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Author Topic: DNG Workflow  (Read 9093 times)
teddillard
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« on: October 31, 2008, 06:28:35 AM »
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USING.  USING dammit.  

This has come up in a few threads,  thought it might be good to devote one to the subject.  

Beyond simply using DNG files to provide a safer alternative to a proprietary RAW file, how are you using them in a workflow?  

I'm not really asking about the other DNG issues, such as adoption by the industry, etc, etc, since that has been very well addressed in other threads...  notably and recently here, by Jeff:
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=29008

...but I am very interested in the processing advantages mentioned in that thread, but not really elaborated on.  DNG does contain the "maker files", the special sauce that the camera manufacturers embed, but ACR cannot use that in most cases, and niether can the OEM software once it's in DNG.  The last I looked, other developers that embed processing data make it so that data is only readable by themselves...  (Irident, I think, was the last I looked at.)  DNG also contains a great JPEG embedded, as John's noted, but how do you use that in a systematic workflow?

I'm looking at the possibility of working with DNG files in a Smart Object workflow too, but so far just see it as another level of processing.  

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 05:26:47 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
NikosR
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008, 06:33:39 AM »
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The only use I have for DNG is when I use DxO for converting some of my images. I open the raw in DxO, process, output DNG and import than in LR. I use that workflow ONLY when what I need DxO to do is basic raw conversion + NR + geometric distortion and CA correction. Using DNG allows me the flexibility to then process the file in LR very similarly to if it were raw.

If I want to use the full DxO adjustments available I will probably opt for a DNG -> TIFF - > LR workflow.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 06:48:25 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
Farkled
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2008, 10:10:52 PM »
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FWIW, I see no safety in DNG.  Will Canon succumb before Adobe?

I use DNG as does NilosR except that I will sometimes process quite a bit in DxO before feeding to ACR (I do no yet have LR).  I delete the DNGs when I'm done with the set.
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 12:27:17 AM »
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Quote from: Farkled
FWIW, I see no safety in DNG.  Will Canon succumb before Adobe?


Well, let's see...Minolta? Contax? And, if you owned one of the early Kodak cameras, Kodak has quit updating the software for processing those raw files. So, those users better hope Adobe fares better than many in the photographic industry.

BTW, I just gave away my 8x10 Polaroid processor...oh, and Polaroid will quit making film, the only one to continue will be Fuji.

So, there's no such thing as a "sure thing" except for a raw file format that is publicly documented. See, it doesn't depend on Adobe then.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2008, 12:55:31 AM »
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Hi,

AFAIK DNG is a pretty open format, essentially like TIFF. It conceivable that DNG would survive without Adobe. It may be slightly optimistic that Canon will support all old versions of cameras ever. Having a single format instead of many just makes things simpler for everyone.

I wouldn't say DNG is perfect, I know far to little about raw formats for that. I just hope that DNG grows into a common ground of handling raw data just like TIFF and JPEG are used for processed images.

Erik

Quote from: Farkled
FWIW, I see no safety in DNG.  Will Canon succumb before Adobe?

I use DNG as does NilosR except that I will sometimes process quite a bit in DxO before feeding to ACR (I do no yet have LR).  I delete the DNGs when I'm done with the set.
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 01:18:04 AM »
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Quote from: teddillard
DNG does contain the "maker files", the special sauce that the camera manufacturers embed, but ACR cannot use that in most cases
ACR could use the additional information, but the basic position is, that ACR has to deliver the very same result, no matter if from the native raw file or from a DNG without any undocumented information.

Thus ACR uses only that data, which can beconverted in standard metadata, be it Exif, TIFF-EP, or DNG.

Examples:

1. WB can be converted in DNG, so ACR does make use of the WB information, even though that is undocumented,
2. contrast, sharpness, saturation can not be converted; although there are corresponding fields in Exif, they are not suitable as substitute. Thus these settings will be ignored by ACR.
3. Highlight Tone Protection (a flag in MakerNote, again undocumented) is partly supported, for the adjustment of intensity can be translated, but the initial curve change (which will be done in-camera and by DPP) can not be expressed in the standard metadata.

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and niether can the OEM software once it's in DNG
If the OEM software can take advantage of the original MakerNote, then it can use it with minimal effort from the DNG file as well.

Quote
DNG also contains a great JPEG embedded, as John's noted
The Adobe DNG converter may add one or two JPEGs (one medium and one large), in addition to the thumbnail, if the respective option is selected. These are standard in TIFF, most programs can use at least one of them. For example if you open a DNG file with ACR, this preview JPEG is displayed first.
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Gabor
NikosR
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2008, 04:24:06 AM »
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Just want to point out that the original question was about integrating DNG in one's workflow. Now. As it is. Not what may happen in the future. The OP explicitly pointed out that there are other threads (he also pointed to the latest) for discussion of the future of proprietary raw formats vs DNG or DNG's potential capabilities.
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Nikos
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2008, 04:28:27 AM »
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Quote from: Farkled
FWIW, I see no safety in DNG.  Will Canon succumb before Adobe?

I use DNG as does NilosR except that I will sometimes process quite a bit in DxO before feeding to ACR (I do no yet have LR).  I delete the DNGs when I'm done with the set.

You might to take a look at what DxO has to say about doing that. Take a look at my post in this thread http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....28285&st=20
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Nikos
dchew
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2008, 04:31:40 AM »
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I use DNGs in my workflow as follows:

1.  Import RAW CR2 files into LR to a WIP catalog.
2.  Rough edit, keywording and basic developing.
3.  Convert all selected, potentially usable files to DNG and export/import to my master catalog.

This way all my RAW files in the master catalog are DNGs.  If there are CR2 files in there I've screwed up somewhere or got lazy.  It's good for a part-time photographer like me who may not get to working on imported files for days or weeks after a shoot.  Keeps me organized.

So for me, the DNG format is more of a discipline thing, not so much all the reasons everyone else debates.  Although I do think there are more advantages than disadvantages to the DNG format.

Dave Chew

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teddillard
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2008, 05:24:56 AM »
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thanks for the posts, keep 'em coming.  

VERY SORRY about the misspelling on the subject line, it's driving me nuts.  Any way to change it? I can't get to it via edt post.  (OCD)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 05:50:23 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2008, 05:38:25 AM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
ACR could use the additional information, but the basic position is, that ACR has to deliver the very same result, no matter if from the native raw file or from a DNG without any undocumented information.

Thus ACR uses only that data, which can beconverted in standard metadata, be it Exif, TIFF-EP, or DNG.

Examples:

1. WB can be converted in DNG, so ACR does make use of the WB information, even though that is undocumented,
2. contrast, sharpness, saturation can not be converted; although there are corresponding fields in Exif, they are not suitable as substitute. Thus these settings will be ignored by ACR.
3. Highlight Tone Protection (a flag in MakerNote, again undocumented) is partly supported, for the adjustment of intensity can be translated, but the initial curve change (which will be done in-camera and by DPP) can not be expressed in the standard metadata.


If the OEM software can take advantage of the original MakerNote, then it can use it with minimal effort from the DNG file as well.


The Adobe DNG converter may add one or two JPEGs (one medium and one large), in addition to the thumbnail, if the respective option is selected. These are standard in TIFF, most programs can use at least one of them. For example if you open a DNG file with ACR, this preview JPEG is displayed first.

Good points...  just to clarify, ("If the OEM software can take advantage...") is there any OEM software that can work with DNG files now?   I'd be shocked, but am I reading right that Canon may be close to allowing that?

Got that on the JPEGS, this point was brought up in that another thread by John- the bigger JPEG as being a very big, high quality file that could be used as a "snapshot" (my words, not his) to process back to if need be...  I'm not sure why or how you'd use that, it certainly does not fit into any of my processes.  

"but the basic position is, that ACR has to deliver the very same result,..."  I'm not too clear on what you mean here.  Whose position is that, Adobe?  You're saying they feel they have to match the OEM processing, or are you saying they have to match the processing between the OEM RAW file and the DNG?
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Ted Dillard
teddillard
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2008, 05:43:20 AM »
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Quote from: Farkled
FWIW, I see no safety in DNG.  Will Canon succumb before Adobe?

I use DNG as does NilosR except that I will sometimes process quite a bit in DxO before feeding to ACR (I do no yet have LR).  I delete the DNGs when I'm done with the set.

Interesting...  why do you use DxO?  You like the processing or controls better?  

I took a look at DxO awhile back, I'll have to look again.  (Does it support Smart Objects?    )
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Ted Dillard
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2008, 05:45:45 AM »
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Quote from: NikosR
Just want to point out that the original question was about integrating DNG in one's workflow. Now. As it is. Not what may happen in the future. The OP explicitly pointed out that there are other threads (he also pointed to the latest) for discussion of the future of proprietary raw formats vs DNG or DNG's potential capabilities.

...thanks for that.  
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Ted Dillard
Panopeeper
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2008, 10:59:03 AM »
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Quote from: teddillard
Whose position is that, Adobe?  You're saying they feel they have to match the OEM processing, or are you saying they have to match the processing between the OEM RAW file and the DNG?
If you convert a native raw file in DNG and then process the native raw and the DNG in ACR side by side, you get the very same result. ACR does not use more information from the native raw file than available in DNG format (NOT in the MakerNote saved in DNG).

In other words: if some information can not be converted in DNG (which does include Exif and TIFF-EP), then ACR does not use it.
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Gabor
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2008, 12:00:58 PM »
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Quote from: teddillard
Is there any OEM software that can work with DNG files now?

Yes.

SilkyPix is the "OEM" software for many cameras, such as Pentax cameras. It reads DNG files (whether Pentax-created or not).

Capture One is the "OEM" software for Leica cameras. It also reads DNG files (whether Leica-created or not).

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"but the basic position is, that ACR has to deliver the very same result,..."  I'm not too clear on what you mean here.  Whose position is that, Adobe?  You're saying they feel they have to match the OEM processing, or are you saying they have to match the processing between the OEM RAW file and the DNG?

As Gabor noted, consider two raw files (1) a non-DNG raw file (e.g., Canon CR2, Nikon NEF) and (2) a mosaiced DNG raw file created from (1). Camera Raw and Lightroom will process #1 and #2 exactly the same.

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john beardsworth
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2008, 03:39:43 AM »
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Though it's attractive to compare the future readability of the myriad raw formats with DNG, Ted was asking about workflow advantages:

1) The embedded preview reflects your adjustments and is available in other non Adobe programs without a need to convert the raw data. So for those managing their archives with catalogues such as iView or Portfolio, they see the DNG's adjusted preview - with raw they only see the raw file's unadjusted preview (unless they use the camera maker's software like Nikon Capture).

2) The embedded preview is sufficiently good that it can speed up a variety of output processes. It's very much faster, for example, to output web galleries of entire shoots from iView because it uses the embedded preview whereas Lightroom, because its Web workspace lacks a draft mode, insists on generating the output directly from the original raw data. Multimedia authoring programs such as ProShow can show the adjusted DNGs.

3) Archive space needs are reduced because DNG file sizes are typically smaller than the raw originals. This depends on the original raw file's compression, but a DNG can be up to 35% smaller than a Nikon raw file, maybe 5-10% smaller than Canon.

4) The DNG carries metadata inside the file, not in a sidecar file, and this includes adjustment instructions, so it's easier to transfer your work to someone else or onto another computer.

5) The DNG carries metadata like copyright and keywords inside the image, so there's less risk that your metadata will go missing over time or be lost when someone else receives your files.

6) More non-Adobe programs read DNGs' embedded metadata than read sidecar files. Just as one thinks of the long term readability of the raw data, DAM is a process of serial monogamy, and you have to assume that one day you will inevitably move out and go elsewhere. Embedded metadata lets you leave with your metadata and take it to your new love. Imagine Adobe went under and you wanted to switch to Apple's Aperture - it fails to read metadata in sidecars but can read it from DNGs. (Going back to future readability, Aperture will also read the DNG files even if Apple has decided not to support the original camera).

John
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teddillard
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2008, 04:02:18 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
6) More non-Adobe programs read DNGs' embedded metadata than read sidecar files. Just as one thinks of the long term readability of the raw data, DAM is a process of serial monogamy, and you have to assume that one day you will inevitably move out and go elsewhere. Embedded metadata lets you leave with your metadata and take it to your new love. Imagine Adobe went under and you wanted to switch to Apple's Aperture - it fails to read metadata in sidecars but can read it from DNGs. (Going back to future readability, Aperture will also read the DNG files even if Apple has decided not to support the original camera).

John

Thanks, John...

About this metadata point.  First, regarding sidecar files, last I checked, over a year ago, mind you, nobody could read each other's sidecar files, has this changed?  Minor point, and in service of the DNG argument, but just to clarify...

Now, as far as the metadata in the DNG that is sidecar-related, the tests I ran showed that no one, at that point, made or read the DNG metadata, specifically the processing settings, interchangeably either.  I could process the file, save as DNG, then open the DNG in Camera RAW and it would show none of my processing.  Again, is this no longer the case?  At that time I did a bit of cross-program attempt with all the same result.

Finally, as far as Aperture goes, are you saying that Aperture 2 will now read DNG files made from non-supported cameras?  Again, last I checked, it could not and the folks I talked to at Aperture indicated it would not...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 04:09:47 AM by teddillard » Logged

Ted Dillard
NikosR
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2008, 04:06:57 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
Though it's attractive to compare the future readability of the myriad raw formats with DNG, Ted was asking about workflow advantages:

1) The embedded preview reflects your adjustments and is available in other non Adobe programs without a need to convert the raw data. So for those managing their archives with catalogues such as iView or Portfolio, they see the DNG's adjusted preview - with raw they only see the raw file's unadjusted preview (unless they use the camera maker's software like Nikon Capture).

2) The embedded preview is sufficiently good that it can speed up a variety of output processes. It's very much faster, for example, to output web galleries of entire shoots from iView because it uses the embedded preview whereas Lightroom, because its Web workspace lacks a draft mode, insists on generating the output directly from the original raw data. Multimedia authoring programs such as ProShow can show the adjusted DNGs.


Just to point out FWIW that processing a Nikon NEF file with Capture NX results in the embedded jpeg preview being updated which in turn results in the same advantages described here. So this advantage is not restricted to DNGs. I use Photo Mechanic a lot and it does offer the described advantages when working with Capture NX edited NEFs.

In fact, some of the other advantages you mention also apply to Nikon NEFs, with the added advantage that virtually any 3rd party software can open and read these (Unfortunately just the raw data. They are not necessarily able to write NEFs or understand any embedded processing instruction metadata since Nikon keep the format to themselves...).  This is not, currently and unfortunately, true for DNG.

This is by no means meant as a critisism of the DNG format, it is more a statement reflecting the current situation of adoption of the DNG format by other 3rd party software manufacturers.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 04:16:51 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
john beardsworth
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2008, 04:09:39 AM »
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Quote from: NikosR
Just to point out FWIW that processing a Nikon NEF file with Capture NX results in the embedded jpeg preview being updated which in turn results in the same advantages described here. So this advantage is not restricted to DNGs. I use Photo Mechanic a lot and it does offer the described advantages when working with Capture NX edited NEFs.
Hey, you even quoted me saying "unless they use the camera maker's software like Nikon Capture"

John
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NikosR
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2008, 04:20:08 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
Hey, you even quoted me saying "unless they use the camera maker's software like Nikon Capture"

John

Maybe I misread to where your quoted phrase was applicable to. I thought you were saying 'unless...Capture' to read the files, while you obviously meant 'to update' the files in the first place. If I did, I apologise.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 04:20:38 AM by NikosR » Logged

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