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Thread: Raw vs DNG

  1. #1
    Markvetnz's Avatar
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    Raw vs DNG

    Can somebody please tell me the benefits of converting to DNG? Is this a worthwhile step in the process of importing photos from the camera into Bridge?
    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Raw vs DNG

    Quote Originally Posted by Markvetnz View Post
    Can somebody please tell me the benefits of converting to DNG?
    Hi Mark. The main benefit is that DNG is supposedly an open standard and, in theory at least, will be around for decades to come - while instead your camera's proprietary raw format may disappear, should the manufacturer's fortunes change. Will your great-grandchildren be able to open your archived photos, if in an obscure raw file format? I, perhaps irresponsibly, do not archive in DNG, but trust in Nikon being around for a while still.

  3. #3

    Re: Raw vs DNG

    Quote Originally Posted by Markvetnz View Post
    Can somebody please tell me the benefits of converting to DNG? Is this a worthwhile step in the process of importing photos from the camera into Bridge?
    Thanks.
    1. It reduces the file size of the RAW by about 20%, which saves you disk space (your wife won't complain that you need a new PC for a bigger hard-drive)
    2. You don't need to update to the latest version of Photoshop if you buy a new camera, in order to get the latest RAW convertor to handle your new model camera.
    3. If you make a RAW available to this forum (for editing) every one should be able to process the file, whatever software or versions of Photoshop they have.


    You want more reasons. I don't have any...

  4. #4

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    Re: Raw vs DNG

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    You want more reasons. I don't have any...
    I'll add a couple more ...

    1. Because Adobe understand the DNG format they can write XMP data to it - so you don't get pesky "sidecar" files containing information about changes you've make to the RAW file (the other option is to let the likes of bridge or ACR write the changes to an internal database, but that's maga dangerous if you don't know how to back it up.

    2. The DNG converter can pull the files off the card - rename them - stick them somewhere all in one operation.

    I use DNG 100% of the time.

  5. #5

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    Re: Raw vs DNG

    Since I have used Photoshop for years and because I work with relatively fewer files than some, it seems, I opt for PSD files. Disk space is not a concern of mine since disk space is cheap now and backup programs are quite reliable and efficient. I have not had any trouble with cameras vs RAW files in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) since Adobe is very good about updating ACR for new cameras.

    I do not batch process my RAW files. When I first open a RAW in ACR, I save it as a PSD or a Tiff using the camera file name with the new extension. I keep the RAW files in pristine form in the same folder as the evolved version (PSD or Tiff extension) in a 1 TB drive dedicated to photographs, in folders using a long-held naming convention. Different versions of a file simply gets a letter added to its name to signify evolution sequence.

    I do not care about "side-cars." I do not save them, I get rid of them as soon as they appear for any reason.

    The thing I like about PSD files is that they keep all the layers I have used and or modified forever. If I am concerned about history retention, since all tools do not leave "tracks," I copy and paste the history panel onto a new layer that is turned off at the bottom of the stack, which stays with the file.

    When I convert a PSD or Tiff to a jpg, I never again open the jpg file in an editor. If the picture needs to be changed, then I revert back to the PSD version and make a new jpg from there. That has the advantage of knowing that a jpg extension means it has been or is ready for uploading. I often upload my PSD files directly to my Flicker account and let Flicker do the conversion. Flicker uses the Lanczos algorithm to convert and resize.

    This may seem a cumbersome method, but it is now quite familiar and so takes little time or thought, like my fingers know what to do on the keyboard, something like using the shift key for a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence or a proper noun.

    Cheers,
    D.
    Last edited by David deSousa; 21st November 2010 at 03:03 AM.

  6. #6
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: Raw vs DNG

    So is there any perceptible difference between say Nikon RAW and a directly converted (before manipulation or development) DNG? How does converting effect development and where does the extra 20% of information go? i.e what is discarded?

  7. #7

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    Re: Raw vs DNG

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    So is there any perceptible difference between say Nikon RAW and a directly converted (before manipulation or development) DNG?
    No - DNG is still a RAW format. It's just a standardized RAW format.

    How does converting effect development and where does the extra 20% of information go? i.e what is discarded?
    Nothing - it's just better lossless compression.

    The very earliest specification of the DNG format used to discard black masked pixels, but that version is long since gone, and even that diodn't make any real difference.

    I haven't kept my (Canon) *.CR2 files for years.

  8. #8

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    Re: Raw vs DNG

    I don't see any advantages of using DNG instead of the various RAW formats.
    • The format on the camera you have now, will not change, even not between updates of a firmware I think...
    • A lot of software does support the various RAW formats, including most (if not all) older formats.
    • Since a lot of the software is based on the opensource dcraw, it is unlikely that we will loose the possibilities to open and edit raw files.


    In my opinion you should leave the RAW files as they are and you should not modify them, even not to add extra information about the picture....

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