Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising

After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?

Ronald Lee

Vancouver, CA
15 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
Ronald Lee Registered since 10th Aug 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 04:57 PM

Hi there,

A quick poll to the group: after you shoot, when you post process your images, say using Lightroom or Photoshop, do you convert to DNG or keep the file in Nikon's NEF format? And are you saving/archiving the NEF files or deleting them after you convert them?

Today, it seems its adventageous to process in DNG but do you think there may be reasons to stay in NEF or keep it in the future, say Nikon releases some somewhere that can do something DNG can't?

For the type of work I do (mostly online and some editorial print) either would be fine.

Advantages of DNG:
*smaller file size, but lossLESS compression.
*no sidecar file.
*widely usable and read
*smaller size means faster editing.
*native to Adobe, and since I work in LR and PS....

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

JonK

New York, US
6330 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#1. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 0

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004
Mon 03-Sep-12 03:55 PM

Hmm. Let's look at your list:

• Size doesn't matter. Really. Not even with my D800e.
• There's no sidecar in LR unless you specify one to be written (good insurance!)
• Every major app reads most proprietary formats these days.
• I don't find this an issue, even for large shoots ingest or export.
• LR is my darkroom and Photoshop is always launched.

DNG does not give me any benefit, it's just an addition step. So I don't convert.

If at some time in the future — and I don't think it will happen in my lifetime — NEF disappears, I'll convert everything then.

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

Ronald Lee

Vancouver, CA
15 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#2. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 1

Ronald Lee Registered since 10th Aug 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 07:55 PM

Hi Jon, thanks for your reply.

Regarding: "There's no sidecar in LR unless you specify one to be written (good insurance!)"

Are you saying that LR can save the XMP sidecar file in the actual RAW NEF file? Can you share how to do it? Or that LR's saves the XMP in the catalog file so there is no side car (which would be a problem IF I ever open a file straight in photoshop.

I literally started learning LR two days ago.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

PAStime

Kingston, CA
2823 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#3. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 0

PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009
Mon 03-Sep-12 09:38 PM


>A quick poll to the group: after you shoot, when you post
>process your images, say using Lightroom or Photoshop, do you
>convert to DNG or keep the file in Nikon's NEF format?

Keep as a NEF. But I am currently studying this topic so may change my workflow...

>Advantages of DNG:
>*smaller file size, but lossLESS compression.

Not sure what you mean "but lossLESS compression". Lossless would be preferable if one wanted utmost image fidelity.

Having said that, I don't think the compression in NEFs nor DNGs is anything to be concerned about. I believe there are options for each for the compression to be without any loss.

Peter

Ronald Lee

Vancouver, CA
15 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#4. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 3

Ronald Lee Registered since 10th Aug 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 09:59 PM

Yes, the conversion from NEF to DNG is loseless (according to Adobe) so you get a smaller file size WITHOUT losing any information/quality.

To be honest, I'm skeptical about what they ARE throwing out of the NEF, if its information that we may use or need. Or, perhaps the DNG is everything we need for anything we made do/printing/online. I did a poll with a few pro-photogs in my area and it seems most are going DNG and deleting the RAW.

Adobe also says faster loading and processing, which is true at the moment.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

JonK

New York, US
6330 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 0

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004
Mon 03-Sep-12 11:06 PM

Normally image adjustments are stored in the catalog. In addition, you can specify that Lightroom also write a sidecar file (Catalog Settings > Metadata > Checkbox: Automatically write changes into XMP)

Many people use only the Catalog protocol. But using another application — say, Photoshop — to open up a Lightroom-adjusted NEF won't see those adjustments. With the XMP sidecar files, the adjustments are seen by Photoshop (and other apps that read XMP).

There is another advantage to sidecars. For safety — in case the Catalog ever corrupts — Lightroom urges you to allow it to back up the Catalog. With the sidecars, you have an added level of safety — if the catalog(s) are wiped out, you still have the adjustments in the sidecars.

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

R Neil

US
13 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#6. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 0

R Neil Registered since 30th Aug 2012
Wed 12-Sep-12 12:00 AM

There is another reason to convert to DNG ... as pointed out by Peter Krogh in his seminal work "The DAM Book" and discussed over on the forum he has about Digital Asset Management. And that is one of simple ease of security checking.

On creation of the dng, one can get a 'hash' (I think I remember that right) of the file. There is software that can check hashes on record against the files without your actually needing to LOOK at the image file, and tell if the file is still good or corrupted. It's not an 'easy' thing to set up, but is doable. Whole drives can be scanned automatically by software to determine any "corrupt" files.

There is no other file format that offers this checkable security. When you've got several t-bytes of professional files as I do, that is starting to look attractive.

Neil

gkaiseril

Chicago, US
6739 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 6

gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Wed 12-Sep-12 02:19 PM

Nikon offers an image authentication software and hardware which can work with the higher end dSLRs and verify that an original image is unchanged. So if you have a backup of to unedited images, then you can use this software and hardware at a later date to show that your original unedited image's date taken has not been modified and prove your ownership and creation date.

It is possible to hack and modify any code data within an image. So this internal check might work against some, a skilled programmer could modify it in an undetectable way. It is harder to hack for outside software and hardware.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

Ronald Lee

Vancouver, CA
15 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#8. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 7

Ronald Lee Registered since 10th Aug 2012
Wed 12-Sep-12 05:08 PM

One of the local pro instructors in the area suggests staying in the native camera raw format for another reason.

Shes seen third party software/standards come and go and feels the safest way to preserve images for the future is to stay in NEF.

And space wise...with storage space so cheap, there's not really a reason not to work in NEF today.

I think the idea of NOT having a sidecar to be better, DNG's save the adjustments in the actual file itself, but I'm swaying more towards staying in NEF now that I've heard feedback from a number of people.

gkaiseril

Chicago, US
6739 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#9. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 8

gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Wed 12-Sep-12 07:18 PM

Adobe has offered the DNG format to the ISO just like they did with the PDF format. But that does not mean that the ISO will take it on as a 'universal" type RAW format. And even if it were to become an ISO standard there could still be significant variations within the format.

I think keeping the original format is the best until it appears that that format will no longer be supported and at that point then look at what is available and make a decision at that time. I would still keep a copy of the original file. This has already happened with the Kodak Photo CD format long before Kodaks current problems.

George
My Nikonian Galleries

kj_fi

Vantaa, FI
326 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#10. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 9

kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007
Mon 17-Sep-12 05:28 AM

Hi,

I'd like to add that having an ISO (or any other) standard does not guarantee that there will be software in future to support the format, especially if the standard evolves. There are many standards which are only partially supported in software (e.g., HTML).

Sure, one could take the standard and write code to open images stored in unsupported format but that would be a huge task. Writing code solely from a standard specification can be very hard. There are often interpretation issues.

I also would not like to throw away anything in the original which may become available later. And it should be possible to convert to DNG later, if necessary.

Best regards,
Kari

_udo_

Rockwood, CA
200 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#11. "RE: After you shoot: Do you convert from NEF to DNG? Or keep in NEF?" | In response to Reply # 0

_udo_ Registered since 18th Oct 2007
Sun 04-Nov-12 03:23 PM

I do not convert to DNG.

NEF is the original, DNG is a copy. I like to keep the original.

To put it in a nutshell: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Udo
Visit my Gallery

G