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Question: Do you save your originals as DNG or RAW?
DNG - 22 (26.8%)
RAW - 60 (73.2%)
Total Voters: 82

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Author Topic: DNG or RAW  (Read 17753 times)
jrsforums
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« Reply #120 on: January 03, 2014, 11:35:33 AM »
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Bart.....very well said.....
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« Reply #121 on: January 03, 2014, 11:45:19 AM »
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Hi,

I would say that there is a need to make a distinction of raw data and the processing applied to it. Data that has been processed is not raw any longer, it is cooked.

DNG gives a well defined structure to store raw data and it defines means to describe the data. Having a standardised description doesn't mean that the data can be used, for that the application process needs to know how to interpret the data. Data from Bayer sensors can be interpreted at ease, but non bayer data may need special processing. Packing data in a DNG container doesn't mean the data can be interpreted immediately, but makes it probably that it can be handled correctly.

DNG can also contain proprietary maker data.

On the other hand, DNG can also contain processing instructions for the data. These are in a well defined format and are humanely readable, which reduces the risk they get inreadable with time. An application can just read  the information, and parse it. On parsing and processing a tag it can invoke whatever method it wants or just skip the tag.

Best regards
Erik

Erik, is there anything in those xmp instructions that exposes how Adobe's color engine translates those instructions to the video card in order to evoke a response from the user editing and creating the instructions?

There's got to be some level of proprietary "secret sauce" even with Adobe that makes what looks like non-proprietary instructions in the form of xmp code create magic in one Raw converter but crap in another using the same instructions.

Converting to a DNG format doesn't show how it controls how that works in order to clearly indicate it's not considered proprietary. DNG is just a container of instructions and data no matter what Raw converter creates it and so if all camera manufacturers and software makers adopted DNG then the instructions written and embedded should deliver the same results across all converters regardless of the originator of the DNG.

IOW is the proprietary portion of a Raw workflow still most prominent in the source file or the converter that first creates and embeds the instructions that deliver the initial look of the image that can't be considered proprietary since everyone is now using the same DNG format (when and if that ever happens)?
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Damon Lynch
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« Reply #122 on: January 03, 2014, 12:01:49 PM »
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Maybe a kind soul could write an article for Lula going into the problems DNG tries to solve, the barriers it faces, and just as importantly put it in historic context of what we've learned in the last few generations regarding best practices regarding digital data and its manipulation. It would be great if such an article could cover not only immediate benefits to a whole range of people, e.g. using shared metadata to facilitate inter-program processing (a trivial example is Photo Mechanic reading crop data from ACR XMP files),  but also the benefits to specialists like archivists. I know Jeff and Michael talked about DNG in one of the video series that came out a few years ago, but they didn't go into this material. Why, for instance, do we have two de facto industry standards for electronic office documents, but in comparison DNG is struggling? There might be very good reasons. I for one would be interested to hear an expert with inside knowledge discuss such reasons.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #123 on: January 03, 2014, 12:10:39 PM »
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Even film required a conversion process. Kodachrome also could not be processed in chemicals intended for another conversion, but a conversion will always be part of photography.
Agreed. But the film, processing and the labs that could do this were an option the day I purchased the film. That's not the case today and it should be. This isn't about a conversion process. It is about the choice of that process which to some of us is rather important. The rational that I can process that data using the supplied manufacturer's converter doesn't wash, the entire force of process is the issue.
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Andrew Rodney
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #124 on: January 03, 2014, 01:47:14 PM »
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Agreed. But the film, processing and the labs that could do this were an option the day I purchased the film. That's not the case today and it should be. This isn't about a conversion process. It is about the choice of that process which to some of us is rather important. The rational that I can process that data using the supplied manufacturer's converter doesn't wash, the entire force of process is the issue.

Hi Andrew,

I also like full control of my images/data. But I also don't mind switching to another application/process if that gives me better results. It's the result that counts for me. It also makes the workflow more complicated for me, but I don't believe there is a single universal best solution either.

This means that the file format, or the container of my image data, does not constitute the biggest weight in my decision process. For you that may be different, no problem with that.

However, DNG does not solve these issues, it's just a convenient container mostly when used in combination with Adobe software (less so with other software, currently). And Adobe, with their "perpetual pay or be locked out" subscriptions, is not exactly the first company I think of when it comes to unrestricted access to my data. So maybe that's another reason I'm not overly enthusiastic about that proposition. The DNG container does not solve my issues, especially when it 'forces' me in the arms of Adobe it tends to do the exact opposite.

Raw data is not just a set of RGB values that needs to be stored in a predefined space in the container, it also requires info about black-points, saturation point, color-balance between CFA filter transmissions and spectral range/overlap, CFA layout, color temperature of the dominant illuminant if Auto WB fails due to subject colors, sensor response curve (usually linear but can also be gamma encoded like with Leica raws), has sensor calibration data to adjust for PRNU noise and/or amp glow, maps out hot/dead sensels, may incorporate lens parameters, just to name a few obvious ones.

The container it comes in is not the problem as such, nor is it the solution, but it's the decoding of the data that makes a difference. And that decoding is more complex than deciding if we're dealing with a Color negative or Reversal film process. Such is the nature of the beast we call digital photography. We may or may not like the complexity of the process, but we do like the results when good image quality is the result. The container is not the issue.

Cheers,
Bart
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #125 on: January 03, 2014, 01:58:07 PM »
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Quote
On the other hand, DNG can also contain processing instructions for the data. These are in a well defined format and are humanely readable, which reduces the risk they get inreadable with time. An application can just read  the information, and parse it. On parsing and processing a tag it can invoke whatever method it wants or just skip the tag.

Erik, that concept makes sense now as long as it assumes those humanely readable instructions will be an adopted standard and readable by more advanced software decades from now. Archivists should be the most concerned. This also applies to DNG as an adopted standard.

I'ld REALLY like to have actual engineers or similarly technically knowledgable personnel from Nikon, Canon and other camera manufacturer non-DNG adopters tell the rest of the industry (including us) why they shun DNG format as Andrew has been pointing out. That's what's annoying.

Nikon and Canon aren't stupid and I don't see them as greedy opportunists guarding their "secret sauce" proprietary Raw format, so I'm guessing they must have thought this through and come up with good reasons. Just put us all out of our misery and give us a logical answer will suffice.  
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digitaldog
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« Reply #126 on: January 03, 2014, 02:14:28 PM »
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However, DNG does not solve these issues, it's just a convenient container mostly when used in combination with Adobe software (less so with other software, currently).
The same could be said of the JPEG. I just want the DNG so I have no more restriction than I'd get selecting JPEG. DNG solves that.
Quote
The container it comes in is not the problem as such, nor is it the solution, but it's the decoding of the data that makes a difference.
It is a problem if I want to decode that data and the decoder I wish to use doesn't understand what it will understand a few weeks or months later. That cycle is unnecessary.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #127 on: January 03, 2014, 02:34:39 PM »
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Nikon and Canon aren't stupid and I don't see them as greedy opportunists guarding their "secret sauce" proprietary Raw format, so I'm guessing they must have thought this through and come up with good reasons. Just put us all out of our misery and give us a logical answer will suffice.  

Sadly, I think you are wrong about Nikon and Canon guarding their "secret sauce" proprietary Raw format...

In terms of their "objections", over the years, Thomas has revised the SDK based upon the camera companies technical objections. Their objections regarding the Adobe devised (and owned) standard has also been addressed by Adobe by Adobe offering DNG for TIFF-EP. Unfortunately, standards bodies tend to go slow and those bodies include the companies who currently don't use DNG.

The camera company's objections to adopting DNG keep getting less and less defendable...the bottom line is they don't adopt DNG because they don't want to. When will they want to? When they have to because of industry pressure which starts with photographers.
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Glenn NK
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« Reply #128 on: January 03, 2014, 02:49:07 PM »
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The camera company's objections to adopting DNG keep getting less and less defendable...the bottom line is they don't adopt DNG because they don't want to. When will they want to? When they have to because of industry pressure which starts with photographers.

With the polled ratio of RAW to DNG users being a bit over 2:1, it wouldn't seem that they (camera makers) need worry too much.  That is if the process is democratic.  Smiley
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jrsforums
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« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2014, 03:16:10 PM »
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With the polled ratio of RAW to DNG users being a bit over 2:1, it wouldn't seem that they (camera makers) need worry too much.  That is if the process is democratic.  Smiley

...And I am sure many, such as I, did not bother to vote (RAW). 

Even if I was a confirmed DNG advocate. I would not stop buying cameras over the issue...and I do not understand what other lever would be effective...certainly not this forum.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #130 on: January 03, 2014, 03:19:09 PM »
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Sadly, I think you are wrong about Nikon and Canon guarding their "secret sauce" proprietary Raw format...

In terms of their "objections", over the years, Thomas has revised the SDK based upon the camera companies technical objections. Their objections regarding the Adobe devised (and owned) standard has also been addressed by Adobe by Adobe offering DNG for TIFF-EP. Unfortunately, standards bodies tend to go slow and those bodies include the companies who currently don't use DNG.

The camera company's objections to adopting DNG keep getting less and less defendable...the bottom line is they don't adopt DNG because they don't want to. When will they want to? When they have to because of industry pressure which starts with photographers.

Canon and Nikon have as much right to protect their "secret sauce" as Adobe does.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #131 on: January 03, 2014, 03:34:35 PM »
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Canon and Nikon have as much right to protect their "secret sauce" as Adobe does.
No one nor the DNG container denies them of this. No one's suggested that they don't have that right. So it's pointless.
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Andrew Rodney
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #132 on: January 03, 2014, 03:43:58 PM »
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No one nor the DNG container denies them of this. No one's suggested that they don't have that right...
Absolutely correct - how all the 0's and 1's get into the file, proprietary or DNG, is proprietary, the file itself should not be.

Tony Jay
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jrsforums
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« Reply #133 on: January 03, 2014, 04:38:51 PM »
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Hi Andrew,

I also like full control of my images/data. But I also don't mind switching to another application/process if that gives me better results. It's the result that counts for me. It also makes the workflow more complicated for me, but I don't believe there is a single universal best solution either.

This means that the file format, or the container of my image data, does not constitute the biggest weight in my decision process. For you that may be different, no problem with that.

However, DNG does not solve these issues, it's just a convenient container mostly when used in combination with Adobe software (less so with other software, currently). And Adobe, with their "perpetual pay or be locked out" subscriptions, is not exactly the first company I think of when it comes to unrestricted access to my data. So maybe that's another reason I'm not overly enthusiastic about that proposition. The DNG container does not solve my issues, especially when it 'forces' me in the arms of Adobe it tends to do the exact opposite.

Raw data is not just a set of RGB values that needs to be stored in a predefined space in the container, it also requires info about black-points, saturation point, color-balance between CFA filter transmissions and spectral range/overlap, CFA layout, color temperature of the dominant illuminant if Auto WB fails due to subject colors, sensor response curve (usually linear but can also be gamma encoded like with Leica raws), has sensor calibration data to adjust for PRNU noise and/or amp glow, maps out hot/dead sensels, may incorporate lens parameters, just to name a few obvious ones.

The container it comes in is not the problem as such, nor is it the solution, but it's the decoding of the data that makes a difference. And that decoding is more complex than deciding if we're dealing with a Color negative or Reversal film process. Such is the nature of the beast we call digital photography. We may or may not like the complexity of the process, but we do like the results when good image quality is the result. The container is not the issue.

Cheers,
Bart

Bart, unfortunately, it don't think the DNG advocates want just the info in the container....including the proprietary info.

If all they did was put it in the container, Adobe would need to do what they do today and write the "translator" to make use of it....which Adobe would then use with their proprietary code.

They want the info from the camera manufacturers to be translated into the Adobe defined form, with no hidden proprietary info standing in the way, so that Adobe does not have to do it.

At least, that is what I am getting from all their responses.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #134 on: January 03, 2014, 04:45:40 PM »
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Hi,

I guess I would! I bought a Sony 100 RX after reading Michaels article of glowing price, than there was almost three months of wait before I could use raw, I will never buy a camera again that is not supported by Lightroom! Film cameras excepted. That's a promise.

Best regards
Erik



...And I am sure many, such as I, did not bother to vote (RAW). 

Even if I was a confirmed DNG advocate. I would not stop buying cameras over the issue...and I do not understand what other lever would be effective...certainly not this forum.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #135 on: January 03, 2014, 05:01:06 PM »
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The camera company's objections to adopting DNG keep getting less and less defendable...the bottom line is they don't adopt DNG because they don't want to. When will they want to? When they have to because of industry pressure which starts with photographers.

Jeff, did you hear this or read it from authoritative personnel from these camera companies that they just don't want to adopt DNG? Or is this your assumption based on their actions?

As for photographers pressuring these companies to go DNG there's not much to do but write them and keep bugging them about it with the implied threat to buy from their competitors who do offer DNG support which there are few.

I don't see a lot of folks dropping Nikon and Canon just over a data file format option any time soon.

Any other ways to pursued, Jeff?
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jrsforums
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« Reply #136 on: January 03, 2014, 05:02:30 PM »
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Hi,

I guess I would! I bought a Sony 100 RX after reading Michaels article of glowing price, than there was almost three months of wait before I could use raw, I will never buy a camera again that is not supported by Lightroom! Film cameras excepted. That's a promise.

Best regards
Erik




So you would delay you purchase.
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John
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #137 on: January 03, 2014, 05:08:48 PM »
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Yes,

Until the camera is supported by LR.

Best regards
Erik

So you would delay you purchase.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #138 on: January 03, 2014, 05:29:56 PM »
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They want the info from the camera manufacturers to be translated into the Adobe defined form, with no hidden proprietary info standing in the way, so that Adobe does not have to do it.
No, that isn't what we want. But at this point, it is clear you're not following along. If you were, you wouldn't have made the comment about Canon and Nikon have as much right to protect their "secret sauce" as Adobe does. Pointless, obvious, not part of the problem or solution, no one has ever suggested otherwise. One of Jeff's described rabbit holes.
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Andrew Rodney
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jrsforums
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« Reply #139 on: January 03, 2014, 06:56:03 PM »
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No, that isn't what we want. But at this point, it is clear you're not following along. If you were, you wouldn't have made the comment about Canon and Nikon have as much right to protect their "secret sauce" as Adobe does. Pointless, obvious, not part of the problem or solution, no one has ever suggested otherwise. One of Jeff's described rabbit holes.
Interesting....you said the above, in response to my statement, "...They want the info from the camera manufacturers to be translated into the Adobe defined form, with no hidden proprietary info standing in the way, so that Adobe does not have to do it..."

If you are going to quote Jeff's rabbit hole statement, quote the applicable part of his post, where he says, "...By the time the capture data is written to media, it's just data. And it's data that Dave Coffin, Thomas Knoll and Eric Chan can "easily" decode (when I say "easily" what I mean is it's time wasted decoding new cameras simply because the camera companies can get away with it–and it's time Thomas and Eric don't have to spend on new processing algorithms)..."

I think it is pretty clear.  You guys want the camera manufacturers to change what they do to make it easier and less costly for Adobe.  This is irrespective of how it changes what they do, impacts any of their future development, and at the manufacturer's cost....therefore their customer's costs....because, as I sure you are aware....all cost must eventually be passed on to the customer.

Am I reading this wrong?  Are you guys in agreement or not?  Or, as seems obvious to me, you keep changing your response to poke at any disagreement that comes up.

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