Is non-destructive editing really sustainable?

Started Jul 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Is non-destructive editing really sustainable?
Jul 20, 2014

With the demise (or no longer supported) Nikon Capture NX and Apple's Aperture do you think it is time to rethink the real long term sustainability of non-destructive editing programs like these, Lightroom, Capture One etc? I have to think there are many professionals that are facing similar workflow dead ends.

Professional photographer Rod Lawton wrote a blog about this and it really seems like he is on to something.

I have been a user of Nikon's Capture NX precisely for the non-destructive edit functions, u-point, etc. And best of all the edits are stored inside of the original NEF! But alas, all good things come to an end and now Nikon is abandoning further development of Capture NX. Now I have some 40,000 NEF's, some with edits others without, and a lot with picture controls applied in camera that LR or C1 doesn't "see". As I contemplate switching to a different RAW editing option, I have to believe there is a better way to make non-destructive edits that are universally recognized by other programs. I loathe thinking about looking for a strategy to find the edited versions of my NEF files and then batch output (Capture NX is glacially slow at this BTW) to "baked in TIF's. (Media Pro which I use as my file organizer can do this, but I am wary that the TIF might not be as good as what Capture NX can produce.)

Many people believe the DNG format is that answer, but it doesn't seem to be really embraced by the majority of photogs, and I am not sure exactly as to why this is so.

Maybe this topic is just a variant of the proprietary RAW file vs. open file format, but I think there may be a better middle ground somewhere.

I hope Rod continues addressing this discussion and/or his search for a reasonable and well thought out truly "sustainable" workflow. So we won't have to go through major file conversions in the future to gain access to our digital data every time some major software company decides they no longer want to (or can) keep their program alive.

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“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science..." - Albert Einstein

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