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Author Topic: To DNG or not to DNG  (Read 14079 times)
kikashi
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« on: March 04, 2007, 10:20:49 AM »
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Is there a consensus on whether to let LR convert raw files to DNG format or to keep the camera-native files? I'm using a Mac and my raw files are Canon .CR2s, if it makes any difference.

Jeremy
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 10:24:01 AM »
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Is there a consensus on whether to let LR convert raw files to DNG format or to keep the camera-native files? I'm using a Mac and my raw files are Canon .CR2s, if it makes any difference.

Jeremy
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=104569\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd like to hear a good answer as well. DNG is being pushed as the standard for RAWs and hopefully it'll become as ubiquitous as TIFF. But I'm curious as to what loss of quality is expected from such conversion. Canon hasn't released their RAW standard so I'm sure there is some, but whether this is something to be concerned of is another matter. DNG should be more future proof than CR2 which is a big issue in the long term.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 11:06:51 AM »
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I always convert my raw files to DNG for all the reasons that have been said in the past. Longevity, everything in one file, it's non-proprietary, etc.

As to loss of image quality, there is none. At all. The image data in it's entirety is preserved during conversion. The only thing that may be lost for some cameras is the mystery soup that camera makers place meta data in which Adobe can't reverse-engineer.

For .cr2 files, all of that proprietary mystery-metadata is preserved in the DNG just in case they do figure it out in the future.
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michael
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2007, 12:30:14 PM »
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And, a DNG exported from Lightroom will contain all the metadata created there, such as cropping, colour adjustments, keywords etc, all embedded in the DNG and without the hassle of sidecar XMP files. Of course these are all non-destructive "virtual" adjustments.

Michael
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digitaldog
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2007, 01:31:14 PM »
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I convert to DNG for all files. You may wish to contemplate doing this with the stand alone versus LR since you have options in the former such as size of embedded JPEG. If that's not a big deal to you (and someday it might be) doing the work on import or later in the process within LR works pretty well.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 02:00:38 PM »
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And, a DNG exported from Lightroom will contain all the metadata created there, such as cropping, colour adjustments, keywords etc
Though note that virtual copy metadata, snapshots, and history do not currently get embedded with the DNG, nor does its assignment to any stacks or collections.

John
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Mel
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2007, 08:48:46 PM »
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Is there a consensus on whether to let LR convert raw files to DNG format or to keep the camera-native files? I'm using a Mac and my raw files are Canon .CR2s, if it makes any difference.

Jeremy
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I am not sure about consensus, but I do let LR convert rew files to DNG.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2007, 07:55:33 PM »
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I am not sure about consensus, but I do let LR convert rew files to DNG.
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I dont convert to DNG. I like the ability to use DPP on the RAW file every now and again.
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Alter Nereus
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 03:41:46 PM »
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I dont convert to DNG. I like the ability to use DPP on the RAW file every now and again.
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When I used to open the stand alone DNG programme from the Desktop icon there was an option of preserving and embedding the original RAW file. I liked this option which gave you the best of best worlds - the DNG as future-proofing, and the original RAW if you felt a bit more secure maintaining it. I don't believe, although I'm willing to be proved wrong on this, that converting to DNG from within Lightroom preserves and embeds the original RAW file within the DNG file. It is for this reason alone that I have not as yet chosen to convert my RAWs to DNG from within Lightroom.
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Alter Nereus
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 03:42:26 PM »
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I dont convert to DNG. I like the ability to use DPP on the RAW file every now and again.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105126\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

When I used to open the stand alone DNG programme from the Desktop icon there was an option of preserving and embedding the original RAW file. I liked this option which gave you the best of best worlds - the DNG as future-proofing, and the original RAW if you felt a bit more secure maintaining it. I don't believe, although I'm willing to be proved wrong on this, that converting to DNG from within Lightroom preserves and embeds the original RAW file within the DNG file. It is for this reason alone that I have not as yet chosen to convert my RAWs to DNG from within Lightroom.
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tve1964
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 11:51:09 PM »
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I believe converting to DNG and deleting your RAWs is absolutely crazy.
THe whole idea of RAW is to get the image straight from the camera so one can go back and "redevelop" the images. Since Canon doesn't support DNG I think it is darn stupid to cut yourself the retreat path to those files with the software supplied by your camera manufacturer. THere is proprietary information in the file that no-one else than Canon knows about (this has already been the case with DPP which was updated and allowed to reprocess old RAW files with new algorythms in noise reduction for instance, or Picture Styles). WHen converting to DNG, you would loose this, unless you keep both and I think that's even more stupid (files become unecessarily huge). IF you need to use DNG on some files for exchange with others, just convert when needed, but by God's sake, don't throw away valuable data. It was the whole reason to shoot RAW in the first place.
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rcamper
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2007, 06:20:03 AM »
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Since DNG first came out, I have debated this issue and wondered how long software will support my camera’s version of RAW.  After playing with Lightroom beta 3 and 4 and experimenting with both RAW and DNG versions of my files, I decided start with a completely clean database with Lightroom V1.0 and import all of my RAW files as DNG.  Now if we can only get Canon and Nikon to support DNG as their RAW format.
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Kuryan Thomas
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 07:48:52 AM »
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I believe converting to DNG and deleting your RAWs is absolutely crazy.
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I have to agree with this point of view.

One of the questions I have about DNG - provided you shoot raw with one of the mega-manufacturers such as Canon or Nikon - is why we would believe that the DNG format is going to be any longer lived than CR2 or NEF. I doubt either of those formats is going to be unsupported by any raw processor, no matter how obscure. If that day arrives, and assuming DNG is still supported, can we not convert to DNG then?

In the meantime, there are more raw processors that support CR2 and NEF than support DNG. For example, Capture NX does not support DNG. I find that for about 10-15% of my raw files, Capture NX gives a noticeably better conversion than do Lightroom or Raw Developer, my other converters. So there is a real drawback to converting to DNG today.

I do agree it's nice that DNG is all one metadata package, with no sidecars. This was a problem for me when I used iView MediaPro. However, I've switched now to Lightroom. I would imagine more DAM systems will start managing sidecars along with the image files.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 11:13:46 AM »
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I believe converting to DNG and deleting your RAWs is absolutely crazy.
THe whole idea of RAW is to get the image straight from the camera so one can go back and "redevelop" the images. Since Canon doesn't support DNG I think it is darn stupid to cut yourself the retreat path to those files with the software supplied by your camera manufacturer. THere is proprietary information in the file that no-one else than Canon knows about (this has already been the case with DPP which was updated and allowed to reprocess old RAW files with new algorythms in noise reduction for instance, or Picture Styles). WHen converting to DNG, you would loose this, unless you keep both and I think that's even more stupid (files become unecessarily huge). IF you need to use DNG on some files for exchange with others, just convert when needed, but by God's sake, don't throw away valuable data. It was the whole reason to shoot RAW in the first place.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105414\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Unless you have an older camera (pre CR2 for example) all data is preserved. Even if some of it is not converted to readable info in the DNG, it is maintained in case it can be deciphered in the future.

The data is only valuable if you can use it. If you are not using the software provided with the camera maker it doesn't matter if it's maintained or not since you aren't using that data with third-pary software. But, it is being stored in case Canon/Nikon/Etc have a change of heart.

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One of the questions I have about DNG - provided you shoot raw with one of the mega-manufacturers such as Canon or Nikon - is why we would believe that the DNG format is going to be any longer lived than CR2 or NEF.
There is no guarantee that DNG will last longer than proprietary formats. However, DNG is publicly documented which is a very significant thing. That is what makes DNG considerably more likely to be accessible in the future.

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If that day arrives, and assuming DNG is still supported, can we not convert to DNG then?
If a converter still exists for them for which there is no more of a guarantee that will happen as there is that proprietary formats will continue being supported by the manufacturer.
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Wally
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 09:20:56 PM »
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If a converter still exists for them for which there is no more of a guarantee that will happen as there is that proprietary formats will continue being supported by the manufacturer.
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As a side note according to Canon's website they are not making nor do they plan on making divers for Windows Vista for the 300D, the 10D and earlier models of DSLRs. How long will it be before they also drop them for RAW support?

[a href=\"http://www.canon-europe.com/vista/en/compatibility_table/dslr.asp]http://www.canon-europe.com/vista/en/compa..._table/dslr.asp[/url]
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tve1964
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2007, 12:21:04 AM »
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The data is only valuable if you can use it. If you are not using the software provided with the camera maker it doesn't matter if it's maintained or not since you aren't using that data with third-pary software. But, it is being stored in case Canon/Nikon/Etc have a change of heart.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=105485\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Why would you "burn the bridge" to using software provided by the manufacturer? If Canon or Nikon was coming up with great software to edit your RAWs, would you, by principle, discard this solution? I wouldn't. This has already happened with Canon, to a certain extend. DPP has improved since the first version, and their noise reduction algorythms are put into DPP 2.2 (I believe), which I can use on my 20D AND my 300D (as well as the new Picture Styles, if I wanted to).
On the other points, because I do have DNG converter, if the proprietary RAW is dropped by the manufacturer, I can then convert. By keeping the RAW file, all my options are open; not if I delete them. It's that simple.
As far as all data being present in the DNG file, that may be true (I'm not a specialist), but in that case it still remains in the DNG file as proprietary, ie not understandable if you don't know what it means. As a consequence, the format being open does not mean that all data is readily usable. This is the reason that softawere supporting DNG need to support the original RAW format to support the DNG for this camera. A lot of people (including me), thought that softawre supporting DNG would have to bother developing specific support for new cameras, as long as DNG COnverter supported it, but it proved wrong, for the reason above. DNG does NOT provide a standard RAW format, but a standard file wrapping of the RAW datam to my understanding.
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budjames
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 09:35:17 AM »
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I'm using LR 2.2 on my MacPro 8-core running OS X 10.5.6.

I started converting RAW file archives of various Canon DSLRs that I owned over the years (10D, 20D, 1DMkII and 1DsMkII) along with RAW files from my current Canon DSLR 40D and 1DsMkIII to DNG format. I have burned the original RAW files to DVDs for backups. I do all of my RAW to DNG conversions in LR.

All is going well with DNG files using LR and PS CS4. I love not having to deal with sidecar files.

But I have a few DNG files that give me the "sidecar file missing" question mark icons on the LR Library view. There are no sidecar files in the same folder as the offending DNG files as they were deleted along with the original RAW file during the conversion process.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the "?" icon indicating that the sidecar file is missing?

Thanks.
Bud James
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Bud James
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francois
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 10:03:18 AM »
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Quote from: budjames
...
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the "?" icon indicating that the sidecar file is missing?

Thanks.
Bud James
I also see the "?" with a few  old files. I simply click on the "?" icon and - IIRC - Lightroom offers to update the files (in oher words: LR creates XMP sidecar files).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 10:03:53 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2009, 12:33:27 PM »
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Bud....

Although I do not do it, I was going to suggest what you do which is also what I've heard some other folks do.....and that is once the RAW file is converted to DNG, burn the RAW files to another form of backup (external drives, DVDs, etc.) as the "original" file.  For probably $200 (US) a year or less you could save all of your original RAW files as ORIGINAL and never touch them again unless you really needed to go back to them; meanwhile using the DNG files as your current digital "negative".

This approach would seem to provide the best of both arguments.

Cheers....

Todd in Chicago

Quote from: budjames
I'm using LR 2.2 on my MacPro 8-core running OS X 10.5.6.

I started converting RAW file archives of various Canon DSLRs that I owned over the years (10D, 20D, 1DMkII and 1DsMkII) along with RAW files from my current Canon DSLR 40D and 1DsMkIII to DNG format. I have burned the original RAW files to DVDs for backups. I do all of my RAW to DNG conversions in LR.

All is going well with DNG files using LR and PS CS4. I love not having to deal with sidecar files.

But I have a few DNG files that give me the "sidecar file missing" question mark icons on the LR Library view. There are no sidecar files in the same folder as the offending DNG files as they were deleted along with the original RAW file during the conversion process.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the "?" icon indicating that the sidecar file is missing?

Thanks.
Bud James
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budjames
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2009, 06:44:49 PM »
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I do burn the original RAW files to DVDs before converting to DNG and deleting them from my LR 2.2 database.

I just converted a bunch more CR2 files and the resulting DNGs had the "?" in the upper right corner indicating that the sidecar file is missing. Since they are DNG files, I don't understand why LR is looking for a sidecar file in the first place.  

With this batch of converted files, clicking on the "?" made it disappear from the thumbnail on about 50% of the images, but it's a pain to click on each file one at a time. Is there a way to accomplish this in a batch mode?

Also, the original files that started me on this thread, the "?" doesn't disappear when I click on the DNG frame in grid mode. Any more suggestions there to get ride of the erroneous "sidecar file missing" message on my converted DNG files?

Thanks.
Bud James
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 07:31:10 PM by budjames » Logged

Bud James
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