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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:26 am 
Check the link I posted in this thread. You can find some RAW images of many cameras there including the K200D.

Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Hi Caleb, I hear what you're saying, but how do you standardise on RAW processing between different cameras? Some come with conversion software, some don't. Some are powerful, some aren't.

The conversion tools are all very different and even some of the standard ones use different settings for different brands. If you set them all manually, which ones would you choose and why? There's too many variables in my view. I'd be reviewing RAW converters, not cameras, and forcing my own views of what processing settings are best. The same discussions would then arise, but it would be why is he applying so much / or so little sharpening!

Our policy here as you know is to test the cameras with their default settings. If you begin to adjust the metering and processing for the best results, then you're giving some models an unfair advantage over those which simply do a great job with the minimum of intervention.

So while your suggestion and desire for particular results is an important one, I'll be sticking with our current methodology for the timebeing.

PS - there's normally two sets of RAW results in our DSLR reviews - one for the outdoor resolution and one for the studio resolution - both of which where the K200D's RAW files performed very well.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:48 pm 
I would say that, for DSLRs, you use the RAW format converted by the software that came with the camera, perhaps at the software's default settings (but see below). Certainly, the buyer of a camera can't be expected to go out and buy software to get the best results from a camera. If a camera like the K200D has poor default settings, but is capable of much better images when RAW or other settings are used, that's what's important to your readers. As a reader, I want to know the best that a camera can do, provided that you don't have to jump through hoops to get the best.

A certain amount of judgement would be required on your part. Let's say that camera A comes with poor default settings (either in the camera or in the software), but it is possible for the user to change those settings permanently so that the user doesn't have to keep resetting them. Then, I would say, tell the reader that you recommend certain settings, and take your photos at those settings. On the other hand, let's say that camera B has poor default settings, but they can't be changed permanently so that every time the user picks up the camera, he has to reset everything -- or let's say that the conversion software has to be constantly reset. Then, I would say, take the photos at the default settings.

I guess what I'm saying is, treat each camera as an individual. Adapt your techniques to the camera.

I have read reviews on other sites where the reviewer determined the best camera settings and then took the photos at those settings. Then the reviewer gave the camera a good rating provided that certain settings were changed.

By all means, use your judgement! The reader of a site like yours is depending on your judgement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:33 pm 
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Hi Caleb, again I hear what you're saying, but again there's too many variables. If I only used the RAW software supplied with the camera, Nikon folk would say I'd be giving Canon an advantage for example.

I still stand behind testing cameras with their default settings for the reasons in my previous post, but also because while we're enthusiasts here, a great many DSLR owners leave them on their defaults. Or at least use the defaults most of the time.

That said, I do make occassional tweaking recommendations in my reviews. If there's a better noise reduction setting in my own view, I always mention it - see the Olympus DSLR reviews for instance.

Ultimately it is useful to understand what a camera can do if you tweak it, but in my view that's a different article or publication. I'm reviewing cameras out-of-the-box here, and leaving the forum as the place to discuss enhancements.

Hope that makes sense!


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 Post subject: hi
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:33 pm 
I'm looking into purchasing k200 myself and this forum has valuable info, so is not my best interest to pursue the off-topic nature of this discussion. However the truth is (as always) in the middle. Lets not forget k200 is marketed as an entry-level SLR, for amateurs upgrading from a p&s. (Btw the term itself, 'entry-level dSLR' is odd enough). There are lots of bridge cameras with good IQ right out-of-the-box; I guess people buying dSLRs are more appealed by the versatility of such a camera.
The 'default-settings' discussion doesn't apply to FF cameras where 'defaults' means nothing less than years of heavy practice as a pro photographer.

Caleb, I'd appreciate a lot if you can provide some details on your previous reply:
Quote:
already know that the K200D has horrid default image processing
Usually people avoid strong words so your experience will help me (and maybe others) in making the best choice. Besides k200 I have on the list sony a200 and nikon d80.
Thank you.
Robert

and Hello everyone, as this is my very first post on this impressive forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:36 pm 
I have another question:
is K200 an upgraded K100? or is it the good ol' K10 in new clothes?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:40 pm 
I didn't realize my language was that strong!

I have looked at dozens of JPG images (at the default settings) from the K200D, and they are consistently poor. They look smeared and then over-sharpened. I don't have the camera myself, but I've looked at the images on the internet on various review sites. Apparently, the settings of the camera can be improved, but so far every reviewer is posting images at the default settings. That doesn't tell me how good the images can be. Gordon posted crops from two RAW images (RAW to JPG) in his review, but I'd like to see more.

My experience is that images from DSLRs are becoming increasingly blurry as manufacturers add blur to remove defects, and then add sharpening to compensate for the blur. To me, that's the wrong way to go. Reviewers don't seem to be catching this. For example, the Canon Xsi has gotten consistently good reviews in which it's image quality has been highly praised, but I look at images from that camera and see a fine blur over everything. I can't imagine why anyone would think that is good.

Caleb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:36 am 
Hello rsch ! :) Another Romanian I see.

For the Pentax,an advice from a lot of people & reviews: shoot always in RAW! The k200D as the k10D is able to capture a lot of details,but you must take some time & tweek the settings. Nevertheless,shoot both in RAW and JPEG and see the differences.
All the cameras on the market preserve more details in RAW anyway.
And yes,the K200D is a K10D in lesser "clothes",but packs the same quality+new additions like the dust alert system,a higher dynamic range than the K10D & of course,the AA batteries for power. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:48 am 
Yes, I forgot to mention that the K200D is an updated K10D. The K10D also had a reputation for poor JPGs and good RAW images. The K200D also has a bug from the K10D, and that is ghost pixels that light up where they don't belong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:56 am 
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Hi rsch, I presume you've already read it, but if not, there's lots of info about the K200D and its differences - or similarities - with the K10D in our review here: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pentax_K200D/

PS - Caleb, I agree about the image processing trends but I always try and mention it in the results pages, especially the noise page. I've been saying how Pentax has been avoiding smearing compared to Canon and Olympus for example.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:38 am 
Sorry, Gordon, I don't remember everything you've written in your articles.

By the way, you didn't have a kit lens when you tested the camera. Do you plan to redo the review with the kit lens? If not, perhaps you could at least add some comments comparing the lens you used with whatever kit lens Pentax decides to include. That lens you used was very sharp. It was because of that sharpness that I'm considering the K200D. Do you think the other cameras that you compared the K200D to, the Canon and the Olympus, could look as sharp with a better lens?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:47 pm 
Caleb,the 18-250mm is a kind of budget lens anyway,optically it has the same "puf" as the original kit lens.
I tested one week ago the 18-55mm II on a K10D,it's superb. Images were very sharp & packed more details that any kit lens I ever saw.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:16 pm 
The local Pentax dealer told me the original kit lense is the best bet for k200, and the 18-55mm II was developed for the higher K20's resolution.
is this so?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Hi Caleb, unfortunately I'm restricted to testing the cameras with what the manufacturers can supply. I always put in certain requests, but with Pentax on those two occassions, the new 18-55mm wasn't available. So the only other option was the 18-250mm.

I didn't perform our full suite of tests on this lens, so can't comment on vignetting or geometric distortion, BUT as you saw on the samples, it's certainly impressively sharp up to the edges. And that was with two different copies, one for the K20D and another for the K200D.

It's impressive because this is a budget lens with a superzoom range, so you'd expect compromises - and indeed the AF is relatively slow and noisy, but the IQ from what I saw on my sample images, was very impressive. If IQ and not AF speed was your priority and you couldn't stretch to the 16-50mm SDM, I'd certainly consider it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:01 am 
Okay, I've got more questions about RAW. I'm just trying to clarify in my mind what is happening at the sensor level in cameras. I'm posting this here because we were discussing RAW images in this thread.

I learned recently that RAW images have to be sharpened after conversion just like JPG images are sharpened. Previously I had assumed that RAW images were crisp right out of the camera, but that obviously isn't so. What is the blurriness of RAW images attributed to? My reading indicates that it is two things: the Bayer format contributes its own 'softness' because colors are being extrapolated, but it is the antialiasing filter which is probably contributing most of the blur -- is that right? Antialiasing filters are necessary to prevent jagged edges, right? Is there anything else that causes digital images to be blurry?

Now, if both JPG and RAW images have to be sharpened, then it would seem to me that the advantage of RAW is in the manipulation of color, not necessarily in the sharpness. Of course, if the manufacturer is intentionally adding blur to JPGs, using the RAW image would avoid that.

One other question: Do the Sigma cameras have antialiasing filters, or are antialiasing filters only needed on cameras with Bayer sensors? I did notice some jaggedness in the images from the Sigma cameras.


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