Should I convert RAW to DNG

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by JimNYUK, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. JimNYUK

    JimNYUK Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Feb 4, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Over the last few years I have used five different digital camera's each with it's own RAW format. I use Lightroom to keep all the files organised and one of it's features is to convert to Adobe DNG.

    Would it be best in the long term to convert all my RAW files to DNG so that they were standardized? What are the pro's and con's? Can anyone advise? What do you do?

    Jim.
     
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Since the advent of DNG, that's what I do.
    I use the stand alone DNG converter. I convert everything then import to LR.
    I use to keep the raw files but now I don't. It's been around 5 years and I haven't needed a raw yet...

    It makes the LR library easier to manage also.....
    shooter
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. stickan1

    stickan1 Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jan 30, 2010
    Sweden
    I always convert to DNG to keep it simple to maintain in the long run. I also use a Sony a900 which gives rather large files and they get smaller after conversion when you shot in full RAW. There has been several discussions on this issue on the Sony forums that I follow and the risk to loose quality seems negligible.

    I have just checked the size of the files from the GF1 and the DNG are rather large, 14-15 Mb. My a900-files are normally around 20 Mb as DNG, but the a900 is a FF-camera with a 24,6 Mb sensor, more than twice the size of the GF1. Strange that the GF1 files grows.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I think that I'll leave my raw images alone - at least until it becomes clear they won't be supported by future raw converters.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ckw

    ckw New to Mu-43

    7
    Jan 29, 2010
    I went completely DNG some time back - no regrets since. One big plus is it gives you a certain independence from software updates (eg. PS3 Adobe RAW won't support GF1 Raw, but converting to DNG bypasses the problem). As we can't assume support for new cameras in your favorite software. upgrading the hardware can add a significant extra software cost unless you can be independent of proprietary RAW formats.

    I'd be curious to know how many didn't feel the need to upgrade to PS4 thanks to DNG.

    Also with Canon RAW I was saving about 10% on file size (it adds up over thousands of images) - haven't checked the difference with the GF1

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
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  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Colin,
    Your right. I didn't feel the need to upgrade but I did anyway.
    Another big advantage to DNG is getting rid of those stupid sidecar files.
    Shooter
     
  7. JimNYUK

    JimNYUK Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Feb 4, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Thanks to everyone for your views. https://www.mu-43.com/images/smilies/Creative/2thumbs.gif

    It's comforting that some of you have been doing this for a few years and never found the need to go back to the original RAW file. I'm going to take the plunge and convert, watch this space for a post entitled 'DNG Disasters'.

    Just a further thought which may be a sign of my age, it'll be easier for my descendants to access my collection if it's in a common format. Assuming that they are interested of course.

    Jim.
     
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
  9. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Jim, just make sure you have multiple backups, and keep at least one copy at a separate location (preferably another country, I may set up an exchange facility :rofl:)

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  10. ckw

    ckw New to Mu-43

    7
    Jan 29, 2010
    Just to emphasis the backup thing - whatever format you use!

    Remember the adage - its not a question of IF your hard disk will fail, just a matter of WHEN.

    Personally (having gone through a variety of backup media), I think external hard drives are probably the best bet in terms of cost effectiveness and, reliability and ease of recovery.

    Whether you keep a single backup or multiple backups I guess depends on your paranoia. I keep 2, and on different makes of disk as I figure many failures are due to an inherent weakness in a particular brand's materials or manufacture

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
  11. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Colin, I use the Drobo external hard drive interface - redundant hard drive technology in a very simple format.

    With additional hard drive backups in other houses.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  12. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Backup,
    I used to burn everything to CD/DVD.
    Now I just have two external hard drives.
    I don't keep anything other that the current months work on the computer.

    As far as DNG goes, I was at the intro to Creative Suite in 2005 when Adobe was introducing the new DNG. I was sold right away.
    No need for raw files and sidecars.
    Not 1 issue ever.
    Shooter
     
  13. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Backup

    In terms of .dng I also convert my files for long term storage. Though for the initial edit I use the cameras raw file.

    I've stopped backing up onto CD/DVD. I've had too many fail. I now run 3 backups of my raw files and 3 backups of my edited files. I use hard drives for this. When ones full up I store that somewhere and buy a new one. By the time I get to fill up a drive, there's usually a new one thats half the price and twice the size. I use 2 separate, high-speed, very robust firewire 800 drives for the photos and video I'm currently editing.

    I've currently got 10 drives, all storing photographs, video and music. I recently bought 3 x 2TB drives and these are sitting in a MacPro which I've turned into a server. I've had problems with external drives and prefer the internal ones. The 2TB's are Hitachi drives which "park the heads" and apparently last longer.

    It may sound a bit over the top, but this is my living & I've got material from corporate and educational shoots stored as well as peoples wedding photographs and videos. The clients have all got copies but you can never rely on them!!!
     
  14. JimNYUK

    JimNYUK Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Feb 4, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Well, the deed is done. I only have dng files now and the conversion went without a hitch. Regarding backups, I use 2 external 1tb firewire 800 hard drives plus a smaller 250gb portable hard drive and copy to all of them. My only problem is remembering what I have copied to which drive as I don't use any backup software, just copy and paste. I need to find a Mac solution which will just sync changed files. Any ideas?

    Brian, I have the backups covered I think except for the off site aspect. I'm not sure if I can be organised enough to do that.

    Don, you were right, all those sidecar files have now disappeared. It all seems much tidier. What software do you use for the raw to dng conversion?

    Jim.
     
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Jim,
    I use the stand alone converter. That renamed the files.
    Then in LR I give a quick looksee and delete any garbage'.
    Then rename the files to get rid of un even numbers.

    You can convert on import to LR but I like this way.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. jhob

    jhob Mu-43 Veteran

    I have been using exclusively DNG for 2 years now without a hitch. My fuji S5pro RAW files are about 25MB out of camera and shrink to around 12/13MB when DNG. The S5pro is not a fast camera and fuji chose to leave the files bigger and do less processing in camera to get the file size down, a not unreasonable compromise. The file compression is entirely lossless.