I Will Not Shot in RAW

Started May 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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RAW file support through the decade(s)....
In reply to I2K4, May 23, 2013

I2K4 wrote:

I'm not much into another debate about image quality of RAW vs JPG output but the question of longevity is a serious one.  There is a lot of googlable opinion, but for the time being I'm convinced that anything one considers "archival" in the sense that I  want it to be there fifty year or more years down the road ought to be in DNG format:

www.adobe.com/ca/products/photoshop/extend.displayTab2.html

Most non-pros are so used to having print family snapshots or even some professional prints from the last century, we forget how new it is and how quickly this digital medium is moving. Many of us are taking so many photos because it's now cheap to "develop" them, but it's still relatively pricey to print them.  So what makes anybody think JPEG will be convertible and useful to our great-grandchildren in the way Mom's Kodak Brownie prints are to us right now?  I think there are photographers who shot proprietary RAW early in the 2000s who will have trouble finding software to deal with their images now, only ten years later.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/extend.html

A few examples.  The Kodak DCS 14n released 2002 still supported.  Kodac DCS 760 still supported.  Epson (Epson for goodness sake!) R-D1 released 2004 still supported.  Nikon D1 released 1999 still supported.  Canon Powershot 600 released 1996 still supported.  So at least one RAW converter supports cameras that go back 17 years.  Why?  Because it's free.  They supported it at one time and it costs them practically nothing to continue supporting it.  Again, why?  Because if they stopped supporting something that costs them nothing to continue supporting they'd damage their reputation for nothing....they would indicate how unreliable they are.  Ironic they've chosen a different method to accomplish that.  Still, their DNG converter will take all those old files and make them fresh and new.

And if someone is truly petrified about someone in the future not knowing how to view their RAW files, they can buy a $100 external hard drive (or two) and put all their images there in JPEG form.....or get a few Blu-ray discs and burn their library to disc (20 two layer discs for 1TB will hold a ton of JPEGs).  Cheap, easy, mind at ease.

I take nothing for granted in terms of storage devices (CD-ROM, hard drive, USB drive, online cloud) or in terms of converting digital file formats.  The good thing is that so far, technology has been providing useful "windows" of time to move important digital images into different media or formats before they become useless and lost forever, but I would not bank on it.  At least Adobe with DNG has turned its mind to the problem in a serious way to create an archival standard.  If others have better solutions I'll certainly listen.

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