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Old Sep 30, 2006, 11:23 AM   #1
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I am really hoping someone here can help me out with a VERY confusingsubject -

I spent the last 2 months researching and trying to figure out which camera to buy. After much thought, I just put in an order for a K100d. I thought I could now just kick back, learn the physical aspects of the camera and be on my way. That was until I started exploring how to convert and edit my RAW data into JPEG's. WOW. I had no idea that the DSLR world had so many options and differences of opinon regarding workflow.

I think I have a basic idea on my workflow but would really appreciate a "double check" from others with more experience. Please keep in mind that I'm a noob and just looking for a good "starter" workflow.

My setup will consist of -

Pentax K100d
Photo Lab 3 (bundled with the K100d)
Photoshp Elements 4.0

Option 1:

1. Use Photo Lab 3 to open up and edit .PEF (RAW) files. Save them as JPEG's.

2. Photoshop Elements 4.0 would then basically only be used for the organizer.

3. For backups, all I would need to do is backup the .PEF and JPEG's.

Option 2:

1. Install Adobe DNG converter with ACR 3.4. Convert .PEF files to DNG.

2. Open the DNG files in Photoshop Elements. Edit within PE and save as JPEG's.

3. Backups would consist of original .PEF, converted DNG and JPEG's.

I read in other threads that ACR has support for .PEF files for my K100d through version 3.5 for Photoshop Elements. This has really confused me as the latest version of ACR on Adobe's site for Elements is 3.4. There is a 3.5 ACR update listed for CS2 but not Elements.

I'd prefer not to have to purchase additional converter software but would consider it if if there's a significant difference in the quality of the edited pics.

Thanks VERY much in advance for all replies.....

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Old Sep 30, 2006, 12:18 PM   #2
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Adobe Lightroom Beta 4 is a free download and i use it to work on K100D Pef files that it can open. I use it more than CS2 at the moment as it is pretty good

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Old Sep 30, 2006, 5:25 PM   #3
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Thanks much TC3! I'll give that a try.

Any other comments on my workflow options? Would appreciate comments regarding Photo Lab, ACR and Photoshop Elements 4.

Thanks much.

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Old Sep 30, 2006, 5:30 PM   #4
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Check Adobe's website, I'm not sure that the new ACR supports Elements 4.0.

I used PhotoLab3 until they came out with the new ACR - I have CS2. I also have downloaded Adobe's converter program, so what I do is open in CS2 with ACR and make any changes I want to in CS2. If I've made changes I'll keep the jpg file, if not I won't. Then every so often I use the converter software to batch convert the pef files to dng and keep both of those, along with any of the jpg files I think are worth keeping.

PhotoLab 3 is OK, but I prefer ACR - I have a better handle on how to get what I want with it. It's a personal thing, there are others who think the opposite.

Lightroom looks like an interesting program - I looked at the video you can watch about it. I'm just not sure whether it offers anything more than I get now with Bridge combined with CS2.
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Old Sep 30, 2006, 6:06 PM   #5
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I have PSE4 and i cannot Find ACR3.5 For Elemnts Either. One possible reason Is that PSE 5 was released Today. Maybe it Ships With 3.5 althought I Doubt it.

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Old Sep 30, 2006, 6:51 PM   #6
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this is my work flow

1 :Use breeze browser to do an initial cull of RAW files.

2: Use Pentax Photo Lab to make any changes to colour temperature (on the rare occasions they are rerquired, as I mostly shoot outdoors).

3: Then save to TIFF . This is IMPORTANT. JPEG is a lossy format an should only be used fopr fianl output, as every time you save to JPEG you lose quality in the compression process used to save as JPEG.

4: Run through noise ninja (Noise reduction software)

5: Use photo edit software to crop, and fine tune exposure using levels and curves. Then I resize, if required depending on use, an dfinally apply UnSharp Mask to do final sharpening (yes you do unsharpen to sharpen!). I use a free program called the GIMP but there are many programs out there.

:!: At some stage I save the original RAW file to CD and only then do I clear the original from my memory card.

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Old Sep 30, 2006, 7:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies!

Regarding Elements and ACR 3.5- I found out in another thread that 3.5 is very buggy with Elements 4.0 and that Adobe is working on a 3.6 to fix any issues. Not sure where people were getting 3.5 for Elements 4.0 as it is not listed onAdobe's site (maybe it did exist but was pulled after the bug discoveries??)

From what I've read, if I convert my PEF files to DNG - Elements 4.0 has no problem reading DNG files. Anyone using DNG files in PSE 4.0 that can confirm this?

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Old Oct 1, 2006, 11:20 AM   #8
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I haven't done a lot of research on this, nor have I used the RAW files yet on my camera. But, I understand the Elements 5 is supposed to support RAW files.
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Old Oct 1, 2006, 11:39 AM   #9
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i usePSCS2 Bridge to cull, then ACR , then open in PSCS2. i usually save a small image for posting. if it's going to the print file i was saving as lossless 16 bittif. this results in a 40meg file tho.
while on a printing site i noticed they only accepted images at 300dpi jpeg saved at a number 10 compression ratio. they said that there was no difference in the print. i tried this and i could tell NO difference in the prints at 8x10. saving a 8x10 image at 300dpi jpg10 results in about a 2meg file. now what do i do???????

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Old Oct 1, 2006, 12:12 PM   #10
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