"Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?"
Lightroom import has a convert feature which I am dubious to use as I don't know any other software that will read or decode that format. I have no Idea what it is or why I would use it. I shoot mainly JPG and some RAW. I will shoot more RAW as I get up to speed with LR4 (hopefully)
#1. "RE: Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 12-Jan-13 05:01 PM by esantos
Some years ago Adobe decided to create the DNG (digital negative) raw format to address the proliferation of proprietary raw image file formats that are camera model specific. The purpose of DNG is to promote the use of a standard universal raw format in raw converters and camera models. The idea has not fully taken hold yet - and no one seems to know if it ever will. There are no apparent issues with converting your NEFs to DNG and if you do this Adobe claims you are building into your process workflow a hedge against obsolescence of the NEFs you are holding now since there is no guarantee that there will be a way to read them in the future. If you do decide to convert to DNG just make sure you keep your original NEF files intact and in their original form just in case.
#2. "RE: Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?" In response to Reply # 1
It is something I do about once a year as another extra way of backing up all my pictures and edits. So I export to DNG with the orignal NEF included within the DNG file. It adds a little on the file size but for my backup strategy it makes sense. And once the complete DNG collection is generated I burn it to multiple Blu-Ray disks.
#3. "RE: Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?" In response to Reply # 0
If you do a search on the forum, you'll find that this is a pretty contentious issue. There are some folks who are militant about abolishing proprietary formats, and by and large those folks convert to DNG. Some folks figure that even if Nikon drops support for .NEF format files, it will be years if not decades before most software drops support for them, and there will be plenty of time to do the conversion if that should happen. (As an example, Photoshop still supports a whole variety of formats that haven't been actively developed in over a decade - and that's just the ones it can create!)
Personally, I fall into the latter category. I feed my NEF files to Lightroom and leave it at that. I can detect absolutely no reason at all to convert files to DNG, although I have no particular reason not to do it either, other than the lack of any compelling reason to do so.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#6. "RE: Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?" In response to Reply # 0 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:48 PM by craigcullum
Prior to me using a D800, I never saw the need to use DNG or render previews in Lightroom during import. I use my Macbook Air on the road and never had any performance issues, Then the D800 came into my life and caused all kinds of problems. Photos were very slow to preview, to zoom into and to edit so I started to use DNG. Once I switched to DNG, and rendered standard previews I found performance improved dramatically within Lightroom.
There are benefits to converting to DNG as opposed to RAW;
1. Smaller file sizes - If you shoot with something like a D800, the RAW files sizes are around a whopping 50MB, converting to DNG can reduce the file size by 20% or so. This saving adds up pretty quickly.
2. Embedded XMP Sidecar - If you transfer your images between computers or email them to others, DNG has the benefit that you do not need to send two files, the RAW and XMP file but just send the DNG which embeds the XMP. The XMP file stores all of your Lightroom edits.
3. Multicore tiling - Changes to the architecture of the DNG files, DNG's now allow whats called multicore tiling. In essence, the compression/decompression of the DNG can be done in parallel across multiple CPU cores giving better performance during reading and writing.
4. Fast load data - The DNG can include fast load data. Fast-load data helps speed up Lightroom in the develop module where photographers can edit the photos. With fast-load-enabled DNGs, Lightroom 4 essentially gets a miniature version of the raw photo that's easier to process.
The downside is, you have to wait for it to convert, that's why I use Photo Mechanic to preview my images and do basic rating. Then once I'm happy transfer my images to Lightroom and convert to DNG and render standard previews. As i've viewed my images I don't care if this takes an hour.
#7. "RE: Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?" In response to Reply # 6
New York, US
Interesting. With my D800e files I have not noticed a difference except for the time to render the previews. That's on a one-generation-old MBP. I'm taking my AIr on vacation next month and I'll see how it behaves.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
#8. "RE: Do any of you Lightroom 4 users convert your files to DNG and why?" In response to Reply # 7
I was surprised, but I did also change two variables at the same time and wasn't too scientific. I switched to DNG and started to render standard previews at import.
You may find that just rendering the previews is enough, without needing to convert. But that said, improving rendering speed at 1:1 is pretty important to me also. The other thing I changed while I think about it was, I now only do basic editing in Lightroom, the rest in Photoshop as Photoshop performance on my Air is much faster. The only thing I do in Lightroom is White Balance, Exposure/Shadow/Highlights etc, Clarity, Contrast and Tone Curves.
As you can see I wasn't too scientific but I did find slider response had improved using DNG.
The other big factor I found was, if my air was plugged in you get much better performance because of the Mac will only use Turbo Boost when plugged in.