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Subject: "Who here uses DNG and what do you think?" Previous topic | Next topic
melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Wed 06-Aug-08 02:11 PM
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"Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"


Raleigh, US
          

Hi all,

I bought Lightroom 1.4 on June 26 (and damn it, I didn't know they were coming out with version 2 a month later....and they won't upgrade for me for free, even though I pleaded with them that it wasn't fair, yadda yadda yadda. Daggum it! I feel like that's not very fair, but I guess that's a rant for another time and place.) and am still getting up to speed on it. I finally bought an instructional book and have been going through it. I had initially decided against using DNG files because I figured that Nikon isn't going anywhere and what was the point. However, after reading this instructional book and some of the posts contained in this forum, I am starting to change my mind.

How many of you use DNGs and what are your experiences? Do you like it? Do you think it's worthwhile?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Wed 06-Aug-08 02:21 PM
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#1. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0


Colorado Springs, US
          

It's a mixed bag. I like the concept of a more universal raw format, one that would lessen potential delays when new camera bodies have rolled out (not a problem with either Adobe or Nikon lately due to their increased collaboration). I also like the idea that embedded previews created after raw edits made in Adobe packages can be viewed by a variety of software programs, much like how things work with NEFs updated by NX. The downside to using DNG vs. sidecars in Adobe products is speed. You'll see a dramatic difference in the time it takes to update an individual file or especially a series of files in batch mode. I find it a bit more annoying in ACR than in LR, but it's still there. Just to be clear, however, I'm using DNG at present with the option of being able to extract a complete NEF if I choose to in the future.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

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mjwood0 Registered since 13th Feb 2008Wed 06-Aug-08 02:50 PM
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#2. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

I like the idea of DNG and I really don't think it's going anywhere. But on the other hand, I have so many NEF files and I don't think they're going anywhere either.

My current stance is that if it's not broken, don't fix it. The more I read, the more curious I am though. Regardless, I'm a bit OCD so if I were to switch I'd have to go back and do my whole collection... and that would take a lot of time. Therefore, I'm still waiting for a compelling reason to do that and as I wait, I produce more images. See my problem!

Either format is widely supported at this point so I think you'll be safe either way.

----------------------
Mark Wood
http://www.digitalnotions.net

  

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Replytoken Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Mar 2008Wed 06-Aug-08 05:00 PM
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#3. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, US
          

I have converted by NEF files to DNG when I import them into LR, but I also maintain an archive of my NEF files in case I need them in the future. Storage is cheap.

--Ken

  

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swyost Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Aug 2007Wed 06-Aug-08 05:38 PM
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#4. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Interesting that they won't upgrade to 2.0 - they are certainly upgrading others who have called. I believe the statement was to produce proof of purchase from the last couple months. It is buried somewhere in the Adobe LR forum at this point...

Stephen

  

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melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Wed 06-Aug-08 05:46 PM
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#5. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 4


Raleigh, US
          

Do you have a URL for the Adobe LR forum? I think it might be worth my while to try again!

Thanks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Replytoken Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Mar 2008Fri 08-Aug-08 05:33 PM
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#6. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 5


Seattle, US
          

>Do you have a URL for the Adobe LR forum? I think it might be
>worth my while to try again!
>
>Thanks.

Did you originally buy the discounted academic version?

--Ken

  

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melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Fri 08-Aug-08 05:49 PM
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#7. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 6


Raleigh, US
          

Yes, I got the discount.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Replytoken Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Mar 2008Fri 08-Aug-08 07:45 PM
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#8. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 7
Sun 10-Aug-08 03:43 AM by Replytoken

Seattle, US
          

That may be the explanation as to why you may not be eligible for a free upgrade. I believe it may Adobe's polciy not to offer free upgrades for academic purchases, but I could be wrong.

--Ken

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 04:47 AM
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#15. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 8


Fort Worth, US
          

I'm pretty sure Adobe academic versions are not eligible for any kind of upgrade (free or paid).

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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sorin Registered since 06th Sep 2007Sat 09-Aug-08 11:01 AM
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#9. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 09-Aug-08 11:47 AM by sorin

RO
          

if you go dng way there are 2 things to take care of. first one is to do just like Rick suggested and embed the original in the dng. at some point you might need the original and instead of storing 2 files it's easier to have just one.

second is to use the raw dng, not the linear one. the linear is a tiff-based and includes the demosaicing step. it's a rgb bitmap image.

the original raw image isn't a rgb image like you see on the screen. it's a mosaic of r g b and g again points (from each sensor). these points make for what's called a bayer pattern which is processed to create single rgb pixels. remember the time when in-camera histogram was green channel only? that was the idea. the camera has more g sensors than other colors so this should give a better idea about exposure than any other channels.

using a raw dng has the benefit of keeping lots more from the original sensor data. not to mention that according to David Coffin, the writer of the oldest and greatest opensource raw decoder (on which all raw decoders like ACR are based), setting WB after demosaicing may have unwanted results and fringe-like effects.

if you use linear dng then you 100% rely on adobe's demosaicing implementation and hope for the best. demosaicing it's not a reversible process, you can't try again without the original nef.

more reading for coffee break here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter
http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/dcraw/index_en.htm
http://www.rawtherapee.com/RAW_Compare/

note: rawtherapee is based on dcraw. but they've added methods or changed methods in the processing part like with demosaicing. i suggest you try it.

  

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melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Sat 09-Aug-08 01:18 PM
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#10. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 9


Raleigh, US
          

Thank you for all that info (I must admit, it sounds intimidating to me!)

Two days ago, I took the D-300 In-Depth class and Winston convinced me that Capture NX is the way to go if you want to take advantage of the custom settings on the D-300 (Picture Controls, etc.). So now I am second-guessing my decision to use LR. Can anyone now suggest a workflow using LR for database tasks and NX for editing?

What to do, what to do! And I thought PHOTOGRAPHY itself was hard! Geesh, that's got NOTHING on the processing.

Melinda

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Sat 09-Aug-08 02:28 PM
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#11. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 10


Cheltenham, GB
          

It isn't a very good argument because why on earth would you want to bother with the camera picture controls if you are shooting raw? Just set them to Standard and leave them. Any alterations would be done afterwards in LR. No need for NX.

I'm still working on what my workflow will be but I've decided it doesn't include NX. Basically it will probably include LR2, DNG format, CS3.

Richard

  

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melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Sun 10-Aug-08 03:05 PM
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#19. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 11


Raleigh, US
          

>It isn't a very good argument because why on earth would you
>want to bother with the camera picture controls if you are
>shooting raw? Just set them to Standard and leave them. Any
>alterations would be done afterwards in LR. No need for NX.
>

My reason for wanting to use the camera's picture controls is to minimize time spent processing. If I can get halfway there in the split second it takes to press the shutter release button (after having set the controls the way I want my pictures to turn out), then that saves me extra time and effort fiddling with the RAW file. I have a fulltime job and 3 little kids. I have very little time to do PP.

So now I'm in a quandry...I want to be able to use the picture controls, but LR won't let me use them. However, from what I understand, LR 2 has some pretty decent (and close) matches. So maybe that's what I need to try before bailing on my whole investment in Adobe.

Melinda

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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sorin Registered since 06th Sep 2007Sat 09-Aug-08 04:33 PM
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#13. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 10
Sat 09-Aug-08 06:27 PM by sorin

RO
          

>Can anyone now suggest a workflow using LR for
>database tasks and NX for editing?

well this is the big issue.
LR2 doesn't allow all the editing tasks NX2 does and you have to live with multiple files and databases.

i'm looking for alternatives in this area. a true digital asset management solution similar to the management software for other markets like Sourcesafe or Subversion for software programming or Autodesk Vault for CAD/CAM. not only having databases for keywords, rating stars or geotagging which you can move import export but also files in projects, projects based on other projects, version control if you have multiple versions for different develop settings or b&w conversions or versions for print and web and so on you should be able to have them managed by software not by placing them in folders by hand. all the good stuff that doesn't exist for photo world yet (at least i'm not aware of any).

i see microsoft is getting involved in this. expression media 2 might be an alternative and i see they port it on mac too. anyone tried it? i'll put the trial to see how it works.

edit: i've installed the trial and it seems interesting. you can even script actions to be performed. found one bug. they know about it. it's the bug described in the last reply:
http://forums.expression.microsoft.com/en-US/media/thread/3287e364-b650-4f8d-a3f4-b9920b7be82f/

  

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Replytoken Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Mar 2008Sun 10-Aug-08 03:59 AM
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#14. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 13


Seattle, US
          

You may want to look at IDImager (http://www.idimager.com/) or Photools iMatch to see if they meet your needs. IDImager's author is quite responsive to his customer base. MS has not done much to EM since they bought it and changed the name.

--Ken

  

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OCristo Registered since 17th Aug 2002Sat 09-Aug-08 02:41 PM
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#12. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0


Itapevi, BR
          

Melinda,

I used DNG format for a couple of years just when it was released. Then I was a Nikon D100 user and I was starting to use .NEF format.

Early I discovered .NEF compressed was an unfeasible format to use in the practice due to the (very) limited process capacity into D100 leading to a very long lead times. DNG format looked a solution into my workflow: it compressed lossless my original .NEF files seamlessly.

My preoccupation on that time was the file size of uncompressed .NEF files after downloaded into my computer – I had then a very limited process capacity in my desktop and only CD-RW for archiving.

Eventually I changed to a more powerful workstation including DVD-RW unit for archiving. I gave up the DNG format on that time and never looked back. When I upgraded to D200 I enjoyed the fact the compressed .NEF did not compromised the camera responsiveness.

Today I have several thousand DNG files from that (old) days mixed with JPEGs and NEFs from earlier times. I hope I can open all of them at last in my life span. Let us see!

My suggestion today: if you do not need it, maintain the lower number of different file types in your archive. I cannot see any real advantage in the DNG format compared to NEF.

Regards,

O.Cristo - An Amateur Photographer



Opinions of men are almost as various as their faces - so many men so many minds. Franklin

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 04:57 AM
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#16. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 10-Aug-08 09:04 PM by TXCiclista

Fort Worth, US
          

In my opinion, the biggest argument against DNG when using Lightroom is that it gives you... nothing. Unless you choose not to embed the NEF, you won't even get a space saving. Capture NX is the only program on the face of the planet that can see ALL the data in an NEF. LR has to guess on much of it. So basically, when you use LR to convert NEF to DNG, you're trashing (meta)data and that's always a bad thing. You can embed the NEF if you want, but in my opinion, that defeats the purpose. If you're ONLY going to use Lightroom, DNG is a bad idea imo. If you ever bought Photoshop or other programs that recognized NEF, it'd be better, but you're still losing data.

In no way do I wish to disagree with my fellow Nikonians, but every time I've looked at DNG, I've come away realizing it's only useful if you (1) don't use Capture NX or (2) use non-adobe programs (LR2 & CS3 are tightly integrated now, so you don't have to convert to a different format to see changes in both).

EDIT: Added emphasis on "when using Lightroom" and corrected "Unless you choose not to embed the DNG' to proerly read "NEF." Also added "(meta)" to "trashing data" in an event to avoid any confusion that might lead to another tirade like the one PCSpecialist posted.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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pcspecialist Registered since 18th Mar 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 06:08 AM
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#17. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 16
Sun 10-Aug-08 06:27 AM by pcspecialist

Portland, US
          

>>>you won't even get a space saving.<<< >>>you're trashing data and that's always a bad thing.<<<

Wrong AGAIN! You seem to have no grasp on anything about Adobe from all the posts I've read. Second, you don't seem to even appreciate the advantage of NEF or DNG so why comment on them?

Adobe uses far better lossless compression with their DNG than Nikon does with their NEF so there is a SIGNIFICANT decrease in file size which makes a significant decrease in backup times when you are dealing with thousands of images. Every single bit of sensor data is maintained in the DNG (unless you do linear). You do not loose sensor data. Where do you keep getting this idea over and over and over again that you are trashing any data of any useful purpose? I've corrected you on this before and so have others, I know Bill Claff (bclaff) has explained it several times too. You do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data! If you do not understand this then don't comment on this - ask questions but stop telling others it trashes data. If you are going to tell others it trashes data then explain it trashes only the extra data that is only used by Nikon software, the in-camera settings. How many times do we have to tell you, you do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data! Has it sunk in yet?

If you feel you have some reason to use the NEF then backup the NEF before doing the convert or don't convert. Personally I feel if someone feels they have some need for the NEF then that person may be better of sticking with NEF and not converting but I know plenty do backup their NEF upon import and convert to DNG. I guess if you are one who likes doing an immediate backup upon import then it makes sense to have both - you are doing an immediate backup anyway. Embedding wastes space and reduces the usefulness of DNG.

Depending on your settings, converting to DNG can provide a better preview in Lightroom when the catalog preview has expired and been purged. This allows you to better judge if it is the file you want to work with while a new catalog preview is being generated.

Converting to DNG makes a whole lot of sense if you don't use Nikon software, it makes a little less sense if you do also use Nikon software - if it were me and I also used Nikon software I'm not sure I'd convert. If it were me and I thought I might use Nikon software in the future I'd probably go the backup upon import route then convert.

  

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akrabat Registered since 03rd Jun 2007Sun 10-Aug-08 07:57 AM
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#18. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 17


GB
          

>Converting to DNG makes a whole lot of sense if you don't use
>Nikon software, it makes a little less sense if you do also
>use Nikon software

I agree.

The biggest advantage to DNG is that it's documented and so the chances of decoding it in 100 years is that much higher.

From my point of view the other advantages are:
* It stores the sidecar data within the file which avoids chance of losing it.
* It compresses the sensor data very well.

If I was an LR/ACR user then I would definitely be using DNG.

I really wish Nikon would offer first class DNG support in CNX. Ideally, I would like Nikon cameras to produce DNG directly... can't see it happening soon though.


Off topic for the thread, but my real problem is finding a way to store image files so that they'll still be readable in 100 years. I'm coming to conclusion that the only photos of mine that my great grand kids are likely to see will be the printed ones.


Regards,

Rob...

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 08:44 PM
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#22. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 17
Mon 11-Aug-08 01:56 AM by TXCiclista

Fort Worth, US
          

>You do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data!

>you do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data, you do not loose sensor data! Has it sunk in yet?


I'm pretty angry right now, but I'm going to retain some sense of civility in the hopes that you're confusing me with someone else, because my post was well-reasoned and seems to agree with the second half of your post in many places.

I will say that your characterization of NEF metadata as not being "data of any useful purpose," is downright wrong. I've sold about $500 worth of photos processed using Capture 4 and they say it IS useful. Hundreds of thousands of other Nikon Capture users will agree. Converting to DNG would lose that data for me (unless I embedded the NEF), meaning a larger file size (I have corrected my typo in the other post). Since LR2 & CS3 are so closely integrated, converting to DNG doesn't really provide an advantage (again, in my opinion) until I move outside those two programs (which I feel will hold true for many people).

Now, before I get worked up again, I'm going to ask you to provide even one example of a post where I've argued that DNG trashes sensor data and you, or anyone else, has corrected me. When you can do that, we'll continue this. When, in fact, you find out that at no point in my time on Nikonians have I ever suggested that DNG trashes sensor data (meaning neither you nor anyone else has ever corrected me) perhaps you'll either clarify your statement or, hopefully, apologize.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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peterst6906 Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Mar 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 05:25 PM
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#20. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 10-Aug-08 06:59 PM by peterst6906

The Hague, NL
          

I resisted using DNG for quite a while because while I think the idea of an open RAW format is fantastic, DNG is still owned by Adobe and at any time they can decide to begin licensing it's use for a fee, which then would make it little better than the current multitude of RAW formats around (in terms of it's long term storage advantage and converter support).

However, with the release now of the DNG Profile Editor in Beta form by Adobe, I'm making the leap and embracing DNG (and converting all my existing NEFs to DNG as well).

Having the ability, within Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw to apply different color rendering profiles that can match in camera settings from the camera (not use the in camera settings, but match the result), is a big step in the right direction. No longer do we have to use only the camera profile developed by Thomas Knoll to establish the starting render of a NEF file. By applying a different profile, it's possible to match many different custom settings such as saturation, etc. applied in camera and to do that from within LR and ACR.

That these profiles work with DNG has just added the final piece to the pile that is convincing me to move to DNG, both for it's current capabilities and also for the advantage of long-term storage (but I would still prefer a true, open RAW format to be used by all manufacturers.

Regards,

Peter

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 06:42 PM
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#21. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 20


Cheltenham, GB
          

I am thinking of moving to DNG.

But what I want to know is this: what data is lost if I DON'T embed the original NEF? I think it is some of the Nikon metadata, but what EXACTLY? What about lens, focal length, flash, aperture, speed, ISO? Will all those be in the DNG?

Does anyone know? Is there a list somewhere?

Richard

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Sun 10-Aug-08 10:20 PM
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#23. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 21


Cheltenham, GB
          

I've done some research and I can at least partly answer my own question. This also helps the question being argued over in the message before this one.

What data IS lost? We all agree no sensor data is lost.
So I took a D300 NEF and used LR to make a DNG. I then examined the DNG in isolation using another program.

All the most important metadata is there. e.g.
Camera. Image size. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO. Exposure compensation. Max aperture of lens. Metering mode. Flash. Focal length. Exposure mode. White balance setting on camera. Focal length equivalent in 35mm. Various other things that don't mean much to me.

What isn't there.
Focus mode, i.e. AF-C vs AF-S.
Flash bias and flash bracket compensation.
Noise reduction ON/OFF
Lens e.g. 16-85.
Also I expect the focusing sensor used won't be in there, nor the shutter count for the camera.

The only one I would miss is the lens, although with the max aperture and focal length I could usually tell.
The others are mainly useful for analysis of what went wrong, rather than having value in a photo library. I would say that everything required in a photo library or archive is stored in the DNG.

So I've decided not to bother embedding the original NEF. It borders on the obsessive I think, but for some people it provides extra diagnostic information that they may like to have.

So my decision making is gradually getting there. Use LR2 to process the NEFs, use it convert them to DNGs and I will discard the NEFs. Then I will use CS3 (only when needed) and preserve edited TIFFs where I have made them. Then I'll export everything to highest quality JPGs for slide shows and instant access photo library.

I still have to sort out details on color space. Prophoto RGB 16 bit from LR I think. I have to decide whether to shoot sRGB or Adobe RGB.
And do I shoot just NEFs - why would I want JPGs as well?

Richard

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 02:07 AM
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#24. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 23
Mon 11-Aug-08 02:08 AM by TXCiclista

Fort Worth, US
          

Usually the argument for saving the NEF is that if Nikon decides to introduce software in the future that somehow enhances the NEF format, you would be out of luck if you had not saved them.

As for the metadata that's lost, on newer cameras I think you'd lost Picture Control settings as well. I'm reasonably certain there's more data there too (I imagine distance to subject might be one of them). Of course, none of this is as important as sensor data, but so far I get the best results "out of the box" using NEF's in Capture (4,NX,NX2) and it's due in large part to the NEF metadata.

Here's my opinion regarding LR2+CS3 and NEF vs DNG (basically what I was arguing above): I don't know that DNG gives you any real advantage. If I understand LR2+CS3 correctly, LR hands the NEF off to CS3 and when you pass it back, the CS3 edits show up in LR. This was missing in LR and was then a strong argument in favor of DNG. Now, it's become less compelling.

Now, I have not used DNG much at all, so perhaps there's a speed increase or the data is embedded in the file (so a corrupt catalog doesn't leave you stranded) but I'm not aware of extra functionality in the DNG format. If anything, by using DNG and discarding the NEF file, you are forever giving up on the Nikon's Capture (including future versions that might support DNG). This is not a move I'm personally willing to make. or at least the advantages to such a move do not outweigh the disadvantages. Then again, I'm holding out that Nikon will cave at some future date and include DNG capabilities and I'll then be able to run all my NEF's through Capture and convert to DNG. That would be the best of both worlds of course...

Of course, that's all my opinion, but so is every other post by a Nikonian (except for those by Bill Claff who makes objective, data-driven posts. Since his name has been used in vain, perhaps he'll post here )

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Mon 11-Aug-08 02:45 AM
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#25. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 24


Colorado Springs, US
          

A simple thing that DNG does for you is that it creates embedded previews you that are visible in applications other than the maker of your raw converter. For example, if you edit your DNG's in Lightroom or ACR, you can see the results of those edits reflected in the thumbnails seen in other apps, including programs like PhotoMechanic, Expressions Media, etc. There are other advantages including the option for eliminating sidecar files.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 08:25 PM
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#33. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 25


Fort Worth, US
          

Ah, OK. I can see where that would be useful. Since I pretty much only use LR+CS3, the previews generated were adequate. I can defintely see how having the previews built-in with edits would be useful if you opened in a program other than LR, CS3 or NX.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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levesque09 Registered since 09th Feb 2007Mon 11-Aug-08 02:45 PM
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#27. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 24
Mon 11-Aug-08 03:38 PM by levesque09

Calgary, CA
          

>real advantage. If I understand LR2+CS3 correctly, LR hands
>the NEF off to CS3 and when you pass it back, the CS3 edits
>show up in LR. This was missing in LR and was then a strong

No, I don't think you understand correctly. You can use sidecars to pass information back and forth between LR & CS (or just use DNG I assume). I don't believe that is any different than it was it LR1. What IS new in LR2 is support for PSD files.

*edit*
And actually, why would you want to send a NEF to photoshop anyway? It can't manipulate it until it turns it into something else anyway. The ability to use PSD in LR2 is nice.

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 03:06 PM
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#29. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 24


Cheltenham, GB
          

>Usually the argument for saving the NEF is that if Nikon
>decides to introduce software in the future that somehow
>enhances the NEF format, you would be out of luck if you had
>not saved them.

I see the argument but I can't really see what more Nikon can do. It is just sensor data and metadata after all and the existing programs do pretty much anything you can imagine, if you have the time and patience.

>As for the metadata that's lost, on newer cameras I
>think you'd lost Picture Control settings as well. I'm
>reasonably certain there's more data there too

Yes you are right, but I don't change the Picture Control anyway. I always seem to have enough to worry about without changing the Picture Control in the camera. Now we have the new camera profiles with LR2, you cn just select any number of photos and then one click will change the Picture Control for all of them after the event.

>Here's my opinion regarding LR2+CS3 and NEF vs DNG (basically
>what I was arguing above): I don't know that DNG gives you any
>real advantage. If I understand LR2+CS3 correctly, LR hands
>the NEF off to CS3 and when you pass it back, the CS3 edits
>show up in LR.

No, it doesn't do that, any more than NX2 passing a file to CS3 can do it. CS3 creates a new file, either TIFF or PSD probably, in both cases.

The advantage DNG gives is that you don't get sidecar .XMP files, which can get lost. The changes are listed inside the DNG, just like NX2 stores its list inside the NEF. This brings LR2 up to the same level as NX2 in this regard.

You also get preview files stored in the DNG, and as I understand it these can be full size which makes viewing the contents of the file very fast, including in other programs.

I just don't find NX2 friendly and it is too slow, so yes, I'm happy to give up on it.

>I'm holding out that
>Nikon will cave at some future date and include DNG
>capabilities and I'll then be able to run all my NEF's through
>Capture and convert to DNG. That would be the best of both
>worlds of course...

It would indeed be good if Nikon and everyone else started making DNGs straight out of the camera. Perhaps it will happen, perhaps not. I can't see a D300 firmware upgrade for this being likely however! In the meantime the free Adobe converter can make DNGs from all current raw files.

Richard

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 08:32 PM
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#34. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 29


Fort Worth, US
          

>CS3 creates a new file, either TIFF or PSD
>probably, in both cases.

According to Adobe, it doesn't:
Lightroom can now open images directly in Photoshop without writing out TIFF or PSD files first.
Open files in Photoshop as a Smart Object: Utilize the non-destructive smart object workflow by opening the image as a smart object directly into a Photoshop document.



This sounds to me like CS3 does not make a TIFF or PSD but instead works on the file just as it would if you opened the NEF up directly. Saves are kept as a sidecar which LR can read.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I've just reinstalled my computer (I played where I wasn't supposed to) and have not put LR2b & CS3 back on.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 09:32 PM
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#35. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 34


Cheltenham, GB
          

Yes, you are a bit wrong, I'll try to clarify. What you said before was wrong - that the CS3 edits are stored in the NEF and can be viewed in LR2.

What Adobe says is correct - you can pass the data directly into CS3. But what they don't say is that the reverse doesn't happen so seamlessly.

As I said, you need to make a PSD or TIF from CS3. What has improved in LR2 is that the PSD can be viewed in LR2 - as can a TIF.

So in LR2, with a NEF, you can edit it straight into CS3, create a TIF or PSD, and then back in LR2 you will see the unchanged NEF and the new PSD or TIF.

The same is true if you have a DNG, but in that case you don't need an XMP file alongside it.

The smart object is another option, you can make a PSD with the unchanged sensor data in a layer, and adjustment layers etc above it. This won't be useful if you want to make major changes, but could be good for edits that can be done as layers above it. You can even get cleverer and have multiple layers with the original data in each... too much for me...



Richard

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Tue 12-Aug-08 01:01 AM
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#36. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 35


Fort Worth, US
          

Ahhhh. Gotcha. Thanks for the correction.

I'm curious about one thing you said:
"The same is true if you have a DNG, but in that case you don't need an XMP file alongside it."

Are you saying that if I convert to DNG in LR2, then open in CS3 and make edits, I still have to save a TIFF for changes to show up in LR2? Or will the CS3 edits be saved in the DNG itself and updated in LR2? If DNG still requires a TIFF or PSD, I'm back to thinking it's not so useful for my purposes.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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levesque09 Registered since 09th Feb 2007Tue 12-Aug-08 05:14 AM
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#37. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 36


Calgary, CA
          

Yes, editing a file in Photoshop requires it to be saved as a TIFF or a PSD.

Photoshop cannot manipulate raw files. That's why you need Lightroom or ACR or NX or any other raw converter you want to use before going to Photoshop.

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Tue 12-Aug-08 01:57 PM
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#38. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 37


Fort Worth, US
          

Ah. And I think I understand why, since PS edits can be varied and complex and might well be "beyond" what you might want the DNG to show (layers, masking, etc). That also raises my understanding of how LR & PS cooperate. I'm assuming that the changes you would want to be reflected in the DNG itself are meant to be made in Lightroom while "artistic" edits are meant for PS and could alter the original file to such a point that a second "after" file would be more desirable. Aside from the oversimplification in that statement, does that sound about right?

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Tue 12-Aug-08 02:38 PM
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#39. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 38


Clemmons, US
          

I would disagree with you on the characterizations.

Let's not complicate this. DNG is an open specification to package a camera raw image, metadata (both editing metadata and keywords, EXIF, etc.) along with a JPEG preview of the raw image (which possibly shows the application of the editing metadata also). Period, end of story. Nothing about "artistic" edits or any of that stuff. It's simply a raw file specification.

TIFF, PSD, etc. are other file specifications. They are RGB or CMYK pixel images, not raw files. You can put metadata in them as well.

As to what you want to show.......I would like for my raw file previews to show *all* possible edits. As raw processing gets more advanced, we can see the possibility of doing all editing in the raw files someday, not in pixel images. We are not there yet.

Best Regards,
Michael

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Wed 13-Aug-08 04:55 AM
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#41. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 39


Fort Worth, US
          

OK. makes sense.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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levesque09 Registered since 09th Feb 2007Tue 12-Aug-08 04:40 PM
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#40. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 38


Calgary, CA
          

It's more about the way the programs were designed, they do different things and use different paradigms.

Lightroom uses a non-destructive paradigm, it records a series of editing steps that are applied to the original file (which may or may not be raw) to come up with output when you want it - be that a file for printing or a file to edit in Photoshop.

Photoshop is a bitmap editor. When you change an image in photoshop the result is a new bitmap file, not the original + the command you used to change the image. If you change a file in photoshop and save it, you're not gonna get back to the original - it's gone. In Lightroom you can always get back to the original.

Photoshop is generally used to do more extreme edits but the requirement for a different format is just inherent in the way the two programs are written, not a desire for a second copy.

  

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TXCiclista Registered since 15th May 2006Wed 13-Aug-08 04:56 AM
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#42. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 40


Fort Worth, US
          

Gotcha. It all makes sense now.

-----
This is my Nikon. There are many like it, but this one is mine!

  

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pcspecialist Registered since 18th Mar 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 04:54 AM
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#26. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 23


Portland, US
          

>>>What isn't there.
Focus mode, i.e. AF-C vs AF-S.
Flash bias and flash bracket compensation.
Noise reduction ON/OFF
Lens e.g. 16-85.<<<

I just checked one of my DNGs and it has Lens: 17.0-55.0 mm f/2.8. This is in Lightroom 2.0 and I'm fairly certain Lightroom 1.x had the lens information with DNGs also because I do remember using PTLens on a converted file without manually inputting any lens information.

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 02:50 PM
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#28. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 26
Mon 11-Aug-08 03:11 PM by rbeal

Cheltenham, GB
          

Yes you are correct - DNG does include the lens used. It just didn't show up in the program I was using to look at it.
Thanks for correcting me on this, it makes me see even less reason to preserve the NEF file.

Added: It also has the serial number of the camera and the firmware version number.

Richard

  

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melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Mon 11-Aug-08 03:06 PM
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#30. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 28
Mon 11-Aug-08 03:07 PM by melindapfeiffer

Raleigh, US
          

The level of detail and passion in these posts is breathtaking!

OK, my question is now this:

If I understand it correctly, LR is good for batch processing (if you needed to tweak individual files on a pixel level, you would have to move the file(s) to CS3 for individual processing). I wonder if you could still do batch processing in LR and then move the files for individual tweaking to Capture NX instead and still retain picture control settings and etc.? Or would it be too late at that point?

My thing is, I just don't have a lot of time or proclivity for post processing. I am an amateur photographer who wants the best out of my shots without taking up too much of my precious time (again, 3 kids and a full-time job really suck the time up).

So whaddya think about that idea?

Thanks again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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rbeal Registered since 16th Aug 2006Mon 11-Aug-08 03:25 PM
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#31. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 30


Cheltenham, GB
          

>If I understand it correctly, LR is good for batch processing
>(if you needed to tweak individual files on a pixel level, you
>would have to move the file(s) to CS3 for individual
>processing). I wonder if you could still do batch processing
>in LR and then move the files for individual tweaking to
>Capture NX instead and still retain picture control settings
>and etc.? Or would it be too late at that point?

That won't work becuae NX2 and LR2 store their lists of changes in different places. You definitely need to choose NX2 or LR2 and not use both.

When you tweak pixels you generally need CS3 regardless of whether you use NX2 or LR2, neither of those program allow more than limited changes. When people refer to tweaking they normally mean changes to the whole photo, like sharpening, contrast, colours etc. That is what NX2 and LR2 do.

>My thing is, I just don't have a lot of time or proclivity for
>post processing. I am an amateur photographer who wants the
>best out of my shots without taking up too much of my precious
>time (again, 3 kids and a full-time job really suck the time
>up).

If you don't have time for post processing then perhaps you should reconsider why you are thinking of shooting raw format at all? You might find life easier if you took the highest quality JPGs (fine, large, optimise quality over size). Then you just get good results with no messing around at all. I can assure you that provided you don't keep loading, editing and saving JPGs several times, they provide really good quality results. Not quite as good as the potential that raw offers, but very likely more than good enough for you. You can still use CS3 to change any that particularly need it.

The problem is that enthusiasts (me included) go crazier and crazier over all this stuff and you need to decide if you really need to get into all this!

Richard

  

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melindapfeiffer Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jun 2008Mon 11-Aug-08 05:26 PM
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#32. "RE: Who here uses DNG and what do you think?"
In response to Reply # 31


Raleigh, US
          

Thanks, Richard, for keeping me honest.

Maybe, since I am firmly in the amateur ranks, I should be working on my PHOTOGRAPHY first and foremost, getting all images as correct as can be in the camera (thus shooting in JPG). If at some point I start to do some professional jobs, I can then work in RAW.

I have been sort of going nuts with all this....so thanks for your input.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Melinda

Visit my Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/181777/cat/500

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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mdirvin Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2006Tue 19-Aug-08 01:41 PM
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#43. "Think Minolta 7D"
In response to Reply # 0


Crossville, US
          

I started shooting digital using a Minolta 7D. I used it for 2 years saving everything as RAW. So now what happens, MInolta has gone away, and all these files are still here. I have converted everything to DNG, but that is the dilemma. Its not just a question of if the camera manufacture remains solvent, but since each sensor used in the different camera bodies has its own unique NEF file. I can't imagine after a period of a decade or two of sensor changes that support for older sensors will not be dropped along the way. It seems to me that maintaing all that backward compatibility would become mind boggling at some point. Right now as I see it the only option is to use an open standard file format, and DNG is the only RAW one available. Everything could be converted to 16 bit Tiff's, but the storage penalty would be great. The only real solution is as a previous poster mentioned is to "Make a Print". After all we are still able to view images from 100 years ago. I'm not sure 100 years from now our great, great grandchildren will be able to say the same.

  

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jrmwash Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Mar 2004Wed 20-Aug-08 05:44 PM
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#44. "RE: Think Minolta 7D"
In response to Reply # 43


Seattle, US
          

I can't speak on the Minolta issue, but for Nikon and Canon it doesn't seem necessary. In the highly unlikely event that Nikon or Canon go away there will still be millions of users out there with RAW files for sensors all the way back to D100. Some enterprising person is going to see a way to make a few dollars by building a converter. If not, I can still convert to DNG the day after Nikon goes out of business.

Jim

  

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mdirvin Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2006Wed 20-Aug-08 06:17 PM
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#45. "RE: Think Minolta 7D"
In response to Reply # 44


Crossville, US
          

The camera manufacture does not have to go away, they just have to change the sensor. Each combination of sensor, and firmware in each camera has its own unique proprietary RAW file format. A D40, D70, D80, D2Xs, D1H, D100, D3 etc. That is why when a new camera is introduced its takes awhile before the software from the various imaging programs will work with that model. So ten to twenty years from now how many of these programs will still be supporting a D1H, or D200 NEF file format?? Not to mention 50 to 100 years from now. With even the few short years the digital has been around this has to be a nightmare for both the aftermarket software co's, but the camera manufactures themselves.

That is the reason many states, and some country's are requiring all documents be stored in open source file formats. People are starting to recognize the fact that many of these proprietary file formats will not be supported forever.



Mike

  

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sorin Registered since 06th Sep 2007Wed 20-Aug-08 06:30 PM
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#46. "RE: Think Minolta 7D"
In response to Reply # 43


RO
          

> Right now as I see it the only
>option is to use an open standard file format, and DNG is the
>only RAW one available. Everything could be converted to 16
>bit Tiff's, but the storage penalty would be great.

the file size isn't the problem

tiff = linear dng. none of them is raw. so you either store the bayer pattern as raw dng but you leave the target application to demosaic that pattern (if it knows how to do that) or use linear dng which isn't raw anymore

read the whole thread. there is no universal raw format that any software can easily read. actually the whole ACR idea and all raw converters on the market are hacks based or inspired by the free opensource dcraw. nikon or canon or the others don't provide developers with technical details of their raw formats so they could write compatible converters. read adobe's forums, about adobe's dng converter lack of public source code to avoid legal issues or dave coffin's interview on dpreview.

  

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