DNG vs RAW

Started Apr 16, 2006 | Discussions
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Copusmaximus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,485
DNG vs RAW

Anyone converting to DNG? from raw? let me know your opinions and thoughts please...
--

If I have uploaded an image don't hesitate to de-noise it, correct the WB, clone out dust and dead pixels, saturation, USM, resize, print and send me the result..
Also advice and criticise.

Kind Rgds

Heath

(The Amateur amateur in training)
FZ30 just for the time being..
S7000(in sons hands now)
Tcon17
Raynox DCR 150 & DCR 250
Nikon SB24+omnibounce
Tripod
CamCane

Tom Z Regular Member • Posts: 476
Re: DNG vs RAW

I am not converting, because my CR2 files are much smaller than the resulting DNG file. The CR2 files are compressed.

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jahern Contributing Member • Posts: 953
Re: DNG vs RAW

DNG works for me, once the RAW files are converted to DNG I delete the RAW files. I use DNG as it saves keywords etc in the file so that means I only have to enter them once no matter how many times I convert the DNG to tiff, jpeg etc.
It also holds adjustments done in Adobe Camera Raw.

You can also adjust how big the thumbnail is, this is useful as it mean you can have a higher quality preview image for DAM software etc.

jliechty Regular Member • Posts: 393
Re: DNG vs RAW

I don't shoot as much, so storage isn't as much of an issue for me. Thus, I convert D200 uncompressed NEFs to losslessly compressed DNGs with the original NEFs embedded. This is a jump in file size from 15MB to 23MB, but I have a universal format and the original NEF in one file, for ease of organization while keeping access to something that Nikon Capture will read, if that were ever to become necessary or desirable.

Rdefen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,278
Re: DNG vs RAW

Convert for all the reasons mentioned above by jahern.

Jeff_edge540 Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: DNG vs RAW

I convert to DNG. I see no harm.

I also like the ability to strip out the jpg for an easy and fast print (by qimage) if needed using idimager (gotta batch setup for it).

After downloading the CR2 from the card I chunk, set WB, rate, set IPTC data, and crop. I then save all my images as DNG using ACR (w/ full size preview). Then, I bring into my DAM software.

Artichoke
Artichoke Forum Pro • Posts: 12,077
DNG poor choice

if shooting Fujifilm S3
the SCCD in the S2/S3 does best with Fujifilm's own software

I don't even know if DNG will work with the 24 MB RAW files of the S3 shot in RAW

of course there is very little reason to use RAW with the S3 as its jpg output is so amazingly rich
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Fuji SLRT forum member since 5/2001
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Jarle_Aasland Senior Member • Posts: 1,523
I prefer to keep my *originals*

DNG is still in its infancy. I'll save my original NEFs for all foreseeable future. I see absolutely no reason for converting to another format.

Jarle

Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: DNG vs RAW

Copusmaximus wrote:

Anyone converting to DNG? from raw? let me know your opinions and
thoughts please...

[snip]

I've been using DNG for more than 18 months. At first I kept the original raw files as well, but for the last 10 months I have been converting directly from the memory card and then discarding the original raw files.

Whether photographers get a benefit from DNG depends on their workflow and the tools they use. Here are some possibilities:

1. Smaller size in many cases. (Canon and Nikon are getting better with their compression, and raws from their recent comeras are similar in size to DNGs, but earlier ones are larger, and most other makes have larger native raw files. Sigma is an exception, and X3Fs are nearly always smaller than DNGs).

2. Ability to continue to use Photoshop CS & ACR 2.4 with a later camera. (The DNG route enables CS users to support the same set of cameras as CS2 users).

3. The ability to hold ACR settings and edits in the same file. Also, often more important, the ability to hold rights metadata and asset management metadata in the same file. (I put copyright, website, shoot info, subject info, etc, in the DNGs).

4. More likelihood of future access with the future tools of your choice. (Some people get round this by storing the DNG Converter with their raws so they can convert later). About 100 or more products now support DNG in some way.

5. The ability to "recover edges" before using ACR, giving extra pixels.

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Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: DNG vs RAW

Tom Z wrote:

I am not converting, because my CR2 files are much smaller than the
resulting DNG file. The CR2 files are compressed.

DNG files have optional lossless compression. Except for recent Canon raws, which are a similar size, DNGs have been consistently smaller than the original Canon raws.

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John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: DNG vs RAW

Barry Pearson wrote:

I've been using DNG for more than 18 months. At first I kept the
original raw files as well, but for the last 10 months I have been
converting directly from the memory card and then discarding the
original raw files.

Firstly let me say that as a long time supporter of DNG I don't wish to appear negative, but I have to point out a potential problem with this approach. Deleting your originals is fine so long as you understand the implications - as I know you do - but I'm not sure this is good general advice especially considering the recent query of a user on the Adobe forums concerning a change in DNG data as a result of using a version of the converter which lacked "official" support for his camera. Thomas Knoll's reply recommending the saving of originals in case re-conversion with a later converter becomes desirable makes a lot of sense if you're using a recent camera.

I had a very similar experience with my Panasonic LX1 when it first became supported by ACR and had to re-convert later; I don't agonise over it but I was very glad that I do archive my originals...

5. The ability to "recover edges" before using ACR, giving extra
pixels.

That's not really an advantage of DNG, more a deficiency in ACR - most other converters can do this anyway whatever the source. I'd be very surprised if the next generation of ACR doesn't do it as well.

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Jarle_Aasland Senior Member • Posts: 1,523
One more thing

John Bean (UK) wrote:

Deleting your originals is fine so long
as you understand the implications

New software from the camera manufacturers themselves may offer new features/options only available when processing their own, original files.

One example is the new version of Nikon Capture, coming soon. Apparently, it includes some nice new features, some of which can only be applied to Nikon NEF files.

Just one more thing to consider.

Jarle

Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: DNG vs RAW

John Bean (UK) wrote:
[snip]

Firstly let me say that as a long time supporter of DNG I don't
wish to appear negative, but I have to point out a potential
problem with this approach. Deleting your originals is fine so long
as you understand the implications - as I know you do - but I'm not
sure this is good general advice especially considering the recent
query of a user on the Adobe forums concerning a change in DNG data
as a result of using a version of the converter which lacked
"official" support for his camera. Thomas Knoll's reply
recommending the saving of originals in case re-conversion with a
later converter becomes desirable makes a lot of sense if you're
using a recent camera.

[snip]

I try to avoid giving advice, because too much information is needed about someone's circumstances before it is safe to do so. So I normally just say what I do, and why, or give the results of tests I have performed myself.

What you say is true - there are risks. I kept my originals for the first 8 months that I used DNG before I judged that this was unnecessary. I run various tests on any new versions of ACR and the DNG Converter before upgrading them within my normal workflow. (For example, I posted the results of lengthy tests I conducted on 3.3 beta to the Adobe forums, including resultant images).

It comes down to what I often say: "it depends on your workflow and the tools you use". For me, file size is important - it isn't to some others. I won't need to use the Pentax software - but the software of other manufacturers is more useful to other photographers.

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Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: One more thing

Jarle_Aasland wrote:

John Bean (UK) wrote:

Deleting your originals is fine so long
as you understand the implications

New software from the camera manufacturers themselves may offer new
features/options only available when processing their own, original
files.

[snip]

Indeed - that is probably the single most important reason to keep the original raw, whether or not you have a DNG-based workflow. And there are still some other products that don't yet support DNG:
http://www.barry.pearson.name/articles/dng/not_yet.htm

It depends on your workflow and the tools you use - the reward/risk varies from one person to another.

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John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: DNG vs RAW

Barry Pearson wrote:

I try to avoid giving advice, because too much information is
needed about someone's circumstances before it is safe to do so. So
I normally just say what I do, and why, or give the results of
tests I have performed myself.

Yes I know you weren't giving explicit advice, but you are known to be logical and methodical in your workflow choices and I'd guess there's a lot of people who may well adopt your chosen workflow on the basis that "if it's good enough for Barry..." without having thought through all the scenarios that may affect their choice. If it all turned pear-shaped because they used the wrong version of the converter without testing (or whatever) I know who they'd blame

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TheMadScot Senior Member • Posts: 1,656
It's not really a 'versus' issue for me

For redundancy, I use both

I use one hard drive for RAW (NEF) 'original' files from my cameras, and another hard drive houses the DNG files created by converting those NEF's.

For speed's sake, I work on the DNG files since they're smaller than the NEF in almost all instances and they directly retain IPTC, keyword and caption and rating/labelling data.

I also perform a double back-up as a matter of course: one backup DVD set containing the NEF files from a shoot, the other set containing the mirrored DNG files.

As much as this adds to the workflow, the redundancy aspect for data back-up is well worth the time spent.

Graystar Veteran Member • Posts: 8,373
Re: It's not really a 'versus' issue for me

Not a "versus" issue for me either. My RAW comes from a hacked firmware for my A710 P&S camera, which then gets converted to DNG because no software can work with the A710 RAW.

DNG opened up a host of editing software to my RAW files. Without it the RAW from my camera would be useless.

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