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karma1248 Registered since 10th Sep 2012Fri 12-Oct-12 01:50 PM
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"DNG Implications"
Fri 12-Oct-12 02:09 PM by karma1248

Los Alamos, US
          

HI All,
I recently decided to get serious and learn Lightroom 4.2. I bought Scott Kelby's book. Early in the book he makes a strong case for standardizing on the DNG file format. This bothers me to a certain extent but I can also see a logic to Kelby's argument.

Much seems to have been written about DNG's value as an archiving tool. I definitely understand this argument. For an archivist, having a file format that spans all applications, is stable and can be used far into the future is very important. It makes the archivists life easier. But archiving and image processing are two different problems.

I apologize if this subject has been beaten to death here. I did a search and did not come up with much. So, I decided to ask you the following questions:

1. Do you use DNG?
2. Once your files are converted to DNG, do you ever have a need to return to a "normal" file type? Why?
3. Do you find advantages to using DNG? What?
4. Have you discovered disadvantages? What?
5. What are the pluses and minuses relative to your workflows?
6. Am I asking the right questions?

Once an image file is converted to DNG, I believe that Nikon software becomes useless. For example, Nikon view and Capture cannot handle DNG's if I'm not mistaken.

Up to now I always move image files into Photoshop for all further processing. I use Bridge for all archiving and browsing work. I plan to move to Lightroom once I learn a little. But, I also have been experimenting with View and Capture and like many of the features. But, again, it seems that I would be stuck with Photoshop (and Lightroom) once a file has been converted to DNG. Is this right?

So, in spite of Kelby's admonitions, I'm reluctant to move to DNG.

So, what say you? I'd very much like to hear your ideas.

Thanks Very Much,

Sparky

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: DNG Implications
quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional.
12th Oct 2012
1
Reply message RE: DNG Implications
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas
12th Oct 2012
2
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Gamecocks Silver Member
13th Oct 2012
3
Reply message RE: DNG Implications
R Neil
13th Oct 2012
4
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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional.
14th Oct 2012
6
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gkaiseril Gold Member
15th Oct 2012
11
Reply message RE: DNG Implications
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas
14th Oct 2012
8
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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows.
14th Oct 2012
5
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JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography
14th Oct 2012
7
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karma1248
14th Oct 2012
9
     Reply message RE: DNG Implications
karma1248
15th Oct 2012
10
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teavenson Gold Member
21st Oct 2012
12
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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional.
22nd Oct 2012
14
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Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional.
23rd Oct 2012
15
               Reply message RE: DNG Implications
quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional.
23rd Oct 2012
16
                    Reply message RE: DNG Implications
Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional.
24th Oct 2012
17
     Reply message RE: DNG Implications
Luke_Miller Silver Member
22nd Oct 2012
13

quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Fri 12-Oct-12 02:08 PM
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#1. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 0


Toronto, CA
          

You will a number of these discussions in the forum archives.

Here is my take ...

  • I don't convert to DNG
  • each conversion has a potential for loss or damage to data (what if a bug gets introduced in the conversion? and you discard your original file)
  • it takes time to convert
  • what other applications process DNG? that don't process NEF? many want TIFF or something like that
  • if NEF died sometime in the future, I can bulk convert to DNG at that point, if that is the right answer (using the DNG converter)
  • there ARE nikon programs that only process NEF -- what if you wanted to try one in the future?
  • there seem to be no immediate advantages

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 12-Oct-12 03:22 PM
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#2. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I see no reason at all to convert to DNG. I don't convert my NEF files and I intend not to do so, except on an individual as-needed basis.

The main argument is that a standard file format will survive the end of support, particularly if the proprietary format is hidden. But most of them aren't, and certainly there are plenty of ways to convert the format that's important to me - NEF. Even if Nikon stopped supporting NEF, I'd consider converting them at such time, rather than hassle with it now.

As far as I'm concerned, it ain't broke, I ain't fixing it.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Gamecocks Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jul 2010Sat 13-Oct-12 11:24 PM
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#3. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 0


Joanna, US
          

Hi Sparky,

As mentioned by others, you can always convert your raw files at a later date. If you decide to copy as DNG it can easily double the time it takes to complete an import. Martin Evening suggests that for all card imports you use "copy" and use "Add" or "Move" for folder imports.

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

  

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R Neil Registered since 30th Aug 2012Sat 13-Oct-12 11:38 PM
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#4. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

The one thing not touched on here is something most photogs DON'T think about ... verification.

Although one of the replyers mentions the possibility of a 'bug' being introduced in the process of converting to DNG, no one has mentioned the far-more-likely prospect of an image file being damaged through disk problems, bad connector cords, or yes, "bugs" in the machine.

To me, the one clear advantage in conversion to DNG is the way you can get a "hash" of each file on conversion. Some back-up and verification software can be run on occasion, which will go into and check the on-file "hash" versus the file as-is, and can report immediately IF there is/are damaged file/s.

So ... you would know right away if there's a problem and could take steps to rectify the problem. And also you would know that you need to access your backup files to replace damaged images. Both ... at that moment ... quite useful and needed activities.

In my experience, most photographers do not do the above ... until of course, well ... and at that point, it ain't pretty.

So for all the hyperbole about the cool features of DNG, it's main usefulness is a safety-feature that not hardly anyone uses.

Oh ... and you can tell Lr to update the stored-thumbnail/previews to the current 'recipe', which is also handy. That way, even looking at an image in a basic file-manager, you'll see it as it's going to appear in Lr. Or as it would if you "exported" an image for printing or web use. Relatively minor but handy at times ...

Neil

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Sun 14-Oct-12 03:20 AM
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#6. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 4


Toronto, CA
          

Re damage due to BUG or H/W or O/S etc ...

In 40 years of using computers, I have had one system that had a SAN disk sub-system that basically had a bug and damaged file contents.

I have NEVER had files damaged by anything else other than application bugs. I would be MUCH more afraid of the conversion than anything else. If you want checksums on files, you can get a subsystem to do that if you like, don't have to do a file-content conversion.

That said, I only know of one case of a bug in DNG conversion, but I only know it occurred, I don't know what if any actual damage was done. If the bit-content is retained, then it can probably be recovered, so if you really want to use it, I would go ahead.

I don't see myself using it for all the reasons I indicated earlier.

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Mon 15-Oct-12 03:30 PM
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#11. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 6


Chicago, US
          

Nikon Transfer has had bugs that have rendered transfered images useless. The current standalone version and Nikon Transfer 6.2.5W and Nikon Trnasfer 6.2.7W.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 14-Oct-12 04:23 AM
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#8. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 4


Richmond, US
          

No reason to use DNG. My files are always checksummed on every block access. Both primary copy and the off-site replica.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Sun 14-Oct-12 12:35 AM
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#5. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 14-Oct-12 12:36 AM by pdekman

Swisher, US
          

I don't use DNG, but it does have some features that make a difference to workflow. Profile creation, edit storage, fast-load, etc. I would base your assessment on whether DNG makes your image processing easier every day than any concern over archives and open formats.

Paul
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Sun 14-Oct-12 03:37 AM
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#7. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 0


New York, US
          

DNG doesn't provide any benefits for me. Support for the NEF format isn't disappearing anytime soon; and if it ever does I'll deal with it then.

So I don't bother to convert.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

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karma1248 Registered since 10th Sep 2012Sun 14-Oct-12 05:05 AM
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#9. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 7
Sun 14-Oct-12 05:11 AM by karma1248

Los Alamos, US
          

HI All,
Your responses more or less agree with my misgivings. However, I will have to observe that until something is tried it's hard to determine its ultimate value. I'm not saying that we should beat our heads against a wall to find out how much it hurts. No. But often new techniques come along with benefits that are hard to determine from the surface view.

I respect Scott Kelby and when he offers an opinion I usually listen. I don't necessarily follow but I do listen.

I very much would like to hear from some users of DNG's and get a report on their results especially concerning workflow and the appearance of the files.

I am surprised that so far no one is using DNG's. Based on this very limited statistical sample, I would have to say that Adobe has a very hard sales job ahead of them.

Sparky

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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karma1248 Registered since 10th Sep 2012Mon 15-Oct-12 03:19 PM
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#10. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 9
Mon 15-Oct-12 03:30 PM by karma1248

Los Alamos, US
          

HI All,
Last night I saw for the first time the DNG post further down the page. I hate it when people do what I just did. Namely duplicating a post that is already there and has a lot of activity. I screwed up. Everybody should forget about this post and go to the other one titled "Lightroom work flow and a few questions on PSD" started by ajstark123.

My only defense is "DNG" did not appear in the post title. I'm sorry.

Sparky

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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teavenson Gold Member Nikonian since 30th Jun 2006Sun 21-Oct-12 02:03 PM
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#12. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 9


Covina, US
          

I have been using DNG format for years and had no problems at all. The main reason I use it is that you only have one file to keep up with instead of both a XMP file along with the NEF file. I have not seen any quality issues or size issues. The DNG transfers to Photoshop when needed without any problem and opens in ACR if wanted when sending as a Smart Object. Keeping up with a single file is just easier.

Tom


Tom Eavenson
Covina,CA

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Mon 22-Oct-12 04:17 AM
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#14. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 12
Mon 22-Oct-12 04:18 AM by quenton8

Toronto, CA
          

>I have been using DNG format for years and had no problems at
>all. The main reason I use it is that you only have one file
>to keep up with instead of both a XMP file along with the NEF
>file. I have not seen any quality issues or size issues. The
>DNG transfers to Photoshop when needed without any problem and
>opens in ACR if wanted when sending as a Smart Object. Keeping
>up with a single file is just easier.

There is no question that DNG is well supported by Adobe (as it should, its their's).

I don't use XMP files, I just keep the edit information in the Catalog's database, which is backed up every day if I use LR that day. I don't see the advantage of writing the data to a second place. If I export, I can include the editing in various ways.

If I DID use XMP files, I would actually prefer they be separate, less chance of damaged to the main photo file if something nasty happens while the edit information is being updated (e.g. USB wire comes out -- did that, power fails, ...). BUT, I have never lost a file on my PC due to that, so that's not a really bit argument I guess.


>
>Tom
>
>
>Tom Eavenson
>Covina,CA

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009Tue 23-Oct-12 07:40 AM
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#15. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 14


Vantaa, FI
          

> “I don't use XMP files, I just keep the edit information in the Catalog's database, which is backed up every day if I use LR that day. I don't see the advantage of writing the data to a second place. If I export, I can include the editing in various ways.”

Dennis,

While I am quoting your post, mine is not directed to you but to the overall view that the sidecar XMP file is nothing else than an added nuisance. I’ve seen two cases where the XMP file has definite advantages:

1. Whenever I import raw files, I back them up on an external drive. If I converted them to DNG (which I don’t), and I wanted to back up the edited DNG files, I’d have to back up all the raw data contained in the DNG files, because there’s no way to back up just the header information where the edits are. With original raw files and XMP sidecars, when I’ve edited the pictures with Lightroom, all I have to back up is the XMP sidecars. Also, if I wanted to work on the raw files on two computers, such as editing the images on a main computer and ranking/keywording on a laptop, all that’s needed is transferring the XMP files.

2. On one occasion I noticed that I had accidentally deleted a significant portion of my keywords from my LR catalog. Apparently I had accidentally deleted “Europe” and all keywords in it, from my catalog. For a European, it’s a disaster. I went back to a backup catalog that was a few weeks old and re-imported all the image files. The old catalog didn’t store the most recent edits but the XMP sidecars did.

Regards, Antero

  

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quenton8 Silver Member Awarded for bringing his experience to the Nikonians community helping members with printing and the use of post-processing software from the perspective of an IT professional. Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Tue 23-Oct-12 09:31 PM
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#16. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 15


Toronto, CA
          

>> “I don't use XMP files, I just keep the edit information
>in the Catalog's database, which is backed up every day if I
>use LR that day. I don't see the advantage of writing the data
>to a second place. If I export, I can include the editing in
>various ways.”
>
>Dennis,
>
>While I am quoting your post, mine is not directed to you but
>to the overall view that the sidecar XMP file is nothing else
>than an added nuisance. I’ve seen two cases where the XMP file
>has definite advantages:
>
>1. Whenever I import raw files, I back them up on an external
>drive. If I converted them to DNG (which I don’t), and I
>wanted to back up the edited DNG files, I’d have to back up
>all the raw data contained in the DNG files, because there’s
>no way to back up just the header information where the edits
>are. With original raw files and XMP sidecars, when I’ve
>edited the pictures with Lightroom, all I have to back up is
>the XMP sidecars. Also, if I wanted to work on the raw files
>on two computers, such as editing the images on a main
>computer and ranking/keywording on a laptop, all that’s needed
>is transferring the XMP files.
>
>2. On one occasion I noticed that I had accidentally deleted a
>significant portion of my keywords from my LR catalog.
>Apparently I had accidentally deleted “Europe” and all
>keywords in it, from my catalog. For a European, it’s a
>disaster. I went back to a backup catalog that was a few weeks
>old and re-imported all the image files. The old catalog
>didn’t store the most recent edits but the XMP sidecars did.
>
>Regards, Antero
>
I agree with your #1 -- if you want to work on the files from two different LR's or ACR's -- the XMP will carry the edits nicely.

The second point you can ague all kinds of things -- recovery would depend on when you last updated the XMP's. You might also aruge that if you backed up the catalog every time you exited LR that you would have a better backup too. You could also say "look going to CS6 is great because I was able to recover my edits at the TIFF point"! Lots of things might let you recover something.

----
Dennis Smith.

  

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Antero52 Silver Member Awarded for his expertise in post-processing, being  consistently helpful and professional. Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009Wed 24-Oct-12 08:01 AM
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#17. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 16
Wed 24-Oct-12 08:05 AM by Antero52

Vantaa, FI
          

>”You might also argue that if you backed up the catalog every time you exited LR that you would have a better backup too.”

That’s exactly what I do. But what I don’t know is how backups can discriminate between a user’s deliberate acts and his accidental mistakes. If I edit an image, the backup function is supposed to back up all the changes I make. Similarly, if I accidentally delete part of my keyword hierarchy, how can the backup function know that it was a mistake which shouldn’t be backed up? And if I only realize several weeks later that a part of my keyword hierarchy is gone, what should I do? Go back to yesterday’s backup? It has the same keyword problem and today’s edits are gone. Go back to last week’s backup? It has the same keyword problem and all of this week’s edits are gone. There’s simply no way any single backup, or even multiple copies of a backup, can offer full security against user mistakes that go undetected for several weeks. What I did instead was combine a sufficiently old backup wherein the keyword hierarchy was intact and re-import images (raw files) and edits (from the XMP files) that were newer than the backup which I returned to.

Is this off-topic, the topic being “DNG implications”? I don’t think so because one of the benefits attributed to DNG was elimination of the sidecar XMP file.

And why did I lose my “Europe” keyword and all keywords in it? This has nothing to with the DNG vs. NEF/XMP issue but it may be useful information for LR users. Formerly I thought that it was needless replication for LR to export complete keyword hierarchies, such as “Places > Europe > Finland > Archipelago > Island_xyz”, and for self-explanatory keywords, wherein the upper part of the hierarchy isn’t necessary, I unchecked “export containing keywords”. For images that are merely exported from LR and not seen again by LR, it suffices to begin the keyword list from Europe (or Finland). There’s no need for a JPG image to explain that Europe is in Places. But when I send a bracketed series of photos from LR to Photomatix and Photomatix returns the resultant HDR-processed TIF file, that TIF file only has “Europe > Finland > Archipelago > Island_xyz” and LR doesn’t know that “Europe” (as the top-level keyword of the TIF file) is the same Europe that’s already under Places” in LR’s keyword hierarchy. LR thus creates a new hierarchy starting from “Europe” as its top-level keyword. Before I realized why this would happen, I merely deleted the Europe keyword that was not under “Places”. But obviously on one occasion I had accidentally deleted “Europe” from “Places”. And when you’re done keywording after a vacation, and you’re in the edit/adjustment phase, it’s not immediately obvious that you’ve deleted the wrong “Europe”.

Regards, Antero

  

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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Mon 22-Oct-12 03:32 AM
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#13. "RE: DNG Implications"
In response to Reply # 9


Rural Virginia, US
          

>I am surprised that so far no one is using DNG's. Based on
>this very limited statistical sample, I would have to say that
>Adobe has a very hard sales job ahead of them.

I use DNGs since two of my bodies use DNG as their raw format. They happily coexist with my NEFs.

Places We Have Been

www.peppermill-multimedia.com

  

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