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Software

The K20D is provided with three CD-ROMs which include:

  • Full camera manuals
    Detailed camera manuals in PDF format.
     
  • Pentax Photo Browser 3.5 (Windows / Mac) *
    Image browsing (JPEG and RAW), organization, viewing and comparison, conversion of PEF (Pentax RAW) to DNG, detailed metadata (including lens used, Shake Reduction information)
     
  • Pentax Photo Laboratory 3.5 (Windows / Mac) *
    Automatic or advanced manual RAW conversion (including white balance, digital exposure compensation, noise reduction, lens aberration correction, tone curve and highlight compensation)

* Note that both these applications are 'Powered by Silkypix'.

RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. The output from Photo Browser and Laboratory is identical which means they both use the same conversion engine, so we only need to include Photo Laboratory here along with Adobe Camera RAW 4.5.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • PPL- Pentax Photo Laboratory 3.5 (PEF)
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 (DNG)

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. Pentax Photo Lab's default output (automatic) is around half-way between JPEG Bright and JPEG Natural (though of course you can do whatever you want with it if you switch to manual control). ACR, as usual, has it's own color mapping.

Pentax K20D Compare to:  
      
      
      
      
BrightNaturalVibrantLandscape
PortraitBright Adobe RGB

Sharpness and Detail

As you can see the results from Photo Laboratory were very similar to a JPEG straight from the camera, if anything the JPEG has a slight lead on very fine detail (texture of the watch face). Both the JPEG and Photo Laboratory however suffer from a softening of edge detail which can be seen quite clearly when compared to the output from Adobe Camera RAW, note the crispness to the 'Heuer' logo and the number 2, both of which appear less well defined in the other crops.

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Resolution

Photo Laboratory brings a little more resolution and actually has marginally higher sharpening than the out of camera JPEG using the default settings. As we saw with the K10D the cleanest output comes from Adobe Camera Raw, which also manages to squeeze just a touch more detail out of the chart at the highest frequencies.

JPEG from camera Photo Laboratory 3.5 (RAW, PEF)
 
Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 (RAW, PEF)  
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