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Author Topic: Michael's DNG comment  (Read 36769 times)
John Camp
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« on: August 06, 2012, 12:21:26 PM »
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I started a new thread on this because I think it's important, and the other thread on his commentary is mostly about hardware.

About the DNG standard. I work with cameras from three different companies (Nikon D800/D3, Panasonic M4/3, and Sony RX100) and it would be a great benefit to me if all three were DNG (and I do convert everything to DNG in Lightroom, except the RX100, for which Lightroom has no converter yet.) But, I don't think it's all the companies' fault. I think they feel pressed to provide at least some conversion software so that their customers don't have to go out and buy a relatively expensive and complicated program like Lightroom to process their raw photos. What might work better for everyone is if Adobe offered the companies a customized, compact conversion program (not just access to the standard, but an actual Adobe program) where the user interface is standardized across all cameras that use it; and then if Apple and Microsoft offered DNG compatibility with their built in OSX and Windows photo programs (they may do that already; I don't know, because I don't use them.) The idea would be to give people who are not that involved with photography a route to use RAW, even on a toe-dipping basis with their built-in software, and then have that knowledge apply to better and more sophisticated cameras if they choose to move up. Now, every time you buy a new camera, you have to start over. People say, "Well, buy Lightroom, it's not that complicated." It isn't, compared to Photoshop, but the Lula Lightroom instruction tapes are what, eight hours long? That's not a simple program, and represents a pretty steep learning curve for a lot of new camera buyers.

I guess another way of saying this is, there's nothing wrong with the Sony RX100 conversion software except that it's a mess. But it converts okay. If Adobe provided a front-end interface, and if the Sony engineers then adopted their conversion routines to that front end, life would be much easier.

Another thing: I suspect that a very large number of people buy expensive cameras not always because they want to be "pros" or "artists," but because they've been successful in life and they're interested in technology and a lot of other things, so they buy a nice camera and a few lenses...but they don't really have the time or the interest to completely master the whole Lightroom conversion/master printing routine. They may get good at it, but they really don't have time for the kind of stuff that we see routinely argued about on this forum. They'll learn the camera basics, and use Lightroom mostly to push a couple of sliders and to store the photos, and then make some okay (or even excellent) prints at default settings on an Epson or Canon, and that's about it. And that's great, IMHO. But for those people, who really don't want to learn a new Lightroom every two years, some real standards in interfaces would be a huge boon and a boost to the camera industry in general, IMHO.
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 12:27:11 PM »
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Apple, Adobe, Phase One and DxO all write powerful, full-featured raw image processing software - and they all support the cameras w/o in camera DNG... so why so much emotions ?
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 01:12:34 PM »
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I think the real point is also longevity, if all the camera manufacturers would adopt DNG or some other format than there would be a uniformity. And even some of the stand alone raw processors are no longer supporting older raw files. Like DxO stopped supporting the original Canon D30 and D60. I doubt it will ever happen as long as the Canon and Nikon, etc. management feels the need to be secretive about their processes so they will hold on to proprietary formats for as long as they make cameras or are forced by outside sources.


Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 01:19:05 PM »
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Apple, Adobe, Phase One and DxO all write powerful, full-featured raw image processing software - and they all support the cameras w/o in camera DNG... so why so much emotions ?

What does "w/o" in your statement mean?  Normally, this means "without", but without makes no sense in your sentence.
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Robert-Peter Westphal
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 01:34:50 PM »
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What does "w/o" in your statement mean?  Normally, this means "without", but without makes no sense in your sentence.

I guess this should mean that Lightroom supports all the "individual" raw-formats without the need of using DNG.

Robert
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 01:38:55 PM »
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What does "w/o" in your statement mean?  Normally, this means "without", but without makes no sense in your sentence.

all those companies support cameras without in camera DNG raw format and do not really have any issues because as it was properly noted (and can be seen by comparing sequential releases of dcraw code) there is not so much difference in raw formats between models... rarely something new appears like Fuji's non standard bayer layout and there the issue is not w/ the raw file format itself but w/ demosaicking and DNG format is not going to solve that... except DNG format will effectively prohibit manufacturers to offer exotic layouts  Grin
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 01:45:07 PM »
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I think the real point is also longevity, if all the camera manufacturers would adopt DNG or some other format than there would be a uniformity. And even some of the stand alone raw processors are no longer supporting older raw files. Like DxO stopped supporting the original Canon D30 and D60.

nothing can prevent DxO from stopping to support DNG files created by old cameras if so they decide... DxO has a code allowing them to read raw files from D30/D60 - their decision was certainly not because they suddenly discovered that they can't read the files  Grin
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 01:46:17 PM »
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I guess this should mean that Lightroom supports all the "individual" raw-formats without the need of using DNG.

Robert

LR and C1 and others mentioned by the author
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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 03:17:22 PM »
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My worry with a single format (designed unilaterally by a company that does not make cameras or sensors or the firmware that converts sensor signal to output file formats) is that it could impede the ability of camera and sensor makers to innovate. For example, does DNG support non-rectangular pixel arrays, or some of the other innovations tried by Fujifilm?

Rather than hoping for camera makers to adopt a format imposed on them by another company (and a potential competitor in the raw processing software market), I would aim for the middle ground that camera makers can design their own formats, but publish full specs so that software makers can easily support them. Codecs do not take up much space, so I doubt we need worry about any significant one being completely lost to future generations of raw processing software. At least anymore than one might worry about DNG losing support if Adobe slips from dominance one day.

Then again, I am just generally more enthusiastic about a good coherent integrated design of hardware and software combinations and maximum flexibility for innovation within the product lines of each competing company, and less so about premature standardization.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 05:11:03 PM »
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Hi,

Problem is that we would need to support a multitude (100s) of different formats over a very long time.

I would say that a good option may be to have DNG as an option, like TIFF on some cameras. So you can choose
JPEG, propriatery raw or DNG. Personally I am in favor of a common formate.

Best regards
Erik


My worry with a single format (designed unilaterally by a company that does not make cameras or sensors or the firmware that converts sensor signal to output file formats) is that it could impede the ability of camera and sensor makers to innovate. For example, does DNG support non-rectangular pixel arrays, or some of the other innovations tried by Fujifilm?

Rather than hoping for camera makers to adopt a format imposed on them by another company (and a potential competitor in the raw processing software market), I would aim for the middle ground that camera makers can design their own formats, but publish full specs so that software makers can easily support them. Codecs do not take up much space, so I doubt we need worry about any significant one being completely lost to future generations of raw processing software. At least anymore than one might worry about DNG losing support if Adobe slips from dominance one day.

Then again, I am just generally more enthusiastic about a good coherent integrated design of hardware and software combinations and maximum flexibility for innovation within the product lines of each competing company, and less so about premature standardization.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 08:48:11 PM »
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At the very least, as Eric suggests, DNG should be an in-camera format option.
Proprietary RAW would still be available as an option for those who want it as well.

Regards

Tony Jay
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 11:56:58 PM »
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all those companies support cameras without in camera DNG raw format and do not really have any issues because as it was properly noted (and can be seen by comparing sequential releases of dcraw code) there is not so much difference in raw formats between models... rarely something new appears like Fuji's non standard bayer layout and there the issue is not w/ the raw file format itself but w/ demosaicking and DNG format is not going to solve that... except DNG format will effectively prohibit manufacturers to offer exotic layouts  Grin

Thanks deejjjaaaa.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I read that yesterday.  I must not have been thinking.  Your sentence made complete sense w/the w/o.

 
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dreed
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 07:54:58 AM »
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But, I don't think it's all the companies' fault. I think they feel pressed to provide at least some conversion software so that their customers don't have to go out and buy a relatively expensive and complicated program like Lightroom to process their raw photos. What might work better for everyone is if Adobe offered the companies a customized, compact conversion program

For example, make Adobe Photoshop Elements capable of reading DNG files and box that with cameras?
That would add $80 to the price tag of all cameras, including those sold to folks that will never use Elements.

If DNG is to succeed that Adobe needs to do the following: renounce any IP ownership associated with DNG, DNG decoding or encoding.

They also need to give up ownership to a standards body so that there are no licensing fees associated with writing either a DNG decoder or encoder.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 08:50:56 AM »
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all those companies support cameras without in camera DNG raw format and do not really have any issues because as it was properly noted

Yes, they eventually support the proprietary raw formats weeks or months after they hack into the newer proprietary format and all users working with the above converters wait. Why should they? They don’t have to wait a second to use the JPEG that new camera spits out. Why don’t these cameras also spit out a DNG so we have full support the day the camera ships and we don’t have to convert to DNG because the dumb manufacturers don’t provide a 3rd setting (DNG) because of nonsense political reasons? The OP is spot on. There are zero reasons any photographers should argue against us having the option to save out DNG from the camera natively. Zero.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 08:52:59 AM »
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If DNG is to succeed that Adobe needs to do the following: renounce any IP ownership associated with DNG, DNG decoding or encoding.

What ownership?

Quote
They also need to give up ownership to a standards body so that there are no licensing fees associated with writing either a DNG decoder or encoder.

They’ve been trying. And there are no licensing fees that I’m aware of to use DNG.
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Andrew Rodney
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deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 09:18:58 AM »
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Yes, they eventually support the proprietary raw formats weeks or months

normal company has its production cycles plus normal company needs to create normal profiles ("icc/icm" or "dcp" or whatever they are using) and do some testing and so on... takes time... you might argue that DNG = have manufacturer's profile embedded... ask Pentax users (for example) how many of them are using that   Wink

after they hack into the newer proprietary format

in 9 out 10 cases there are nothing new in a format itself - again - compare sequential releases of dcraw and see how much new code was added to deal w/ the __format__ itself.

and all users working with the above converters wait. Why should they? They don’t have to wait a second to use the JPEG that new camera spits out. Why don’t these cameras also spit out a DNG so we have full support the day the camera ships and we don’t have to convert to DNG because the dumb manufacturers don’t provide a 3rd setting (DNG) because of nonsense political reasons? The OP is spot on. There are zero reasons any photographers should argue against us having the option to save out DNG from the camera natively. Zero.

please answer the question what Panasonic had to do when DNG did not support optics correction.... please tell me what I need to do to add some exotic bayer CFA layout or a combo of foveon and bayer and get that into DNG... DNG itself is not a solution - the only solution is when manufacturer itself is willing to publish the details about the data stored in its raw files... and when they DO - it might be DNG or non DNG - does not really matter... reading the data itself from raw files is the smallest issue here nowadays - raw converters moved past that time ago... the issues are demosaicking, NR, etc... Fuji CFA is a good example...
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 09:27:35 AM by deejjjaaaa » Logged
deejjjaaaa
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 09:29:54 AM »
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They’ve been trying. And there are no licensing fees that I’m aware of to use DNG.
who says the final word about how certain things are implemented in DNG - Adobe or some industry-wide committee where Adobe is just 1 vote ?
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sbay
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« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2012, 10:01:11 AM »
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I agree that it would be nice if camera manufacturers supported DNG as an additional output. But from a practical perspective is it such a big issue given that one can batch convert to DNG and throw out the original RAWs? (I understand there is some delay for support when a new camera model is released and it would help in this situation)
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2012, 10:57:20 AM »
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I agree that it would be nice if camera manufacturers supported DNG as an additional output. But from a practical perspective is it such a big issue given that one can batch convert to DNG and throw out the original RAWs? (I understand there is some delay for support when a new camera model is released and it would help in this situation)

It is not a big issue if your raw files are supported by the dng converter.  But, if the dng converter can not convert your raw files, you are sol.
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BJL
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« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2012, 11:40:35 AM »
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Most if not all of the problems raised about different cameras using different raw formats are actually problems with the specifications of the formats not being published promptly (or at all), causing some delay in the ability of third party software to process them.

But my intermediate goal of persuading camera makers to publish the specs of each new raw format (which they are less unlikely to be willing to do as they are to bow down entirely to Adobe control of raw formats), I do not see any substantial, remaining problems: those who wish to can simply have "batch convert to DNG" as part of their raw workflow.

Even if "DNG out of every camera" would be better, I am trying to be pragmatic about what there is the slightest hope of getting camera makers to agree to, because getting most or all major camera makers to hand over power to Adobe is not in the cards. For one hint as to why, look at the fights over Flash after Adobe aquired it.

Does anyone know if there is any effort to have something like an ISO or JPEG comittee mechanism for developing a raw file format? Either starting with DNG released by Adobe, or from another starting point?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 11:42:31 AM by BJL » Logged
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