Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 9, 2005, 10:04 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
Default

I thought I'd walk you through the steps I recently walked through, in case you're interested in using RAW with your DS. I went the "all Adobe" route, so I'll just talk about that.


First of all, you need Adobe Photoshop CS (expensive) or Photoshop Elements 3 (cheap). (If you have an earlier version of Photoshop, not to worry. Just get Elements 3. Elements combined with Camera Raw will do almost everything you use Photoshop for. In the rare instances when you need to use something only full Photoshop has--curves, for instance--just open the converted file in your older version of Photoshop.)

Next, go to Adobe, here:

http://www.adobe.com/products/dng/main.html

And click on Mac or Windows downloads depending on the type of computer you have. You want to download the file marked "Adobe DNG Converter and Camera Raw 2.4 Update."

This is a tad confusing, because DNG Converter is actually a stand-along open-source application and the Camera Raw 2.4 Update is a Photoshop plug-in. Since Camera Raw is currently the only program that recognizes DNG (Digital NeGative) files, though, I suppose it makes sense to put them together.

Well, no it doesn't, not really. But they're together. Also, nowhere on the Adobe site is support for the DS mentioned--only the D. Worry not. It works.

When you open the downloaded folder, it will have the two applications and two "Read-Me" files, one of which instructs you how to load the plug-in. Do that. The DNG converter can just be put in your Applications folder, or wherever you might want it.

Now shoot some RAW files with your Pentax *ist DS. The setting is in the Menu under "Quality Level." Note that you now no longer have to worry about any of the in-camera settings for white balance, color, saturation, sharpness, or contrast.

You'll get Pentax PEF files. Move these on to your computer and put them in a folder.

Open DNG converter. Choose the folder with the PEF files. You set naming conventions at this stage, where you want it saved, all that. Hit "Convert."

Your folder will now have in it a bunch of PEF files and the matching DNG files. You actually have three options here: in the previous step, in the DNG converter itself, you can choose the option of encoding ALL of the PEF data into the DNG file. Or, you can keep both the PEF file and the DNG file separately, for each picture. Or, you can do as I do, and toss the PEF file in the trash, keeping only the Digital Negative. Whatever suits your needs and/or temperament.

Now launch Photoshop CS or Elements 3. Opening any of the DNG files will automatically launch Camera Raw. And here's where the fun starts (for me, anyway--but then, I like darkroom work, too!). This deceptively simple little dialog box lets you set all of the image parameters losslessly, with infinitely-adjustable sliders, including noise reduction. You can batch-process to save time, too, of course. (I love the little Camera Raw box. Freedom and control, freedom and control.)

Finally, when you save your image, it saves with a different tag. It doesn't touch the version of the file with the .dng tag. That still exists with all the basic information the camera recorded.

______________________


Why work with RAW--->DNG files? Well, it seems to me there are four basic reasons, although I'm sure other people will mention more.

First, you don't have to worry about camera settings. Just get the exposure right, or nearly right. This alone is enough for me. I hate struggling to get all the settings right on the fly--especially #[email protected]! white balance--when I'm trying to pay attention to what's happening in the viewfinder.

Second, processing in software gives you better quality than in-camera image processing. When you shoot Jpegs, the camera has to quickly convert the image, apply white balance, apply sharpening, apply saturation and contrast levels, and then zap the image onto the card. What does everybody want from their cameras? Speed, speed, speed. So the camera performs all these functions as quickly as possible. Not as WELL as possible--as quickly.

Third, when you shoot a Jpeg, you're STUCK with Jpeg. Of course, you can correct Jpegs...up to a point. But not without loss of image information. (Did you know that just with simple sharpening, you lose up to 10% of the image detail? True.) The more you have to correct, the more loss there is.

Finally, the digital negative is always there in all its complete unaltered glory. This means two things: a) you can always start over; and b) in the future, when image processing programs get better than they are today, you can still reinterpret your pictures using the newer software. If you let the camera do it, you're stuck with today's level of processing quality forever.

Anything I missed?

Hope this helps....somebody.

--Mike
txind76121 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 11, 2005, 7:00 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Default

I have not been able to get this to work. When i run Adobe DNG I get any error saying no supported RAW files were found? Is there something Im doing wrong. I would much prefer using Photoshop for everything.



Thanks,



Rod
coastrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2005, 9:36 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
ennacac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,198
Default

My copy of CS will open PEF files in Camera Raw, so I don't see the point of converting the PEF file to DNG first.

Tom
ennacac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 11, 2005, 10:49 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks for the info..I was able to open the pentax PEF file in Photoshop CS as well.
coastrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2005, 1:10 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Catbells's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 874
Default

It's down to personal preference, but the supplied Pentax Lab software produces more vibrant images although more detail is preserved in Adobe Photoshop.

The only downside to this & using Phototshop to view NEF files is that all images have be processedsequentially which would be time consuming, although I've not tried using the 'batch' command in Photoshop.

The DNG converter does work although I can't see the logic to using this as the batch converted NEF files to DNG still have to individually imported into Photopshop for conversion.
Attached Images
 
Catbells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 2005, 1:22 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Catbells's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 874
Default

There are a number of other products which appear to batch convert RAW to TIFF/JPEG

Bibble 4.2 Professional Workflow software designed to quickly and easily let you maximize the results from Digital cameras capable of outputting Raw images. Support is currently provided for most major cameras and raw formats http://www.bibblelabs.com/

TryPixmantex Rawshooter which will do batch convertions on RAW images http://www.pixmantec.com/products/rawshooter_essentials.html

Pixmantex RawShooter essentials, is a RAW workflow software toolfor digital photography. It is a fully functional RAW converter to get excellent results with the minimum of effort and knowledge & provides the high quality outputwith fast conversion time.
Catbells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 18, 2005, 7:12 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 26
Default

Another reason NOT to use JPEGS is that EVERY TIME you simply open the file, you lose data! If you must, or prefer to use them, then burn them to a CD IMMEDIATELY after downloading them to your computer and BEFORE you open them. That way, you can work from the burned copy (which WON'T lose data since it's a static file) and open it and change formats as soon as you do to preserve your file.
I know it takes roughly 200 open and close operations to visually affect a JPEG, but, hey! it's your photo you're mucking up over time!
macdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 18, 2005, 10:04 PM   #8
wll
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 93
Default

Macdaddy,


I don't think that is true about jpg's.

You can open and close them as much as you want, you can move them from file to file, but you CANT SAVE THEM. Every time they are SAVED they loose a little.

I take my jpgs and move them to my storage area, cut the ones I don't want, and label the rest (renaming does NOT alter a jpg). When I plan on printing an image, I change that jpg to tiff and then work with them in that format.


wll
wll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 19, 2005, 10:54 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Catbells's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 874
Default

Spot on wll.

JPEG quality is unaffected by simply opening & closing - unless there's a peculiar setting in the graphics package that does a save.

I'm using JPEG for the moment simply for convenience & the results far out perform my Fuji S602, so I'm more than happy with the quality. I always keep the original download separate from any post processed file which is always saved at maximum quality; if I need to make any changes, I can always revert back to the original image.
Catbells is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:57 PM.