Dng files Vs Raw ;;;

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by PantelisMor, May 24, 2014.

  1. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    282
    Jan 14, 2013
    Hello.

    I use lightroom. I saw that there is option for input your files in dng format ; what is it ; is it better from raw files ;;
     
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    DNG is Adobe's 'RAW' format. The advantage is that in some cases, software that does not support the original RAW format may support the DNG conversion of the file (this is often true, but not always the case). Additionally, the DNG file can incorporate some editing information directly, rather than requiring it to be written externally in a non portable format. So you can save your Lightroom tweaks to the file itself, rather than having an extra XMP file floating around. Of course, these edits are typically not portable across different software so Lightroom edits will be ignored in C1, etc.

    There is no image quality advantage.

    The disadvantage is that the conversion is a one-way process, and there is also software which works with the original RAW format, but not with the DNG. For example, Olympus Viewer only works on ORFs, it won't work on DNGs. For that reason, I personally don't use DNGs. You can always convert to DNG later on (using Adobe's standalone DNG Converter) if you find it necessary.
     
  3. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    DNG IS a raw file. It just isn't the native raw file. When I was using Lightroom (There's better, IMO, but to each his own), I regularly converted my E30 and E500 ORF files to DNG and saw no diminution of image quality. I did this because I liked the ability of Lr to skip the XML sidecar file and write all the changes directly to the dng format. I felt it made for a simpler backup and recovery.

    However, as I became less and less enchanted with Lightroom's image quality, and began to look about for a suitable replacement, I discovered that most of the other workflow tools have built in the logic to deal with the XML sidecar file as a part of the regular back-up. I now see no reason to use DNG, it isn't a bad format, it just doesn't serve ME, the photographer, any purpose.

    Most alternative software will read DNG, but will not write DNG, so you would ba able to use other software with DNG.
     
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    DNG is not the universal format Adobe wanted it to be. Note Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and others do not use it.

    If you think you will need to move your images from a Adoble processing world, such as in Lightroom, be careful about converting ORF to DNG. If you convert to DNG without embedding the original raw file in the DNG (that means a larger DNG) Adobe can not extract the original raw file if you want to move it to another processing environment such as Aperture or other.

    So carefully consider the options in Lightroom (and maybe other Adobe programs):
    • Copy and process the native raw files, do not convert them to DNG. You can later move/copy the raw files to another processing program if needed.
    • Copy as DNG and do not embed the original raw file. This is the LR default and produces a linear DNG file. This makes for a smaller DNG file but means Adobe can not extract the raw file later.
    • Copy as DNG and do embed the original raw file. This is an LR option and produces an embedded DNG file. This makes for a larger DNG file but means Adobe can extract/export the original raw file in the future.

    This should be an exciting year for post processing options if Adobe releases LR 6 and Apple releases Aperture 4. With OS 10.9.3 Apple should finally have 4K at decent refresh rates for Retina Macbook Pro laptops. That may lead to a new 4K Apple Thunderbolt Display. And that sets the stage for an Aperture that can display and edit photos on 4K screens. Maybe, just maybe, all will be made clear at Apples's WWDC starting June 2.

    In the meantime, I am importing my Olympus raw files into LR as native ORF files only. That gives me the max flexibility to later convert to DNG (embedded or linear) or even move to Aperture 4. Keep your options open.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Its not a one-way process if you choose to embed the original raw file in the DNG.
     
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Good point, although if you're going to do that, why not just keep the original as well?
     
  7. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    But why bother? The conversion adds to the import time. OK if a few files but if I am importing a full 64GB card, I don't want to add the extra time when LR and Aperture work just fine with ORFs.


    It is a bit of a one way process. If you embed the ORF, you can get it out. But you will not get you edits exported as a sidecar. Bad karma if you did some serious edits.
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I don't particularly wish to support another Adobe monopoly and I'm glad that the camera manufacturers don't either. I personally don't see any benefits in DNG and all it does is add another processing layer to photo editing.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The advantages and disadvantages of DNG has been hashed around before... no need to start another debate in this thread.

    PS> By definition, the DNG format's existence and how its handled is not a monopoly. If anything, the manufacturer has a tighter control over proprietary formats than Adobe has over DNG spec. Calling it a monopoly is being overtly dramatic.
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'm calling it a monopoly only in the sense that Flash is like a monopoly. Flash is a complete piece of crap, riddled with constant security issues, yet you can't avoid using it because it's everywhere. PDF is almost in a similar class. Adobe controls everything when it comes to these two products and those that rely on them are at the beck and call of Adobe. IF DNG went the same route, all I can see are more issues along the same lines. I have no idea whether having to conform to the DNG format would also affect the manufacturer's image processing systems as well.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Because the original, EXIF data, Camera info, JPG preview, and the non-destructive adjustments applied during post processing are maintained in a single file. It helps in file management.

    My main camera produces DNG directly so I don't have to worry about embedding the original. Certainly you can just save both if you like.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer


    Here we go again.

    Dude just do what you want to do. Not going to argue with someone who doesn't understand the whole picture.
     
  13. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I do what I want to do, no problem there whatsoever. I case you haven't noticed, I'm against anything created by an individual company under the guise of introducing a 'standard', especially a company that doesn't have a great track record of doing things well. If DNG was a format like JPG and managed by an independent standards committee like USB, CF etc, then I would have a different opinion about such a standard. That said, I don't really see a need for DNG in any case.
     
  14. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nope.. you still missed the point. Keep on ranting if it makes you feel more confident in your choice. Keep in mind, I am a software engineer (specifically in Data protection and data management) and I approach the "problem"/"solution" from the same experience and mindset. So far, the reasons you have given are similar to what has been re-iterated over and over again from numerous sources here and elsewhere...... its pure F.U.D.

    Arguing with F.U.D. is specifically why I am avoiding discussing the details in this thread. Total waste of time. Now if you ask questions specifically to the technical aspects in an unbiased manner.. perhaps I will entertain... maybe.
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'm a software user, aka a customer, and that bears far greater weight on what I want than those who produce stuff they think people need. Automotive engineers decide what a car should be like, that doesn't mean that customers feel the same way. Health 'experts' say that I shouldn't drink, my opinion differs from theirs.
     
  16. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    LOL

    Customer is always right? That's the best you can do to lure me into arguing F.U.D. on your terms? Seriously? As a wedding photographer, you should know better.
     
  17. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    What about the loss of XMP sidecar edits if exporting raw from embedded DNG? I don't see the data protection in that. DNG and its utilities are there to help you get into DNG, not gracefully get back out with all data in tact if you try to leave DNG. Naturally Adobe's design is centered on enhancing or maintaining their marketshare.
     
  18. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    More drama and F.U.D from people who do not understand the full picture.

    How does a file that is openly documented encourage their marketshare? If anything, it simply takes someone else to implement what they have documented according to the use case that is presented to solve the problem. This is fairly easy for openly documented formats but requires a bit of reverse engineering for proprietary formats. Just because said party hasn't provided said feature, doesn't mean that its intended to protect marketshare. You can't force Adobe to create a feature just for a small niche need. Adobe can't force another entity to solve problems either.

    If a medication that is important to your life well being has its formula well guarded and not openly documented then it is a monopoly since the good/service can only be purchased from that specific owner. These monopolies are legally allowed in the US to protect the profits from said products for a determined amount of time.

    If a medication's formula is openly documented, then it isn't a monopoly because other manufacturers are free to produce the medication. We generally refer to these medications as "generics". This gives consumers the choice of any number of manufacturers to purchase said service or product. If no other manufacturer chooses to manufacture the medication, its still not a monopoly.. it simply means that no other manufacturer has chosen to produce it. The blame doesn't reside with the originator of the documented formula.... they can't force others to produce.

    Damn it... arguing again with people who can't even understand the basics. I guess what bugs me is the spread of misinformation. The whole Flash and HTML5 debate is also misrepresented in this thread.

    FYI:

    exiftool -xmp -b -w xmp FILE
     
  19. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    So at the end of the day, what's so great about DNG, other than Adobe and a few fans reckon it is?
     
  20. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    I think I have a bit more to add to this dialog. I am, or was before I retired, a Teradata DBA. So I think I share some of the perspective usayit has. I am also a photographer who formerly used Lightroom AND DNG but moved to ACDSee Pro and returned to using orf files without the conversion step to DNG.

    When DNG was announced, I was pretty excited. I could see the advantages of a "common" raw file. And I loved the idea that one could avoid the use of XML 'sidecar' files and store everything within the body of the dng file itself. AS a DBA, this simplified the complexities of a good backup and recovery plan in a disaster recovery situation considerably. And to be fair, as long as I used Lightroom, DNG worked as promised. But as time wore on, I became dis-enchanted with Lightroom as a photo tool and began to look about for some other way to deal with my growing body of photos.

    It quickly became obvious that continuing to use dng was not going to be an option. Most competing software claimed to support dng. But only as a read-only support of the DNG file itself. The edit data, being database oriented and proprietary to Adobe, whether embedded within the DNG file itself, or contained within an XML file was legally off limits to the competition. The DNG standard is open, but how a given software publisher USES that standard, is not.

    Even the new DXO is extremely limited in how it writes to DNG, it creates a linear raw file, not the same sort of "RAW" dng file that Lr uses. At this point from what I've read, DXO's implementation of Lr compatibility seems more theoretical than practical. As an ACDSee user with only an elderly copy of Lr 3 available, I have no way of testing.

    So, while the various competing software could read and view an image stored as a DNG file, it would look as it did when it was first imported into Lightroom, without the subsequent change and edit history contained within Lightroom. I was left with a dilemma, move to new software and abandon my dng files, or continue to use the software I felt no longer met my needs. I chose to move to new software and abandon DNG.

    Once I had selected ACDSee Pro as my new software, I began the move. I adopted a point forward transition. After a certain point in time, ALL new photos would be completed in ACDSee Pro. There would be NO going back to Lr for the sake of speed or convenience. and then I converted all my "Done" photos in Lr to tif, and imported them to ACDSee.

    I now use the orf files directly in ACDSee Pro, and in truth, there isn't any real difference in my life. I am no more prevented from moving on to yet a third software package than I was before. It would STILL be a difficult PITA. I do avoid though, that conversion process.

    Lightroom users lose nothing by using dng, as a 'universal' format, it's reasonably well designed, and Lr's implementation is excellent. But unfortunately, the only thing they gain is the ability to avoid XML files by writing the change metadata to the raw file itself. The nature of the software industry prevents any other benefit from accruing, I'm afraid.
     
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