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DNG vs. RAW??
It was my understanding that the advantage of DNG over RAW was that the settings were imbedded(DNG) into one file, while with RAW you have the Actual file as well as a set of instructions in a second file, XMP??..

Comments (7)

Mikeobe wrote:.

It was my understanding that the advantage of DNG over RAW was thatthe settings were imbedded(DNG) into one file, while with RAW youhave the Actual file as well as a set of instructions in a secondfile, XMP??.

That part is true..

But the stated reason for the DNG format is to have an open RAW format that is not dependent on the vendor maintaining a converter for a particular format. To put in hypothetical terms, some day, Canon's newest camera will have a RAW format that is slightly different than the format used in the 2007. When (if) that happens, the RAW files you shoot in 2007 may be completely worthless because you can't convert them..

While that scenario seems unlikely, it should be noted that some of the earliest DSLRs have a RAW format that is no longer supported..

The theory is that, because the DNG format has a known specification, someone will always be able to write a DNG converter..

Http://www.adobe.com/products/dng/..

Comment #1

Soo, I have seen some sources encourage a person to convert their Raw files to DNG??.

Comment, pros/cons?.

Just searchin for an efficient workflow and less cluttered/fewer file saving techniques!..

Comment #2

Mikeobe wrote:.

Soo, I have seen some sources encourage a person to convert their Rawfiles to DNG??.

Comment, pros/cons?.

Just searchin for an efficient workflow and less cluttered/fewer filesaving techniques!.

Well, I'm no expert on DNG vs raw (beyond what the previous poster has told us) but I would say this.

There is no desperately urgent need for someone to convert their raw files to DNG in the near future. As long as you have suitable raw conversion software, they'll be good forever. Software doesn't wear out. Although in the long term it can become very difficult or impossible to use on later operating systems. But it's not a critical or urgent issue..

However:.

A good workflow for raw files might be something like.

- Open and edit/process raw file to desired result.- Save the result in an uncompressed format such as TIFF..

(I will leave it to others to offer reasons why DNG might be preferred to TIFF in this step)- Process to other formats, including jpg, as desired/required..

From this, you get TIFF files that are likely to be with us as long as JPG. And you get it as a natural result of your workflow..

As I said, I don't see why anyone should be thinking of rushing to their computer and converting all their raw files to DNG or any other format in the near future..

But, if you don't run each an every file through the above workflow, you will end up with a backlog of raw images that you don't have in any other format. (Presumably these will be your least important images, because you haven't bothered to process them, but anyway...).

It is probably worth keeping in mind, in the long term, that you would eventually want to be independent of raw for your most important photos. But I would build that into my workflow rather than make a major effort on it..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

Thanks for you response! Hope I'm not irritating you and everyone else, Butt, I'm a complete Newbie at this stuff!.

If a person is working with RAW files, why the necessity to use Layers?.

I've seen that after you make all your corrections, edits, etc. in layers then you have to convert to another format to "Flatten" your file?? What's that?.

Here again, another step and File to keep track of! Why not just make your edits, etc. in raw and then convert to Jpg, tiff, etc. when needed/desired and just leave the original(Raw) file as is!?..

Comment #4

Mikeobe wrote:.

Thanks for you response! Hope I'm not irritating you and everyoneelse, Butt, I'm a complete Newbie at this stuff!.

No worries. I'm no guru myself!.

If a person is working with RAW files, why the necessity to use Layers?.

Separate issues. Working raw and using layers are not really related - and working in raw does not mean layers become less useful..

Here's what layers do (in whatever editing software or file format you are using that supports layers):.

When you edit an image without layers, you apply each change to the original image. Your editing software may allow you to Undo individual changes, and Redo them, but essentially all your edits are to the original. When you save the image all of your edits are "locked in". When you re-open the image later, you can't "Undo" any of those changes..

It's like writing on a page with a pen - all the changes are final. (Forget about the possibility of an eraser!).

When you work with layers, you can apply each change in a separate layer (called an "adjustment layer" in Photoshop). You can make each layer visible or invisible. That way you can combine the effects of different changes to see how they work together..

AND most importantly: when you save the image, with the layers intact (not all formats support this), the layers are preserved and when you re-open the file in future you can continue to work with the layers. The resulting file is of course much larger than the original image because it contains so much more information..

It's like working with an original document and then making changes by writing on separate transparent sheets - and laying them over the original in different combinations as you see fit..

I've seen that after you make all your corrections, edits, etc. inlayers then you have to convert to another format to "Flatten" yourfile?? What's that?.

It's not that you "have to convert to another format to flatten" - it's that (a) you m ay choose to flatten, in order to "finalise" your image, or (b) you may need to flatten, because your output file format (e.g. a jpg to send to your lab for printing) does not support layers..

When you "flatten" a file that has been edited with layers, you effectively remove the layers and convert them to a single image. The resulting file loses the ability to be reopened and edited with layers. JPG does not support layers..

You might choose to flatten the image because you are absolutely done with your edits, you have the result you want, and you don't need or want to keep the (by now possibly quite massive) layered file. You don't absolutely have to do it, especially if storage space is not a constraint. But you do have to do it if you want to produce a JPG or other format that is to be opened / read /viewed / printed on a computer, or with software, that does not support layers..

It's like working with the transparent sheets in my abaove analogy, and then finally selecting the changes you want, removing the sheets you don't want, and making a photocopy of the document plus the selected sheets. The photocopy is final and the changes can't be undone (but you might leep your multi-sheet version as well, in case you want to do further edits in future)..

Here again, another step and File to keep track of!.

Well, yes, but if you develop good, methodical habits and especially a good file naming convention it's not too bad. Also cataloguing software like Photoshop allows you to maintain multiple versions of an image, all linked together, in multiple formats if you want..

Why not just makeyour edits, etc. in raw and then convert to Jpg, tiff, etc. whenneeded/desired and just leave the original(Raw) file as is!?.

No problem with that. Or you can use layers, as described above. The catch with doing what you describe is that having made the conversion, all the edits are locked in and if you want to make major changes including undoing your earlier work you'd have to go back to the original and start again..

Not all photos require such careful attention. I don't use layers when editing snaps for the family album, and I don't use layers when the edits are so simple that I could repeat them any time without thinking..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #5

Arrowman wrote:.

Well, I'm no expert on DNG vs raw (beyond what the previous posterhas told us) but I would say this.

There is no desperately urgent need for someone to convert their rawfiles to DNG in the near future. As long as you have suitable rawconversion software, they'll be good forever. Software doesn't wearout. Although in the long term it can become very difficult orimpossible to use on later operating systems. But it's not acritical or urgent issue..

The proponents of DNG would point out that now is the perfect time to convert. There is a possibility that the next version of Windows, or OS XI will not have a converter for your RAW format. Unlikely, but possible. If you convert from CR2 (or Nikon's RAW format) to DNG when you import them, you will (theoretically) be able to open the DNGs in all future versions of Windows and OS X..

All this depends on predicting who will still be around 20+ years from now: Nikon/Canon or Adobe. Today, it may seem unlikely that Adobe or Nikon/Adobe will fail 20 years from now. Then again, WordPerfect was huge 15 years ago and is now an afterthought...

Comment #6

But, lots of software besides Nikon/Canon's works with raw files (Adobe, Corel, Phase1, etc.). What could lead to obsolescence would be operating systems advancing to the point that they can't run 2007-era software. Considering Vista supports all former versions of Windows and MS-DOS going back to the 1980's, that's a scenario that's way in the future..

I'd worry about the longevity of the media long before I'd worry about file formats. How many people are a hard-drive crash away from losing their images?..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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