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07-17-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
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PEF vs DNG

Tried the search, and I lost my link that used to explain the difference.

I heard the new firmware (about one or two versions back) made it so that PEFs are slightly smaller than DNGs.

I am wondering what is the average filesize of the PEF vs DNG? (I think I remember someone saying DNG file sizes tend to stay the same, whereas PEF varies depending on the complexity of the scene being saved)

Thanks in advance!

TW

07-17-2007, 01:02 PM   #2
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Last I looked, it was 16MB vs. 11MB (PEF compressed)...
07-17-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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The in camera DNG on the K10 is not compressed so it is larger. However, if you shoot PEF and use Adobe's free DNG converter the file size is even smaller yet. I use PEF in camera to save space on the card and convert to DNG to save space on my HD.
07-17-2007, 02:17 PM   #4
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At least in previous firmware versions, PEF was compressed (losslessly of course) and DNG was not.

While I comment Pentax for trying to do the "open standard" thing, they're giving DNG mere lip service at the moment by not using compression for DNG when they do for PEF. (DNG supports compression, in fact I've converted all of the uncompressed raw files from my point and shoot Panasonic DMC-LX1 to DNG, but the K10D is staying in PEF mode.)

07-17-2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
While I commen[d] Pentax for trying to do the "open standard" thing, they're giving DNG mere lip service at the moment by not using compression for DNG when they do for PEF. (DNG supports compression, in fact I've converted all of the uncompressed raw files from my point and shoot Panasonic DMC-LX1 to DNG, but the K10D is staying in PEF mode.)
Yeah, I'd like to be able to save as compressed DNG, but instead I do the same thing Dave does -- shoot PEF and convert to DNG as soon as I have the files in Lightroom. And it's not too big a hassle.

Will
07-17-2007, 07:20 PM   #6
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Weird. My K10D shows no difference. 243 pics on my 4gb card for either PEF or DNG with the 1.30 firmware.
07-17-2007, 08:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.r.brown Quote
Weird. My K10D shows no difference. 243 pics on my 4gb card for either PEF or DNG with the 1.30 firmware.
I wouldn't bet my cat's life on it, but I think I have read that there is a bug in the K10D's image countdown that causes this inaccuracy. Forget what the camera says about the card's capacity, and look instead at the file sizes on your computer AFTER you download them from the card. The DNG files produced by the K10D are almost 50% larger than the PEF files. But when I convert the PEF files to DNG in Adobe Lightroom, they get even smaller.

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07-17-2007, 10:11 PM   #8
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One thing that has concerned me about the PEF format is for archiving the images like say 10 years from now will windows 2017 support this file type. Should I convert all to jpeg or use the DNG format?

07-18-2007, 06:11 AM   #9
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just so backup the Adobe's free DNG converter program with your PEF archiving :P I am sure Adobe will still standing after 10 years
07-18-2007, 08:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn Quote
The in camera DNG on the K10 is not compressed so it is larger. However, if you shoot PEF and use Adobe's free DNG converter the file size is even smaller yet. I use PEF in camera to save space on the card and convert to DNG to save space on my HD.
If you want to go the PEF to DNG route, check out the IMAGEINGESTER download
software. It will download from the camera or a card and annotate the files with IPTC info such as copyright data, etc.

The real advantage is that as it downloads the PEF files it will convert the PEF to DNG using Adobe's DNG Converter and save the PEF file, the converted DNG file and a copy of the DNG file with or without the embedded PEF file. Each can be saved to a different file and/or drive location.

I put my DNG on my main drive, the PEF on a second drive in the PC and the DNG with the embedded PEF on my Maxtor USB drive.

ImageIngester offers a free trail period and I think it is a great timesaver well worth the its $40 cost.

PS. I am just a satisfied user...I have no connection to the company.
07-19-2007, 05:08 AM   #11
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About a month ago I bought PSE5, and I started converting all my PEFs to DNG right when I transferred them to my PC. The *ist DS PEF's were 10MB (not compressed) so the DNGs got shrunk down nicely to ~5MB. I just got the K10D this week (yay!), so now I'm back to just using the native PEFs out of the camera.

Like others noticed, in-camera DNGs were about 16MB vs. the PEF's ~10MB. Since the PEF files are already compressed (losslessly of course), Adobe's DNG converter can't really compress them any more so I save myself the extra hassle. If Windows 2112 (any Rush fans?) can't read the PEF's, I'll just convert them to DNG then

BTW, just saw a 500GB hard drive for $99 (after rebate of course) on Buy.com.
07-19-2007, 07:40 AM   #12
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I reformatted the SDHC card and switched to PEF and there was no change in the reading of the LCD on top. So thats definitely an issue for Pentax to fix. The PEfs are 11MB and when i converted a sample t went to an 8MB DNG through Lightroom.

I didnt think to try that on my old Canon Raw files which are like 20MB IIRC. I look forward to seeing what those come down to.
07-19-2007, 02:25 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxographer Quote
One thing that has concerned me about the PEF format is for archiving the images like say 10 years from now will windows 2017 support this file type. Should I convert all to jpeg or use the DNG format?
My reasoning for not worrying about PEF compatibility in the future:

dcraw supports PEF
dcraw is open source

Therefore it's basically not possible for PEF support to completely disappear, the format is (at the very least) documented in the dcraw source code.
07-21-2007, 12:54 PM   #14
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If DNG's converted from PEF are smaller than the direct DNG's. I think there is something being lost. :confused: What's that?
07-21-2007, 01:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hamsi Quote
If DNG's converted from PEF are smaller than the direct DNG's. I think there is something being lost. What's that?
Nope. Lossless compression (see ZIP for an example) is perfectly feasible, and works even better when optimized for images. I believe DNG uses a lossless variant of JPEG's algorithm. PEFs appear to perform similar to if you used bzip2 to compress an uncompressed raw image. (They are slightly larger than what I got when using bzip2 to compress the raw files from my 8 MP Panasonic DMC-LX1 with bzip2)

Nothing is being lost. in-camera DNGs are simply uncompressed in any way.
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