built-in image processor?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mapgirl, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. mapgirl

    mapgirl TPF Noob!

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    In trying to make a decision among several cameras, a problem with the Pentax K10D built-in image processor keeps coming up. But I'm not experienced enough to understand the problem or the way around it.
    Apparently the Pentax image lacks the "crispness" of other comparable cameras. Here's a quote from "dpreview":

    "Crop for crop the K10D actually delivers about the same amount of detail as the D80, the biggest difference is down to the crispness of edge detail which appears softer in the K10D image than the D80. As we speculated earlier this would appear to be down to the type of demosaicing / sharpening algorithms used as the actual detailed delivered by the CCD is higher and can be extracted fully by shooting RAW."

    Then they did a comparison shooting in RAW:

    "Removing the camera's built-in image processor and instead processing using a standard converter (in this case Adobe Camera RAW) we see the K10D's true colors, clear crisp images with lots of detail and sharp edges. Indeed there are several parts of the image which look more detailed than the D80. It makes you wonder why Pentax couldn't achieve this quality with their processor."

    So here are my questions:

    What is a "built-in image processor"? How does it affect how I use the camera and the results?
    I want a crisp image. Is the solution to shoot in RAW and make some sort of conversion when I down (Up?) load to PhotoShop Elements?
    Or are they saying there's an inherent problem with the Pentax? I've been leaning in that direction until I encountered these problems. And the Canon EOS30 is financially more out of my league.

    thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Evidently, when the RAW data is converted to JPG, which involves some processing and compressing, the Minolta does a crap job.

    Yes, just shoot raw (the best way anyway) and convert.
     
  3. HatMan

    HatMan TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    I read the same thing and am the proud owner of several Pentax cameras including a K10D.

    The K10D allows you to shot in RAW, JPG or both at the same time. There is also a neat little utility built into the camera that allows you to process and save a RAW image to JPG very much like what Adobe's Camera RAW plug-in does (remember it's in a camera rather than a PC so there is a bit of processing power difference between the two!)

    Any software that converts one format to another, especially from a lossless RAW format to a very lossy JPG format, can be expected to throw away some information. However, it does appear that early releases of the K10D used a lower than average algorithm for the conversion.

    When I purchased my camera, I went to the Pentax site and found several firmware updates - presently, they are at v1.3. I updated right away and have not been unsatisfied with the JPG quality. With that said, I pretty much exclusively shoot in RAW and use Lightroom for batch conversions, so unless you plan to use the camera instead of your computer, I wouldn't worry anyway...

    There are also a couple of additional features available when you upgrade the firmware which I have actually never seen marketed by Pentax that make it the best camera in the price range as far as I am concerned.

    The two major additions are support for the free Pentax Remote Assistant software (similar to Canon's Remote Capture and can easily be downloaded from the Pentax site) and the ability to wirelessly trigger remote Pentax flashes with a new setting in the "Fn" menu.

    I have found this feature incredibly useful and it has saved me literally hundreds of dollars by not having to invest in pocket wizards. I have two AF360 flashes that are now mounted on tripods for fill and background lights and I have tried the camera as a master with a set of AlienBee strobes and the camera triggers them without requiring an additional trigger! Extra cool!

    Hope this helps with your decision!
     
  4. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two parts go into a high quality image. One the camera is in complete control of , the capturing of the image on the sensor, the other, RAW conversion, is bypassable by saving the RAW data and doing the conversion.

    There's nothing wrong with the camera or the inbuilt device by any means. There are countless ways of doing the conversion with various algorithms chosen by people and not machines to give aesthetically pleasing results. I have a D200 and I shoot RAW too, a) because it provides extra editing latitude (search the forum for RAW for an explanation why) and b) because to me Adobe Lightroom gives more pleasing results. More pleasing that Nikon's own Capture NX converting and editing software.
     
  6. mapgirl

    mapgirl TPF Noob!

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    thank you all for your help. and hatman, your comments were particularly on point for my concerns.
    I already own some old Pentax lenses, so I'm hoping the K10D will work for me. Now all I need to do is find someone who's got it in stock so I can hold it and see how it feels. No one around here has them :er: ! But it's a good excuse to drive up to Vancouver, BC :thumbup:
     
  7. HatMan

    HatMan TPF Noob!

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    Glad I could offer some advice.

    As much as I hate shopping there, Future Shop (Canadian version of Best Buy) stocks the K10D and when I bought mine, they price matched another distributor (and beat by 10%) so I got the K10D body for $888 CDN about a month ago. The last I looked it was on the Future shop site for $949. There are lots of deals if you have the patience...
     
  8. mapgirl

    mapgirl TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike. Future Shop is on my list of places whose websites say they have it. I'll call them all before driving up. I know there are better prices out there, so although I'd rather buy from a brick and mortar I may have to go with an internet "shop." fingers crossed that I'll be jazzed about the Pentax. I got my hands on a Nikon D80 the other day and just melted :lovey:. But it's way too expensive. I'm hoping love will strike again tomorrow :mrgreen:
     

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