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Author Topic: Should I convert all my RAW files to DNG?  (Read 3447 times)
larryg
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« on: May 24, 2005, 08:31:24 AM »
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I personally am going to wait until the dust settles and DNG is the one and only Raw format.

This would be a good thing, if and when it happens.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2005, 11:35:30 AM »
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When ACR shows all the metadata from the camera such as focus point and exposure compensation. I do use these features often, sometimes months after and you need the canon software at present.

Other than that I agree with Larryg, I will be able to read my CD's and convert RAW files with the adobe software for the next three years of so at least.
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Schewe
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2005, 02:10:03 PM »
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I personally will be converting all my CR2 files to DNG without embed original raw and deleting the proprietary raws. Since DNG 3.1 and Camera Raw 3.1 are safely migrating the private maker note to the DNG, I lose nothing except the ability to use the camera company's proprietary converter. As for choice, Phase One Capture One and Bibble support DNG. So it's not like you are locked into only Camera Raw with DNG.

I know the people involved with Photoshop, Camera Raw and DNG. I strongly believe there is a greator likelyhood that DNG will be supported on into the future than today's proprieatry raw file formats. I have no qualms with Adobe leading and owning the DNG specification. It's publically documented and plenty of 3rd party support is already there. I know of no other person that Thomas Knoll with the possible exception of Dave Coffin and Eric Hyman from Bibble, that has the broad experience in all the flavors of raw file formats out there. I think that Thomas and the 3rd party software that has already adopted DNG should be the people driving the development of DNG-which they are. Thomas willingly accepts feedback from 3rd party developers.

I also think that adoption of DNG by a wide range of photographers who can see a benefit-such as file size savings, common raw formt across cameras and brands, embedding of metadata right in the raw file, etc-will go a long way towards making the case than DNG is the defacto standard raw file format already. . .and the greater the adoption the greater the likelyhood that DNG support will continue and eventually be adopted by the camera companies-whether they "like it" or not.

I would suggest reading my article Digital Preservation regarding the issues of "sustainability" of digital file formats.

In my mind, the sooner we photographers adopt a "standard" the sooner the industry will require the camera companies conform to the standards. If the camera companies can't do it for themselves, it's up to us to force the standards. . .
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2005, 04:20:56 PM »
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My personal recommendation would be to not put all your eggs in one basket. Unless you have a particularly clear and accurate crystal ball there is a great probability that one or other photographic file formats will become unsupportable at some point in the future. The advantage of DNG, even if it is not supported by manufacturers and every piece of RAW processing software is that it provides an alternative archiving tool for the RAW data independent of the manufacturers proprietary format. If you store the original manufacturers RAW, a DNG copy and a processed TIFF file then you will have most of your bases covered and a high probability that you will be able to continue to enjoy your images into the future. If you also place these files on different media then you further reduce the opportunities for mishap.

Now the counter argument to this is that it is a lot of work, takes up storage space and is a pain in the proverbial. However, at the end of the day it is a case of balancing risk of failure against protecting your own data. Suggestions to convert all your files to DNG is effectively transfering the problem from one basket to another with a different set of risks characteristics - if possible you should spread the risk around a little bit.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Julian Love
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2005, 08:01:38 AM »
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I have been following the RAW format debate closely for a while now, however have not yet actually done anything about it (other than just emailing some contacts with the OpenRAW petition on this site).

I have a 1,000s of RAW files from a Canon 10D and 1Ds, saved on my computer's HDD and archived to DVD. Should I be converting these to DNG format now, to improve my chances of being able to access them years from now? Or is the DNG format still too new and its future too uncertain to make this worthwhile? Am I better off sticking with Canon CRW format for the next couple of years until the RAW format issue gets clearer?

I could of course make DVD archives of both CRW and DNG format files, but I don't want to go to the additional effort of this if I don't have to.

Do people have any suggestions? What strategies are other digital shooters adopting?

Thanks, Julian
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2005, 10:58:14 AM »
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At this point, as of DNG Converter 3.1 (the one that came with Camera Raw v3.1) all of the private maker notes from original NEF & CR2 files are being migrated from the original proprietary raws into the converted DNGs. As a result, I am now converting all my CR2 files to DNG. In the future, more formats' private maker notes will also be migrated according to Thomas Knoll.

Check out the PSN article I wrote: DNG Workflow
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mtomalty
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2005, 11:58:05 AM »
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Quote
At this point, as of DNG Converter 3.1 (the one that came with Camera Raw v3.1) all of the private maker notes from original NEF & CR2 files are being migrated from the original proprietary raws into the converted DNGs. As a result, I am now converting all my CR2 files to DNG. In the future, more formats' private maker notes will also be migrated according to Thomas Knoll.

Check out the PSN article I wrote: DNG Workflow
Jeff

You say you are in the process of converting your CR2 files to the
DNG format.Can I ask if you are converting and deleting the original
CR2 files or are you keeping the original CR2's as well?
I ask because I have arrived at a similar crossroad but still have
concerns regarding such a move.
Once a file is converted to DNG are there any other applications,at
present,that can open these files either for a different processing
'flavor' or for security concerns.After all,part of the impetus for creating
the DNG standard was partially born out of fear that at some point in the future certain proprietary RAW formats would be unreadable due to uncontinued manufacturer support for said formats.Though not
likely,but not impossible,what happens if Adobe falls to some unforseen event in the future.It has been stated in numerous forums
that if should such an event occur Adobe will ensure that the code
will be,or maybe it already is,in the public domain.
I'm not trying to stir up controversy where none really exists but
rather trying to come to terms with the implications that a whole
scale archive conversion to DNG could present.

Today,I could process my 1Ds/1DsM2 in any one of more than 1/2
a dozen Raw converters but I suspect that flexability,and redundancy,
would be lost should I convert to DNG.
Backing up multiple file formats on multiple storage media would
quickly become far too time consuming for most modestly busy
professional photographers who are already overburdened handling,
in most cases,just one file format.
I guess the point of my rambling is to try to understand if there is, or
would be,an option to converting a DNG file outside of the Adobe
Camera RAW environment.ACR is my primary choice but I do use
others for specific tasks and reasons

Thanks,
Mark
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mtomalty
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2005, 04:20:17 PM »
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As for choice, Phase One Capture One and Bibble support DNG. So it's not like you are locked into only Camera Raw with DNG.
Jeff

Thanks for the concise response. Thanks also for bringing me up to
speed on the fact that Cap One and Bibble support DNG.

Looks like there are now,in my mind,no major impediments to consider
concerning the  migration to DNG.

Mark
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Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2005, 04:58:58 PM »
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David,

You must do what your workflow and your requirements demand. All I can do is state what I'm doing. Take tiff off the table because it isn't a RAW file and therefore is merely a single limited iteration of the original.

I'm weighing the risks involved. I do honestly believe that at some point in the future (3-5 years at the longest) the camera companies will have no choice but to adopt standard raw file formats. . .will it be DNG? Or some flavor they concoct themselves? I don't know, but I do think the greater the adoption of DNG now the more likely the camera companies will be forced into adopting DNG later. Again, I think it's largely up to us since they have failed to do so themselves. . .

The more photographers adopt DNG, the greater the pressure will be to have mainstream adoption of DNG industry wide. In that regard, I see individual photographers having a great deal of influence over our own future. I choose to cast my vote for DNG, there is now, in my mind, no reason not to technically and plenty of reasons to do so politically. . .but it's up for you each to make your own decisions.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2005, 07:57:07 PM »
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As for choice, Phase One Capture One and Bibble support DNG.
Even though Phase One supports the DNG format they unfortunatly have not yet implemented it in their most current Capture One converter (3.7).

Since I'm converting everything into DNG I won't be puting any more money into their products. Can't use 'em and they can't seem to keep up with the marketplace.

For my work that I definatly want to access far down the road, I'm saving the original raw within the DNG; just in case. The stuff I probably will toss 5 years from now I'm simply converting to DNG to save space.

Personally, considering the traction the Nikon issue has taken I believe an open raw format will be adopted within the next year by at least one of the major camera makers. Most likely that format will be DNG considering how fast that has grown in popularity in such a short time. Then agian, I could be wrong, but I'd rather not be
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