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To convert to DNG or not to convert, that is the question.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by w0den, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. w0den

    w0den Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Feb 13, 2015
    New Jersey
    Historically I have used Lightroom with my cannon camera. I always converted to DNG, as I like the idea of an open-source format (even if Adobe created the format). I saw it as future proofing my collection, and I really did not see any downside. I am curious if this is generally recommended or not recommended for the Olympus ORF format.

    Thanks,
    w0den
     
  2. newphoto1

    newphoto1 Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Aug 24, 2014
    Oklahoma
    Colin
    I convert all my ORF's to DNG, not because I like open format, but so I can use Adobe 5.0 Raw. I save the processed files as high res Tiffs.
     
  3. ToxMox

    ToxMox Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Oct 9, 2012
    I always convert. 1) for future compatibility and 2) LR can do multicore processing on DNG files hence speeding up and 3) LR stores all snapshots and development data inside the DNG instead of needing a sidecar xmp file.
     
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  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I convert for the same reason.

    Waiting for the typical "Distrust Adobe!" response.
     
  5. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I don't distrust Adobe anymore than any other vendor, but DNG is really just Adobe's proprietary format. No different than Nikon's NEF or Olympus' ORF. Adobe's the only one who can define it, and if Adobe dies, for all practical purposes, I expect DNG dies.

    If at some point Olympus stops supporting ORF, there will be plenty of time to convert my raw images at that time. No need to do it now. With LR as the center of my workflow, the format of the image files is never any issue to me.
     
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  6. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Just to add clarity, Adobe is the author owner and evangelist for the DNG (every format has an originator) but the important factor is that it is openly documented. For me as a software developer, I understand the advantages (I rely on openly documented APIs and data structures). Proprietary in software usually means that it is not openly documented. Every format has an author and evangelist.... it doesn't necessary mean its proprietary in the sense that it is confidential intellectual property.
     
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  7. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    And to be clear: Pentax, Ricoh, and Leica all support in camera DNG last I checked.
     
  8. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I don't see any risk. Adobe is likely to be a standard forever. Any replacements down the road will surely support or convert DNG, so the question if line to ask is what ate the pros and cons of the formats?

    A couple of benefits for DNG were listed. What other data is there to guide users in this decision?
     
  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Actually the real question isn't how open the DNG format is. It's how open is YOUR camera's format. There use to be some minor issues with Nikon's and Fuji? I would not convert with an X-Trans camera.
     
  10. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    Another reason to convert: Amazon cloud doesn't allow Olympus and Panasonic raw files I believe..
     
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  11. old.swede

    old.swede Mu-43 Rookie

    For me the main reason for converting my Olympus and Sony files is the option in LR to save all meta data within the DNG files.
    So if my LR catalog and the backup should be damaged, I can just import the DNG files in a new catalog and I'm up and running.
     
  12. 211Oakland

    211Oakland Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 16, 2014
    I am thinking of doing more converting. I have a Pentax, which does DNG out of the camera, so I've gotten more used to it, and the absence of sidecars would make my life easier.

    I'm wondering about the details. When I use DxO Optics Pro with Lightroom, it creates a linear DNG. I'm still unsure if this is a plus or minus; I seem to recall that some software (Aperture?) had trouble with linear. And what about the previews; best to not create one with the converter, which would use the Olympus-generated one? As I understand it, the preview can contain a rendering with adjustments, if you do so when you convert. But I sometimes like to see the Oly preview, maybe just cuz I've gotten used to them as the starting point for further work. And for archiving purposes, or in general, do people usually embed the RAW? Seems like the best way to go since you can always extract it.
     
  13. larryis1

    larryis1 Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 23, 2015
    Southern Nevada, USA
    Larry
    So for those that do convert ORF to DNG, do you then discard all of your ORF files? I have elected to stick with the ORF raw format, but if I went down the DNG path I would likely discard all ORFs after conversion from a space efficiency perspective. Any thoughts?
    Take care, Larry
     
  14. 211Oakland

    211Oakland Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 16, 2014
    I was wondering about that too. If I embed them the file size essentially doubles, if I use full JPEG previews and fast load data and the embedded raw. I'm thinking that I'll only convert the photos I anticipate using; I'm still grappling with semi-culls, photos I think I wanna keep although I'm not doing anything immediate with them. It's like I'm developing my own stock photo service...sheesh.
     
  15. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    If you do Astrophotgraphy and use DeepSkyStacker you may have issues with your DNGs. I switched from using DNGs and went back to the native format after noticing some really odd colouring in my final DeepSkyStacker images. Admittedly I never saw anything wrong with all my other photos, it was only in DeepSkyStacker.
     
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  16. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    When I used Lightroom, I converted everything to dng. Like you, I saw no downside and did not feel that I lost anything in image quality. I see no reason for you to change your workflow.

    That being said, when I found software that I liked better than Lightroom, using dng became impractical and reverted back to using native ORF files. My new software can OPEN and use a DNG, but it can not create or write to them, so I abandoned DNG along with Lightroom. Unfortunately, only Adobe really supports DNG properly and as originally envisioned.
     
  17. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    DNG uses about 15% less disk space if your concerned with that. LR creations such as panoramas create DNG files.
     
  18. 211Oakland

    211Oakland Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 16, 2014
    Not if you embed, and on my ORFs I didn't seem to lose that much. In fact, they were a tad bigger. Maybe that's cuz I generated a full preview?
     
  19. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Definitely not when embedding. That would utilize more space.

    Might have more to do with content of photos. I'd imagine a studio background would compress more than a landscape, a very blurred bokeh more than a detailed background.
     
  20. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    DNG is not all it is cooked up to be, although a very nice sounding idea.

    Raw files have an embedded JPG file in them. If you convert a RAW file to DNG and don’t add any embedded jpg, then you lose the capability to preview the file outside of a DNG editor. I believe all Adobe products allow you to embed no jpeg, medium or full sized jpegs, in which case the file size will not be any significantly smaller, if any at all.

    When working with DNGs in Lightroom I believe you still have to “Update the DNG preview and metadata” by going to the “Photo" and “Update DNG preview and metadata” menu items in LR - for every change or changes made at a sitting, otherwise the changes are recorded in the LR catalogue and not the file.

    I know some time ago Adobe added an update DNG metadata automatically setting to the program, but it took too many resources from the use, so I shut it off.

    But even if the changes are saved in the DNG file, when you take the file to another software program the program well apply its version of what the changes are – so your images will not look the same coming from LR and other digital editors.

    So any gain really starts to be minimized if not problematic in the long run. But maybe sometime the future the DNG standard will get better, making files an archival format – but I’m not holding my breath nor converting my files to DNG.
     
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