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D800e NEF Files Converted to Lossy DNG

dennishhh

Boston, US
13 posts

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dennishhh Registered since 22nd Sep 2012
Tue 09-Oct-12 04:28 PM

I just started using my new D800e for commercial jobs last week. The biggest drawback that I can see is the demands of processing the files. I use lightroom for all my processing and then finish off the files in Photoshop for delivery to clients. The D800 files are incredible and well worth the wait. I read that Adobe was putting extensive work into its lossy DNG format so I decided to give it a try even though normally I would never even consider it. I started by converting 119 files to Lossy DNG and was surprised by the actual difference in file size.

119 NEF files 4.77 gigs of space 40mb ea
119 DNG files 1.27 gigs of space 8mb ea

What I was even more surprised about was the actual quality of the file. I tested 4 images side-by-side and couldn't see any real difference between the two files except maybe a slight color shift. The real difference was my machine now acted and performed the same way it did for Canon 21mpx files. Iv'e changed my workflow now by making two directories, one directory for the original NEF's and one for the Lossy DNG's. I only import the DNG's to start with and do my basic edits on these files which is extremely fast. I then save my editing as a preset and import only final files that I need in NEF format. To tell you the truth it's difficult to tell which files are better. According to Adobe there's more dynamic range available in the original files. This approach has greatly increased the speed of my workflow so I thought I'd share it with you. Would love to hear from other D800 users what their opinion of the smaller files is!

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