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03-26-2009, 07:32 AM   #1
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K10D JPEGs-I was pleasantly surprised!

[B]Hi everyone! I know the K10D JPEG debate/discussions have been beaten to death so I am not adding to those debates-just relating my recent experiment.

Since I have had my K10D I have always shot RAW, because it is the digital negative and I actually like to do post processing (I know, I'm sick!!). I also shoot RAW with my *1st DS.

Anyway, late yesterday afternoon I set my K10D to shoot JPEG, and set saturation and contrast to +1 and sharpness to +2, and took a couple of photos. I then took the exact same shots in RAW. I was using my excellent Sigma 17-70 for what its worth.

I have to say that I was very impressed with the JPEG photos (unprocessed-right out of the camera) and I'm quite sure that my RAW photos(after processing), to my eye anyway were not noticeably better.

Bob
[/B]

03-26-2009, 08:01 AM   #2
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K10D Jpeg's

I agree. I set my K10D the same way you did for jpegs. I think that, in normal lighting conditions, they come out just fine. In difficult lighting situations, RAW mode gives you a little more to work with in post-processing, so you may be able to get an acceptable image from a RAW file that might not be possible with a jpeg.

I think that the bad rap given to the K10D's jpegs is largely the result of reviewers who are more used to Canon or Nikon dslrs, which typically have default settings that are more saturated and contrasty than Pentax. Pentax has tried to pick default settings that give a more "filmlike" look, whatever that means. Many reviewers seem to be completely ignorant of the fact that these settings can be changed.
03-26-2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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I agree Paul. In certain lighting conditions the RAW photo will likely be superior, but in reasonably good light outdoors(which for me is 90% of my shooting) they look very good.

Bob
03-26-2009, 08:17 AM   #4
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I've always said if you don't plan on doing much PP, there is no point whatsoever in shooting RAW. The differences don't become apparent until you try large scale changes to WB or exposure.

03-26-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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I ran my K10 for about 2 months in JPEG as well and didn't see whatever DPR was talking about. RAW definitely has more dynamic range though, so if you shoot in sunlight, etc., you'll be able to recover blown highlights that you can't from the JPEG...
03-26-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Another convert to the JPEG club

Great news, we have found more convets to the JPEG club.

I don't disagree that raw is better in fixing mistakes but if you shoot it right and think about your settings against the lighting conditions I have no complaints.

Shoot 99.9% of everything in JPEG. shot about 50 shots JPEG + raw, and don't see the benefit.

Maybe something s PPer can tell me, in light room, or photoshop, when you do noise reduction can you do it on 16 bit color, or do you have to knock it back to 8 bit. If this is the case (as it is with PSP X2) then all is lost before you start
03-26-2009, 06:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I don't disagree that raw is better in fixing mistakes but if you shoot it right and think about your settings against the lighting conditions I have no complaints.
It's not just about "fixing mistakes"; it's also about altering the exposure curves nd performing local contrast enhancement (something no in-camera control can do), performing highlight recovery, handling color casts that cannot be handled via manual white balance, adding NR or sharpening that is tailored to the specific shot and the specific output size you have in mind as opposed to just the 3 or 4 levels provided in camera, etc. Not all shots particularly "need" this kind work, but most *can* benefit from it. I do this sort of thing routinely with my concerts shots. It ha nothign to do with not getting "right" in camera; it's about doing things that *cannot* be done in camera.

QuoteQuote:
Maybe something s PPer can tell me, in light room, or photoshop, when you do noise reduction can you do it on 16 bit color, or do you have to knock it back to 8 bit. If this is the case (as it is with PSP X2) then all is lost before you start
Most RAW processing is done using 16 bits, and then converted to 8 bit for output. Havign the extra bits of precision to work with definitely makes a difference, even if after the calculations are performed the extra bits are thrown away. Same as with any other calculation. For example, in doing your taxe, you can't simply round all your entries off to the nearest 100 and expect your final answer to out correct to the nearest 100 as well.
03-27-2009, 03:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
It's not just about "fixing mistakes"; it's also about altering the exposure curves nd performing local contrast enhancement (something no in-camera control can do), performing highlight recovery, handling color casts that cannot be handled via manual white balance, adding NR or sharpening that is tailored to the specific shot and the specific output size you have in mind as opposed to just the 3 or 4 levels provided in camera, etc. Not all shots particularly "need" this kind work, but most *can* benefit from it. I do this sort of thing routinely with my concerts shots. It ha nothign to do with not getting "right" in camera; it's about doing things that *cannot* be done in camera.
marc, most of whay ou mention here is "fixing mistakes" color casts, blown highlights etc. much of that can be avoided with better planning on exposure. That was the poiint I was making. I don't disagree, in recovery mode RAW is better for finer adjustments, but if you are close with your jpeg settings, it is pretty easy.
QuoteQuote:
Most RAW processing is done using 16 bits, and then converted to 8 bit for output. Havign the extra bits of precision to work with definitely makes a difference, even if after the calculations are performed the extra bits are thrown away. Same as with any other calculation. For example, in doing your taxe, you can't simply round all your entries off to the nearest 100 and expect your final answer to out correct to the nearest 100 as well.
My initial question may not have been worded perhaps as well as it could be, and you missed the point. in PSP X2, I can do a lot of things in 16 bit (contrast, color balance, curve adjustment etc) , but the noise reduction routine runs in 8 bit, so you have to reduce the image to 8 bit color first, before noise reduction. what do lightroom and photoshop do, can you apply noise reduction to the 16 bit image, or do they also need to reduce the color depth to 8 bit first.

03-27-2009, 08:03 AM   #9
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I almost always shoot JPEG. I have shot some RAW but I find the extra step a time consuming hassle. In the end I just let Picasa do its thing with my RAW shots anyhow. When I am in real tricky lighting situations and I know I am going to have to do some PP I will shoot RAW+JPEG. I am quite happy with the JPEG's out of the K10D.
03-27-2009, 10:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
marc, most of whay ou mention here is "fixing mistakes" color casts, blown highlights etc. much of that can be avoided with better planning on exposure.
That's not true. I chose my words carefully to describe things that can *not* be dealt with in camera.

A green spotlight, for example, will not be well corrected for using manual WB. nor will a red spot. WB controls just aren't sufficient for dealing with these kinds of color casts. And a shot with a green spotlight on part of the scene and a red spot on another certainly can't be corrected. Plus, it's often impractical to change WB on every shot when dealing with colored lights. When I'm shooting a concert, I might have one shot with a green spot and another with a red spot, taken a second apart. And it's not like one can run up on stage to soot a gray card. It's just not reasonable to expect that all color casts can be handled in advance and that failure to do so constitutes a "mistake"

As for highlight recovery, the only way to avoid blowing highlights is often to deliberately underexpose the rest of scene - in which case you'll then need to lighten the shadows. Either way, PP is required to get the look you want. You could try the D-range feature, but that's a one-size fits all solution - often one will have more specific needs than this.

And no camera I have ever heard of includes in-camera curves or local contrast enhancement controls. Al you get is a very rough "contrast" control - that' not *nearly* the same level of control. Again, given that there is no in-camera curves control - and it would be fantasy to assume one could be accurately pre-setting curves on a shot by sot basis - it's really inaccurate to refer to the application of a curve in PP as fixing a mistake.

QuoteQuote:
I don't disagree, in recovery mode RAW is better for finer adjustments, but if you are close with your jpeg settings, it is pretty easy.
Ease isn't necessarily the issue - it's also effectiveness. No matter how you slice it, 8 bits is less than 10, 12, or 14. You've got less lattitude for change before artifacts appears.

QuoteQuote:
in PSP X2, I can do a lot of things in 16 bit (contrast, color balance, curve adjustment etc) , but the noise reduction routine runs in 8 bit, so you have to reduce the image to 8 bit color first, before noise reduction.
Ah. I don't know anything about the specifics of PSP or LR regarding what operations are performed using how many bits. But I would point out it isn't necessarily just about number of bits - it could also be about whether the operation can be performed before demosaicing or not.
03-27-2009, 11:05 AM   #11
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One last time, unless you're printing right from the camera shooting JPG is madness. Why on earth would you not want all the data? It takes 3 minutes and the pressing of one button to spit out 100 JPG's from the PenLab software.
03-27-2009, 08:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
One last time, unless you're printing right from the camera shooting JPG is madness. Why on earth would you not want all the data? It takes 3 minutes and the pressing of one button to spit out 100 JPG's from the PenLab software.
While I agree with the sentiment, the Pentax software is not particularly fast. On my current computer, PPB takes about 6 seconds to process a PEF to JPEG using the same algorithms as the camera, but can't do batch processing. PPL can do batch, but takes about 39 seconds per file and does slightly different processing than the camera. (It also seems to use a more intensive variant of JPEG compression, since the output files take longer to load.)

The camera is much faster.
03-28-2009, 06:41 AM   #13
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I've always been happy with the jpegs. That's pretty much all i shoot.:-)

Dave
03-30-2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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To correct myself here...
QuoteOriginally posted by Quension Quote
[PPL] seems to use a more intensive variant of JPEG compression, since the output files take longer to load.
This is wrong; what PPL does differently is add an ICC profile to the jpg. Processing that is what takes longer during load.
03-30-2009, 05:57 PM   #15
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I shot JPEG exclusively from 1998 to September of last year. I was a master of in-camera image adjustment, WB setting, exposure compensation, etc. What I realized is that I was spending more time setting up the camera for a shot (or double checking the settings) than shooting. Now, I shoot in RAW in AWB & auto ISO (100-800) and concentrate on shooting when I'm shooting and processing when I'm at home with a glass of wine. By using a custom import setting in Lightroom I can apply most of the in-camera image adjustments to my images while I import them (and enjoy my glass of wine). All that's left is global WB correction, a little exposure adjustment here and there and the occasional creative exploration. I liken my workflow now to the days of film and darkroom processing without all the commitments and carcinogenics.

The other advantages I have found from shooting RAW are higher IQ, better lens corrections, better quality high ISO noise, and much more leeway with exposure (+2 stops IMO). Typically I run the histogram right up to the limit and then dial in a bit of recovery in Lightroom to recover any blown-out highlight detail. I'm always amazed at how much detail is hiding in a RAW highlight that looks blown-out...

All of that being said, I have 10 years worth of wonderful JPEG images from a number of cameras. The JPEG output from my K10D was only rivaled by a Canon 5D I had an affair with for a few months. Now, I get similar quality from my K10D's JPEGs (processed in Lightroom) as I got from my JPEGs right out of my 5D. I'd call that a better value
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