ANYONE USING DNG?

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Andy
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ANYONE USING DNG?

Postby Andy » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:42 am

"dng" is Adobe's purported open architecture digital raw format. In the digital world, there has been a call by some for a "standard" format (much like jpeg or tiff) that would be embraced by all the camera manufacturers (Ironically, I believe the "tif" file format is now owned by Adobe). Just Google this topic to see that there has been a fairly robust debate over this -- whether there even should be a standard format and whether Adobe's offered format is truly open and non-proprietary. I don't really want to get into that debate. While perhaps interesting, it is not, IMO, useful and pragmatic.

One of the many books I read over the years made a pretty good case for .dng and I decided it worked well for me. I use virtually all Adobe processing products or products that interface with Adobe Photoshop. I don't see me changing that in the near future. So, to me, having my files in a format that Adobe "owns" is not threatening. There are some that say I should save a copy of the native .nef file as an archive somewhere. I don't. The dng converter from Adobe offers the ability to save an imbedded copy (compressed) of the .nef file within the dng file. I do that. Bigger files, but memory is cheap. The process of retrieving the file works -- I have tried it a couple times. So, in my mind, as long as I have at least the last copy of the dng converter software, I have the best of both worlds.

Why dng? For me it was pretty simple. First, I like the way the dng file works and looks in Bridge. Second, file management. The native files I am aware of (Nikon nef, Canon crw, Olympus -- I think its orw or something) all keep their "edits" in a separate file from the actual digital image file (called a "sidecar" file). When ever you move files, you have to be aware of this behavior and be sure the sidecar files stay with the original file, or any edits you make to metadata, raw adjustments, etc. will stay with the side car file. It always seemed clunky to me. Adobe designed their dng file to include all that stuff in one file. I like that, too.

I have been accused of being an apologist for the dng format. I'm not. It works for me. You may like it, you may not. I am always interested in the discussion, and open to persuasion that I am doing something really wrong. Thoughts?
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .


abby
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Postby abby » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:15 pm

Way over my head here Andy. Would like to give an opinion......but I don't even "get it".
:roll:
I have all my raw "nef" files saved in my windows photo gallery, and any that I have processed, I save them "as a copy" as a jpeg. Works for me. I don't even go into Bridge. Am I really missing out on something here?

ixl
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Postby ixl » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:54 pm

Honestly? I see no point to DNG files, at least at the moment.

My RAW files are not going to get deleted, so DNG files would just double the amount of storage taken up with really no value added that I can discern.

I just let ACR make its little XML sidecar files.
Charles Kozierok - DesktopScenes.com

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Andy
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Postby Andy » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:05 pm

Carol: Its a (matter, IMO, of what working process works for you. Whether you use Bridge or not is a matter of personal preference. As I mention in the other thread on file management, I think Bridge offers some shortcuts to batch file handling that make it worthwhile. Also, when you make ACR adjustments to a file, the adjustments show up in Bridge. Essentially, Bridge is a file management tool. For those using more current versions of LightRoom and using it more that me, Bridge may even be duplicative. But it is a way to review and manage raw files. CS5 even has a new "mini-bridge."

I would at least take a look at it.

OTOH, I would NOT recommend saving your processed files as jpeg. I would use a file format that is not "lossy." My preference is TIFF. However, some folks use the photoshop native format (.psd). Saving is ok., but any changes, etc. to the jpeg file and re-saving will result in degradation of the file. Generally, I only use jpeg for web use and situations when I need a small file.
Andy

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abby
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Postby abby » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:17 pm

Okay.......thanks.......so do you recommend I save as a TIFF, but then when putting on the web converting the TIFF to a jpeg, but also keep the TIFF as a saved file as well? Can you put a TIFF on the web? No, right?

Andy
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Postby Andy » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:34 am

Carol: I changed the other thread name, slightly, to "Processing and Archiving Your Digital Photos." This thread was started to be specific to the dng format and if people are searching the forum to look at the overall file format, processing, storage topic, they would probably not look here. Since your topic is definitely worth follow up (hopefully by the other talented photogs here), I am going to answer it on that Thread. From the look of it, this thread may die an early death :lol:
Andy

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Andy
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Postby Andy » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:20 am

Hi Charles: Thanks for weighing in on this. It is the "other view" I often hear and an obvious one. There may well come a day when I am sorry I didn't keep a completely separate file of the .nef raw images. I think your approach is pretty sound -- essentially, keep the orginal raw images intact.

And, agree that if you are going to do that, dng is simply a duplication that takes time and space without any real benefit.

Trying to remember, do you shoot Canon equipment? What do you use as your raw converter? If you shoot Canon, do they have their own raw converter and do you think it renders better than ACR?

nice to get some conversation going here in this forum.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

autzig
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Postby autzig » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:56 pm

I agree with Charles. The dng format was designed by Adobe as a standardization format. So long as ACR reads the CRW and CR2 raw files created by my Canon cameras, I don't see the need to convert them.

ixl
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Postby ixl » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:24 am

I shoot Canon and recently changed my workflow around. I now use Breezebrowser for file management and ACR for RAW conversion into PS CS5.

I think much more important than DNG is editing in 16-bit mode with a wide color space (I use ProPhoto now).
Charles Kozierok - DesktopScenes.com

View Autumn Scenes from Southern Vermont (2003), my free, 75-image foliage gallery!



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