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07-23-2009, 09:05 AM   #1
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Pentax K-7 Raw v's JPEG

I was lucky enough to get one of the first batch of K-7's released here in the UK. I use Aperture and normally shoot RAW. My previous DSLR was the K200D which was excellent.

There's no support for the K-7 from Apple yet, so I set the RAW file format to DNG and shot as normal in RAW using the default RAW converter in Aperture.

I've shot a lot in RAW but the images took a lot of tweaking to get decent results, so I thought I'd try a few JPEG's. The JPEG results are quite stunning and to me seem better than the processed RAW's.

I was wondering if this could be that Aperture RAW support for standard DNG isn't up to scratch, or is the in camera JPEG processing simply excellent?

I'm more than happy with JPEG's from the K-7, but was wondering if this was similar with the K20D?

07-23-2009, 09:13 AM   #2
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It could be that the JPEG engine in the camera is just that good. I found that unless I am shooting something where I need the extra range or there's a great chance of exposure error I stick to JPEG on my 50D for the same reason -- the out of camera files just look so damn good I don't see the point in spending time tweaking RAW files unless there's a really good reason to.

I am guessing you can get the exact same result with enough RAW fiddling, but if the JPEG does all you need and you don't need the features of the RAW format then why not? (Queue up the RAW fanatics who will be coming along soon... I used to shoot 100% RAW but after viewing files and prints from both I just don't see the point for the majority of what I do anymore.)
07-23-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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Do you open your images on a PC at any point or are you printing from the camera?

QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
It could be that the JPEG engine in the camera is just that good. I found that unless I am shooting something where I need the extra range or there's a great chance of exposure error I stick to JPEG on my 50D for the same reason -- the out of camera files just look so damn good I don't see the point in spending time tweaking RAW files unless there's a really good reason to.

I am guessing you can get the exact same result with enough RAW fiddling, but if the JPEG does all you need and you don't need the features of the RAW format then why not? (Queue up the RAW fanatics who will be coming along soon... I used to shoot 100% RAW but after viewing files and prints from both I just don't see the point for the majority of what I do anymore.)
07-23-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Do you open your images on a PC at any point or are you printing from the camera?
I've not once in my life printed from a camera or memory card.

At this point, with my gear, I can either run RAWs through the Canon DPP software or through Lightroom. With Lightroom I have to spend a lot of time to get a RAW file looking anywhere near as nice as the in-camera JPEG. With DPP I don't have the nice cataloging and workflow of Lightroom though the JPEG will be identical to the in-camera one.

I do use RAW for many shots, but a good 80-90% is JPEG lately.

And yes, I've been a RAW fanatic, I know all the arguments, I've seen all the evidence how how RAW is superior in XYZ scenarios. But like with everything else, the final result is what matter, and while theorizing over things is fun I worry mostly about the print.

07-23-2009, 09:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I've not once in my life printed from a camera or memory card.
Which means shooting JPG is stark raving mad. Bear with me here

Instead of fiddling in the field between RAW and JPG just shoot RAW, open the images and press 'PLAY" in PPL with the same settings you like you in camera JPG's created.

Assumming you have say 100 files, go make a coffee or browse pentaxForums for about 3 minutes.

BANG, you have JPG's just like in camera and you have the RAW file in case you want to edit or print big or even severely crop.

I just for the utter life of me don't get shooting JPG for those who open their images on a PC, it's literally two mouse clicks to crate JPG's from a RAW file so why not have a negative on hand justin case?

I just don't get JPG (unless you're doing sports or photo journalism or printing from your card).
07-23-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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Well, easier than that, just shoot RAW+JPEG and copy the JPEGs to one place and the RAWs to the other. Even less work to do (unless you worry about memory card space).

I am not disagreeing with your point, but I am also so familiar with my gear and the type of shooting that I do that it's pretty much literally a waste of space to shoot RAW for most of what I do. Whenever I am doubtful I switch to RAW+JPEG -- in fact, I have custom mode C1 for JPEG and C2 for RAW+JPEG on the 50D for that purpose.
07-23-2009, 09:49 AM   #7
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B+H and Delkin are your friends. $17 for 4GB cards, class 6. Just buy a bunch of 'em

I know I carry on like a broken record but I can't see the sense in it, instead of settign and forgetting you're essentially trying to predict when RAW will be handy ... i dunno ... seems a pain to me. Shooting RAW+JPG results in low res JPG's does it not?
07-23-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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No, most cameras you can set RAW+JPEG to produce whatever size/quality JPEG you want.

And $17 for 4GB, are those UDMA?

Didn't say what I do is the best for everyone, just offering a devil's advocate opinion here...

07-23-2009, 10:26 AM   #9
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As an example, this is a JPEG taken this afternoon. It's the K-7 with the WR kit lens.

I'm really happy with the results.

07-23-2009, 11:15 AM   #10
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I found that Aperture didn't do a very good job with the K7 DNG files. It tended to wash them out and throw away a lot of information. Raw Developer http://www.iridientdigital.com/products/rawdeveloper.html supports the K7 and the resulting jpgs looked a lot better to my eye.

Sadly Aperture can be slow with updates for new cameras. And they still do not support the DLux4/LX3, but that is likely due to the lens correction that is contained in the raw file.
07-23-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
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Ian, I seem to be getting very poor image quality from my K7 . I use PS7 but the images are not sharp. Can you please tell me what Jpeg settings you are using. I set mine on Bright and I would expect this to produce reasoanble JPEGs
07-23-2009, 02:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peterm Quote
Ian, I seem to be getting very poor image quality from my K7 . I use PS7 but the images are not sharp. Can you please tell me what Jpeg settings you are using. I set mine on Bright and I would expect this to produce reasoanble JPEGs
I wouldn't go with bright - too harsh for my tastes. And I think it is set to "vivid" out of the box.

I had mine on normal with sharpness at +1 and contrast at +1 (good for b&w conversion). Everything else flat.
07-23-2009, 03:59 PM   #13
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The K-7's jpeg conversion is indeed superb, and the better metering (than the K20D) has meant that I don't mind shooting jpeg anymore.

I understand the logic behind RAW, but at 14.6mp, jpeg is fine.
07-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #14
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haha even K20D's jpegs on the Superfine (****) setting are ~10mb each.
07-23-2009, 04:38 PM   #15
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Really nice photo of the dog. I continue to be impressed by the colors and the metering of the K-7.

I do agree that one can choose automatic processing of RAW files that should give excellent results with virtually no effort on the part of the photographer, yet still allow one to take full advantage of the RAW data for certain images.

Rob
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