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01-09-2009, 11:45 PM   #1
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K200D JPEGs and rotation information

I have taken many thousands of pictures with my K200D.

One thing that has annoyed me very much is that many programs that I use are unable to understand the rotation information embedded into the JPEGs by the K200D.

Some examples of the many programs that fail to understand the rotation information in the K200 JPEGs are :

Windows Vista Picture Gallery
Corel Photo Impact Pro
Mozilla Firefox
Internet Explorer

The programs that do do understand the rotation flag are :

Pentax Photo Browser & Photo Lab (of course)
Canon Zoom Browser
The Gimp

The JPEGs that I take with my other camera, a Canon A1000IS compact, are automatically rotated when they are saved, without a rotation flag. So that they work correctly in every program.

It was extremely annoying when I recently uploaded all my pics to share.ovi.com that the site did not understand the JPEG's rotation flags either :-( I had to rotate all the files by hand . Almost had a stress injury.

FYI, you can see the pics of my trip to Saigon, Vietnam, at Saigon trip December 2008 on Share on Ovi . Which have been rotated for all the reduced views. But if you click on the orignal size, the server will give you the original JPEG files, and then the browsers won't know how to rotate them.

Here is hoping that Pentax releases an update to the K200D firmware and stops using the rotation flag, and records the bitmap in the alternate dimension instead. It's more code, but it's more universally supported ...

01-10-2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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FWIW, if they did that, it had beeter be an option, because it would almost certainly slow the camera down.

I haven't found the use of the orientation field to be an issue because of my workflow, and you might consider whether altering your workflow would similarly make the problem go away.

For one thing, my original images (which are all RAW, although that's not actually relevant here) are *only* ever seen by one program (ACDSee Pro), which does understand the orientation field. I do whatever processing I want with those images then archive them away and seldom actually use them for anything. Instead, I generate medium resolution "proofs" (1200x1800 pixels, sufficient for web viewing and 4x6 prints) and use these for most purposes. Those are the ones I post to Flickr/Zenfolio/Facebook/etc, those are the ones I email to friends, etc. It's extremely rare that there is something I want to do with a picture that my proof isn't good enough for, and in those cases, I go back to my original and generate a full sized image (perhaps TIFF if I *really* care about IQ). And any file generated by ACDSee Pro - whether medium resolution proof or full size TIF - is automatically rotated "for real". So none of the images I ever share with anyone else depend on the orientation field. And it's also only these proofs or occasional full-size TIFF that ever get viewed by any application other than ACDSee.

So whether or not you went to that exact system or not, it seems you could benefit from giving some thought to what exactly you are trying accomplish when viewing images with programs that don't understand orientation, and if there is another way to accomplish that task.
01-12-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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Marc,

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
FWIW, if they did that, it had beeter be an option, because it would almost certainly slow the camera down.
It's an option on the Canon. But it doesn't seem to make a noticeable difference when saving the JPEG.

QuoteQuote:
I haven't found the use of the orientation field to be an issue because of my workflow, and you might consider whether altering your workflow would similarly make the problem go away.
Well, my "workflow" pretty much consisted of emptying my SDHC card to the hard drive, then uploading everything to ovi. Then deleting the really bad pictures - and finding out that 1/3rd of the pictures had to be rotated.

QuoteQuote:
For one thing, my original images (which are all RAW, although that's not actually relevant here) are *only* ever seen by one program (ACDSee Pro), which does understand the orientation field. I do whatever processing I want with those images then archive them away and seldom actually use them for anything. Instead, I generate medium resolution "proofs" (1200x1800 pixels, sufficient for web viewing and 4x6 prints) and use these for most purposes. Those are the ones I post to Flickr/Zenfolio/Facebook/etc, those are the ones I email to friends, etc. It's extremely rare that there is something I want to do with a picture that my proof isn't good enough for, and in those cases, I go back to my original and generate a full sized image (perhaps TIFF if I *really* care about IQ). And any file generated by ACDSee Pro - whether medium resolution proof or full size TIF - is automatically rotated "for real". So none of the images I ever share with anyone else depend on the orientation field. And it's also only these proofs or occasional full-size TIFF that ever get viewed by any application other than ACDSee.

So whether or not you went to that exact system or not, it seems you could benefit from giving some thought to what exactly you are trying accomplish when viewing images with programs that don't understand orientation, and if there is another way to accomplish that task.
I don't do any editing or processing. I just don't have the time right now. I know I could make the pictures a lot better. But photography is just one of (too many) things I am interested in. And I take way too many shots. Some day I need to actually put legends on them. But that takes time.
01-12-2009, 08:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
One thing that has annoyed me very much is that many programs that I use are unable to understand the rotation information embedded into the JPEGs by the K200D.

<snip>

Here is hoping that Pentax releases an update to the K200D firmware and stops using the rotation flag, and records the bitmap in the alternate dimension instead. It's more code, but it's more universally supported ...
I'd really rather that the camera makers didn't have to compromise in order to support the lazy software companies who don't want to update their products.

I'm saying this as a professional software developer (not in imaging though)

Rotating the actual image is something we all accept, but in reality it is a poor compromise, as rotating jpegs losslessly requires the file to match certain conditions, and special support in the software. I would say that many people are lowering the quality of their files without knowing this. By contrast, if the orientation flag is used, this can later be changed by software to 'rotate' the image without making any changes to the actual image data at all.

01-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Can you not rotate them in a batch?
01-12-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
One thing that has annoyed me very much is that many programs that I use are unable to understand the rotation information embedded into the JPEGs by the K200D.

Some examples of the many programs that fail to understand the rotation information in the K200 JPEGs are :

Windows Vista Picture Gallery
Corel Photo Impact Pro
Mozilla Firefox
Internet Explorer

The programs that do do understand the rotation flag are :

Pentax Photo Browser & Photo Lab (of course)
Canon Zoom Browser
The Gimp
Interesting - I've never had a problem with WinXP Windows Explorer thumbnails, Adobe CS3 etc, but as you say from your link, the browsers don't work.

However, having a quick look at the EXIF data, it indicates its rotated, but the embedded thumbnail is not. I'm not completely certain (as I don't have my K200D with me), but this may be due to a setting in the custom menu.

From Menu, go to Custom Setting then 21. Auto Image Rotation. This automatically rotates the image on the display. The thumbnail is what is displayed on the LCD, so I think that may have an effect.

Just a thought......
01-13-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
Well, my "workflow" pretty much consisted of emptying my SDHC card to the hard drive, then uploading everything to ovi.
What's ovi, and does it require you to look at the images using all those different programs?

What I'm getting at is, *why* are you using so many different programs to view your images?

QuoteQuote:
I don't do any editing or processing. I just don't have the time right now.
So much the better. Then when you ant to look at them, load them into a program that *does* understand the EXIF rotation, and never look at them with a program that doesn't, and call it done. I don't understand what the problem is? If you're uploading them to a web site, you shouldn't be uploading full size images anyhow, so just make sure the software you use fixes the orientation when it resizes for the web. I'll bet most uploading programs do this already?
01-13-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Can you not rotate them in a batch?
Yeah, but you might still have to take the time to select the images that need rotation, unless you have a program that has a "rotate according to EXIF orientation" option so you can just run it on everything.

01-13-2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Yeah, but you might still have to take the time to select the images that need rotation, unless you have a program that has a "rotate according to EXIF orientation" option so you can just run it on everything.
Also, if a program doesn't support the EXIF Orientation tag, it's highly unlikely it supports lossless rotates, so you're probably degrading the quality of your images.

Side tangent - Marc, another post of yours led to me to check out ACDSee's recent versions - I think I'll be buying a license once my trial expires, so thanks for that!
01-13-2009, 06:48 PM   #10
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Normal for DSLRs (all, maybe)

QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
The programs that do do understand the rotation flag are :

Pentax Photo Browser & Photo Lab (of course)
Canon Zoom Browser
The Gimp
Since you have the Canon Zoom Browser, why not rotate them all in a batch simply by selecting all and then "rotate pictures according to the rotating information"? That's it. (The Pentax software do not have this function, not even to mention about batch processing - they do it in a lossy way, but not lossless and require manual operation, but not reading the tag!)

AFAIK, all DSLRs record only the rotation info tag but not actually rotate the image in-camera. So, it is normal and not a specific K200D or Pentax issue.

Btw, the K200D does not have the rotation detection sensor, does it? You have to manually rotate your pics anyway, at least for one time at the camera. And, there is no way to modify the tag except at the camera, the Pentax software cannot do that. Would anyone please correct me if I am wrong just in case the K200D has a rotation sensor.
01-13-2009, 07:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Btw, the K200D does not have the rotation detection sensor, does it?
It does - one of the biggest advantages it has over the K2000 and the K100D.
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