result I'm after. Under those conditions, having the RAW file can be handy. I only bother with a RAW converter for those images that really need and warrant special treatment. Like a film negative stashed away in a box, a RAW file is something you may decide you want to revisit at some point in the future.

So I'm very sympathetic to your position, but I try to hedge my bets by shooting RAW+. Bottom line is I would not worry about the lack of the highest JPG setting.
Thanks for the post. Would you mind sharing your camera/JPEG settings with us?

03-28-2015, 07:04 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
I usually shoot RAW+. I've found that when I get my exposures right, I'm often hard pressed to better the JPG that comes out of my K30 regardless of what converter I use on the RAW file ( and I have several installed on my desktop ). In fact, I spent a fair amount of time comparing the output of several RAW converters and doing a lot of pixel peeping to evaluate noise/detail trade offs. The camera JPGs became the "gold standard" against which I compared the various converters. Most of them fell short on well exposed images. For those who consider this to be heresy, I concede that part of the problem may have been my own lack of skill/knowledge. My conclusion is that for the most part, the camera does a pretty good job of rendering images compared to what I can do with most of the RAW converters I tried.

Note that my K30 doesn't have the "premium" JPG setting. Given that I did my pixel peeping comparisons on JPGs at the lower setting, I would conclude that there is likely little noticeable improvement to be had from this higher setting.

But there are times when either I mess up an exposure, or lighting conditions are such that the default JPG doesn't yield the result I'm after. Under those conditions, having the RAW file can be handy. I only bother with a RAW converter for those images that really need and warrant special treatment. Like a film negative stashed away in a box, a RAW file is something you may decide you want to revisit at some point in the future.

So I'm very sympathetic to your position, but I try to hedge my bets by shooting RAW+. Bottom line is I would not worry about the lack of the highest JPG setting.
Thank you arkav and robtcorl.

Nice to know that I am not the only Pentax User that views Jpeg'spegs's in a positive light. I wonder if we should be considered an endangered speices given the low visibilty of Pentax Users as per another thread?

Joking apart, arkav, to me, makes a well reasoned case. Raw is great at getting you out of an exposure hole, no disagreement about that. However Jpeg's can save a lot of post processing time, if they are normally close to your requirements in the final image. Raw+ has real merit but takes up an awful lot of space and is slower to write to cards etc. In the end its the results that count not the starting point.
03-28-2015, 11:49 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by LoneWolf Quote
Joking apart, arkav, to me, makes a well reasoned case. Raw is great at getting you out of an exposure hole, no disagreement about that. However Jpeg's can save a lot of post processing time, if they are normally close to your requirements in the final image. Raw+ has real merit but takes up an awful lot of space and is slower to write to cards etc. In the end its the results that count not the starting point.
Well you know the tool I use doesn't show any difference between RAWs and JPEG in how you work with it so to me keeping the 2 and choose the best one is more some time wasted than productivity gain Knowing that sometime I need to use the raws it is easier for me to always have the raws and that's a problem solved forever. i don't need to think about it. Less time spent wendering if the Jpeg is good enough or if I shoot this one in raw or jpeg.

My father wasn't at all understanding that but now that he has lightroom, he start to see there really no point in thinking to much about this too.
03-28-2015, 11:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Thanks for the post. Would you mind sharing your camera/JPEG settings with us?
Nothing special really. For a lot of my shooting, natural true-to-life colour is very important to me.

I used to use a K200D and now I'm using a K30. I've rarely taken custom image off of "Natural". When I started out, I left my K200D white balance setting on auto, but after a while, i found I'd sometimes get odd colour casts when shooting in vegetation, so I tend to shoot with WB on daylight/cloudy depending on conditions. If I get it seriously wrong, I fix it post.

No other tweaks to contrast, saturation, etc. are applied in camera ( just checked my K30 ).

I use FastStone as my browser and basic editor. As I said, if I get my exposure right, I may tweak the JPG slightly in FastStone. After I crop/resize, I apply a bit of sharpening using unsharp mask. If I need to make major changes to exposure/saturation/WB, or to fix something like Chromatic Aberration, I'll go to the RAW file and use one of the converters mentioned. If I feel the image really needs serious work ( ie. layers/masks/etc. ), I might bring it into Elements, but I'm not really very knowledgeable about using Photoshop.

When I was comparing the various RAW converters, I chose reasonably well exposed landscapes to do evaluations rather than 'problem' shots. I was essentially looking for what presets would get me reasonably close to what I wanted for different kinds of shots and/or lighting conditions. It was a bit of an iterative process. I'd work a while with one converter, convince myself I had it figured out, and do a whole series of shots with the presets I had worked out, applying whatever additional adjustments were required on an image by image basis. Then I'd go back and compare some of the images I'd converted from RAW to the camera JPGs with perhaps a few seconds worth of tweaking in FastStone. Often, I found I preferred the camera JPG in spite of having spent considerable time messing with the image in the RAW converter. So then I'd go back and try to figure out what was wrong with the settings/presets in the RAW converter. Then I'd switch to a different RAW converter for a while, and pretty much the same thing would happen. Images that had things like blown highlights would be the exception - the converted RAW images would have the advantage there.

With Silkypix/Rawtherapee/ACR, I was never able to quite get the noise down without losing the fine detail. I really like the workflow in Silkypix, and for images where I need to do highlight recovery, I might lean towards using it ( or maybe PDCU ).

I like the output from DxO. IMO it does a better job of cleaning up noise without destroying fine detail compared to those other converters I tried. I especially like that it will automajically remove Chromatic aberrations and lens distortion for images shot with a non-pentax lens ( Tamron 17-50 in my case ). It doesn't seem to have good tools for Highlight recovery however ( at least not in version 8 which I have ). There are a few minor usability issues, but that might just be an artifact of my own workflow.

It's currently my favourite RAW converter. As I said, I like PDCU as well, but it's probably the one with the most serious usability issues as far as I'm concerned.
03-28-2015, 12:58 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
I like the output from DxO. IMO it does a better job of cleaning up noise without destroying fine detail compared to those other converters I tried. I especially like that it will automajically remove Chromatic aberrations and lens distortion for images shot with a non-pentax lens ( Tamron 17-50 in my case ). It doesn't seem to have good tools for Highlight recovery however ( at least not in version 8 which I have ). There are a few minor usability issues, but that might just be an artifact of my own workflow.
I have version 10. The PRIME algorithm I think that appeared in DxO9 help a lot on some shoots to remove noise. More with K3 than with K5 to me.

They have also an interresting tool "Clear View" that is a one slider that can help a lot improve contrast/micro contrast/saturation of shoots, in particular if there atmospheric fog or haze.

But it still not that great for highlight recovery in my opinion.

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