Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4


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creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#1
Today I downloaded the new Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 and tried it out on my Mac.
The software interface is somewhat similar to Lightroom's panels and is so much better than the preceding Pentax Photo Browser and Photo Laboratory 3.

It is a simple software to manage and process your images. Documentation is sparse but it is easy enough to work out the controls. But what is interesting for me is how the Silkypix processing engine manages the RAW files, especially when converted to jpegs. Conversion to jpegs is simple enough but in the short time I dabbled with it, I couldn't find any control on the jpeg output. Nonetheless I kinda like the output from Silkypix. It has a nice punchy yet pleasant colour rendition akin to increasing the Vibrance slider in ACR/Lightroom/Photoshop. Used a K20D DNG file of my dog as a test:

Pentax DCU4 (Silkypix) DNG to jpeg:


Adobe ACR DNG to jpeg
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#2
Please note the images were resized but not sharpened, so difference is perhaps not so obvious.
Also used Photobucket, so colour might be off.
Please post your own test images on this thread to show the subtle differences.

Silkypix DNG to jpeg


ACR DNG to jpeg
 

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woonsin

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Nov 10, 2007
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#3
Today I downloaded the new Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 and tried it out on my Mac.
The software interface is somewhat similar to Lightroom's panels and is so much better than the preceding Pentax Photo Browser and Photo Laboratory 3.

It is a simple software to manage and process your images. Documentation is sparse but it is easy enough to work out the controls. But what is interesting for me is how the Silkypix processing engine manages the RAW files, especially when converted to jpegs. Conversion to jpegs is simple enough but in the short time I dabbled with it, I couldn't find any control on the jpeg output. Nonetheless I kinda like the output from Silkypix. It has a nice punchy yet pleasant colour rendition akin to increasing the Vibrance slider in ACR/Lightroom/Photoshop. Used a K20D DNG file of my dog as a test:

Pentax DCU4 (Silkypix) DNG to jpeg:


Adobe ACR DNG to jpeg
Not sure about colour of dog but can see brown background difference between 2 images.
Pentax DCU4 (Silkypix) look much better than Adobe ACR because 1st image (brown background) look strong natural than 2nd image.

Is Pentax DCU4 (Silkypix) free download for Win and Mac?
 

istDeS

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Dec 7, 2005
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#4
Yes Denis, the Silkypix processing engine in the Pentax Photo Laboratory is one reason i have always been using it to do the Jpeg conversion. The interface Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 is very much improved compared to the previous Pentax Photo Laboratory. If I'm not wrong Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 can do some editing to Jpeg file now also.
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#6
Some more interesting conversions:
K20D FA 77mm Limited

1) Pentax PEF RAW file converted to jpeg by Silkypix


2) Pentax PEF RAW file to jpeg by ACR


3) Pentax PEF RAW file converted to DNG to jpeg by ACR


3) Jpeg from RAW+Jpeg straight from K20D
 

night86mare

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#7
hrm, interesting.

maybe i'll give it a try.

the one bundled with k20d is pentax lab 3 right?
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#8
Yes Denis, the Silkypix processing engine in the Pentax Photo Laboratory is one reason i have always been using it to do the Jpeg conversion. The interface Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 is very much improved compared to the previous Pentax Photo Laboratory. If I'm not wrong Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 can do some editing to Jpeg file now also.
Yes I managed to find where to adjust the jpeg sizes after mousing around...

However I did encounter a problem:
When I converted a PEF file to DNG and then tried to extract a jpeg from the converted DNG within the software (PDCU4), that new jpeg file has a problem and can't be opened up by any program, including PDCU4 itself. No problems if it is a straight conversion from an original DNG or PEF file to jpeg. My experience may be a one-off but hopefully this is not common to all and a quick software fix can be worked out.
 

night86mare

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#12
lab 3 very slow... although it extracted more details but very slow :(
lol yeah compared to the one bundled with k100d

but i think maybe more to do with larger file size of k20d? not sure about this aspect though, don't know much about it.. :bsmilie:
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#15
Can try download from this site:

(sorry, have to delete the link ... by FW)
 

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fengwei

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Aug 25, 2004
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#16
Thanks Denis for sharing the info. Actually I mentined the improvement of the new software under my K-7 testing thread, but personally I seldom use Pentax software, so I didn't really extend the discussion. Hope this would help more K-7 user to use the new software.

BTW, the software isn't free unless you buy the K-7 camera. Just think you guys should know about this ;)
 

Tachyon

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Apr 6, 2007
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#18
Ok.. I'm pixel peeping, but:

1. For the dog photo, ACR is brigher, and hence could contribute to the clear distinction between the pupil and iris of the eye. Same for the car photos - ACR generates a brighter photo. Perhaps if the brightness is toned down the differences will disappear?

2. For the orchid photo, ACR appears to generate a sharper pattern on the central petal at 12 o'clock. The petal also seems to be more delineated from the background - sharp and contrasty.

As it stands, I would go for ACR.
 

Gengh

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May 6, 2007
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#19
Have some old results to share between Silkypix and Lightroom2. I would assume that the output from Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 matches that of Silkypix pretty closely since its the same engine. I did a test on version 3 of the Pentax software and it did.

Did this when I was trying out LR2 to see if I like it enough to switch over from Silkypix. Just to say first that this is not a very fair comparison, as I did work on the LR2 versions more whether for the better or for the worse!

Pic 1 (left: Silkypix, right: LR2)


Pic 2 (left: Silkypix, right: LR2)


For the Silkypix versions, I used the memory colour 2 preset, and probably upped the contrast a bit, don't think I did any major edits to them. As far as I can remember, the colours are pretty close to what they should be. The petals should be more pinkish than purplish. But the colour preset oversaturated the greens a bit on the leaves and stems.

For the LR2 I tweaked quite a bit, and unfortunately can't remember what my settings were anymore. But I was trying to recover the pinkish tinge on the petals - it started off really purple. Even with the selective colour edits, I find that it's a lot of work to get to something I like overall.

Ultimately colours is a very personal thing (I like the Silkypix version for Pic 1, but the LR2 version for Pic 2), and I think Silkypix still gives me colours closer to what I expect with minimal work. I'm still waiting for the day Adobe decides to provide calibration for Pentax output, LR2 interface is just so nice....
 

creampuff

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Jul 11, 2006
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#20
Ok.. I'm pixel peeping, but:

1. For the dog photo, ACR is brigher, and hence could contribute to the clear distinction between the pupil and iris of the eye. Same for the car photos - ACR generates a brighter photo. Perhaps if the brightness is toned down the differences will disappear?

2. For the orchid photo, ACR appears to generate a sharper pattern on the central petal at 12 o'clock. The petal also seems to be more delineated from the background - sharp and contrasty.

As it stands, I would go for ACR.
Tachyon, looking at the photo of Pepe the chihuahua, the Silkypix processed images look warmer on the reds whereas the ACR 5.4 look a little more muted because there is more blue into the midtones. Looking at the histogram, in the distribution of the colour channels, Silkypix seems to spread the colour channels more gradually whereas it is a little more abrupt for ACR. For the orchids, the difference in sharpness is pretty minor, a little bump in contrast and sharpening. As much as I use ACR a lot, have to say the Silkypix images are pretty close colour wise. I'm looking at all of this on my 24" iMac, it may appear a little different for you. The software may be pretty bare boned but the colour fidelity is actually very good.
 

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