Author Topic: Off topic, allowed? .dng  (Read 10338 times)

Offline courtlevephoto

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Off topic, allowed? .dng
« on: November 20, 2007, 09:57:05 AM »
Not sure if this sort of discussion is allowed/frowned upon here or not.  I'm in process of renaming all my files with consistent names, keywording, etc..  One thing I'm still confused about is .dng.  I see the obvious benefits, smaller file sizes, faster to work with, uniformed format.

What are the downsides?  Are people widely using .dng?  I've worked with a few publications and they will ONLY take .dng files.  Other don't care.  I shoot moslty raw so the disc space saving to me is huge in itself.  My fear is also obvious, all my eggs in one basket.... 

Just trying to find THE answer to a question that has yet to be clearly defined.


thanks.

Offline Frantisek Vlcek

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 12:02:31 PM »
Basically, if you use only Adobe products for editing your RAW files, than you can probably comfortably use DNGs. That is convert your RAWs into them.

Mind you though, there is quite a lot of information in the RAW file makernotes, that doesn't make it into the DNG because it is kept secret by the camera manufacturers. Or some not so secret but Adobe doesn't get it anyway. That may be from exact lens type used to more importantly some hidden colour properties of the sensor.

That's one of the reasons that for example Capture / Capture NX is giving (not only in my opinion but others as well) much better colour rendering of skin tones from RAW files than Lightroom/Photoshop.

So it's up to you. Until more manufacturers (currently just Pentax and Leica, AFAIK) support native DNGs right out from the camera, I am keeping my NEFs and CR2s... As Photomechanic can caption these very safely (usually more safely than the original manufacturers' own software, ha!) I don't see the need for a change.

Your mileage may vary, though. Frantisek

Offline William R Wood

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2007, 07:06:20 AM »
What are the downsides?  Are people widely using .dng?  I've worked with a few publications and they will ONLY take .dng files.  Other don't care.  I shoot moslty raw so the disc space saving to me is huge in itself.  My fear is also obvious, all my eggs in one basket.... 

In my view the correct solution is to convert your RAW files to DNG and also save the RAW originals themselves.  Use the DNG files as your working copies and treat the RAW files as archive copies.  Disk storage is cheap.  Right now I use Lightroom (demoing PM) which will automatically convert my CR2s to DNG on import and simultaneously save the CR2s to a separate hard drive.  PM cannot do DNG conversion which is a major issue to me since I do not want to be forced to add a separate DNG converter to my workflow.

If you convert your RAW files to DNG and then delete the RAW originals you are giving up the ability to use the camera maker's RAW conversion software and you loose other proprietary data.  I use Canon's DPP (RAW converter) which requires CR2 files as much as Adobe's RAW processor which handles DNGs perfectly. 

By the way, to me the best reason to use DNG files as your working copies:  DNG eliminates the need for sidecar files because metadata can be written directly to the file.  RAW files, being proprietary, require those annoying sidecars.

Regards

Bill Wood

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2007, 08:36:09 AM »
By the way, to me the best reason to use DNG files as your working copies:  DNG eliminates the need for sidecar files because metadata can be written directly to the file.  RAW files, being proprietary, require those annoying sidecars.

Bill, incidentally that is also one of the (in my opinion) big advantages of Nikon Capture with the Nikon Raw format over any other RAW converter: the ability to save the (non destructive!) edit steps inside the file, without having to use a sidecar file.

This means for me DNG does not offer me anything new/better.  So so far I have not seen a reason to switch to it.  On the contrary, as I predominantly perform my editing in Nikon Capture, dng would not fit my workflow at all...

Cheers.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 08:38:48 AM by Hayo Baan »
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline William R Wood

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2007, 11:15:04 AM »
By the way, to me the best reason to use DNG files as your working copies:  DNG eliminates the need for sidecar files because metadata can be written directly to the file.  RAW files, being proprietary, require those annoying sidecars.

Bill, incidentally that is also one of the (in my opinion) big advantages of Nikon Capture with the Nikon Raw format over any other RAW converter: the ability to save the (non destructive!) edit steps inside the file, without having to use a sidecar file.

This means for me DNG does not offer me anything new/better.  So so far I have not seen a reason to switch to it.  On the contrary, as I predominantly perform my editing in Nikon Capture, dng would not fit my workflow at all...

Cheers.

Hayo,

You are correct, of course, and I should have qualified my comment by saying that DNG is terrific if you do most of your RAW conversions and editing in Adobe or other products that create sidecars.  Since you do most of your work in Nikon Capture, I don't see any advantage to DNG for you either.

But for those folks who want or need to use DNG for some reason, my main point was don't delete your proprietary RAW files - you may need your untouched originals some day.

Regards,

Bill Wood 

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 07:28:00 AM »
Hi Bill,

You are correct, of course, and I should have qualified my comment by saying that DNG is terrific if you do most of your RAW conversions and editing in Adobe or other products that create sidecars.  Since you do most of your work in Nikon Capture, I don't see any advantage to DNG for you either.

Yes, exactly!  You could say for me the NEF is the DNG in this respect 8)

But for those folks who want or need to use DNG for some reason, my main point was don't delete your proprietary RAW files - you may need your untouched originals some day.

This is excellent advice!  (Note that even though with Nikon Capture I can always easily go to the original version of the NEF, I too keep a copy of the original out-of-camera NEF.  Just paranoid I guess  ;))

Cheers.
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline thermarest

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 01:02:07 PM »
Looks like this thread might be dead, but I guess I'll chime in anyway. I find dng to be extremely useful. The existence of the full size jpeg previews embedded within the file is very convenient for me. iView (now Expressions) uses this preview, as does PM. If you make adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, these adjustments show up when viewing in PM or iView. If you have CR2 or NEF files, PM shows them with the original default settings, which sometimes look very very different from how I want the image to look.

That said, I will never delete my CR2s. I have had a strong handful of corrupt DNG files and the only way I recovered was going back to the CR2. I decided to also back up the CR2s, which added to the disk space I need but I feel the convenience of DNG plus the security of having the CR2 was worth it for me.


Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 12:40:47 PM »
thermarest, doesn't the CR2 file come with a full-sized good quality JPG?  I thought it did...
For NEF, the out-of-camera quality of the JPG is good (usable for most purposes) and if you use Capture (NX), it even improves to excellent (usable for almost all purposes).

Because of this, I don't need (or want) DNG.  But I can certainly see the benefits for others!

Cheers
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline thermarest

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2007, 08:47:15 AM »
Hayo,

The CR2 preview is 1536x1024. This is usually good enough to assess sharpness and big exposure problems, so I do my initial culling in PM using the CR2s before conversion to DNG. But still, it is nice to be able to zoom into full resolution with PM or iView, which using DNG allows. If I stay in CR2 I have to use Bridge or Camera Raw to see full res.

When I make significant edits in Camera Raw (which is often), the CR2 preview still looks the same. Often the differences are large enough that the visual effect for me is significant as I browse. Since using DNG, it seems like I don't have to make separate small jpegs for emailing since the raw edits are included when using the Send Email functions in PM or iView. There may be good ways to do this staying in CR2 but I don't know them. Also is handy for auto-generating web galleries direct from the DNG files.

As Peter Krogh says it in his DAM book, the DNG carries around with it "a pretty good print" of your image. If NEFs have full-size jpegs I can see why DNG would be much less useful, but still I'm guessing you won't see RAW edits reflected inside the NEF, no?

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Off topic, allowed? .dng
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2007, 03:20:04 PM »
Hayo,

The CR2 preview is 1536x1024. This is usually good enough to assess sharpness and big exposure problems, so I do my initial culling in PM using the CR2s before conversion to DNG. But still, it is nice to be able to zoom into full resolution with PM or iView, which using DNG allows. If I stay in CR2 I have to use Bridge or Camera Raw to see full res.

When I make significant edits in Camera Raw (which is often), the CR2 preview still looks the same. Often the differences are large enough that the visual effect for me is significant as I browse. Since using DNG, it seems like I don't have to make separate small jpegs for emailing since the raw edits are included when using the Send Email functions in PM or iView. There may be good ways to do this staying in CR2 but I don't know them. Also is handy for auto-generating web galleries direct from the DNG files.

Hmm, a pity CR2's don't include a full resolution JPG (preview) image, you'll indeed need to revert to DNG to get that (and to see your edits as well).

As Peter Krogh says it in his DAM book, the DNG carries around with it "a pretty good print" of your image. If NEFs have full-size jpegs I can see why DNG would be much less useful, but still I'm guessing you won't see RAW edits reflected inside the NEF, no?
Well this depends on what software you use; with anything apart from Nikon Capture (NX), the preview JPG indeed won't reflect the changes as the other raw editors do not have the ability of Capture (NX) to non-destructively edit image files and save the edit steps within the raw NEF file.  This is one of the many beauties of Capture, and also the reason why I like it so much :)

To give you an example, Nikon redid their image settings with the D3 and D300, those changes have been incorporated into Capture NX, allowing me to apply the new technique (which renders most images even better than before) on my already edited images.  Because everything is saved as edit-steps, this is simply a matter of applying the enhancements, overwriting some of the original edit steps.
Hmm, I hope this is clear to everyone.  Guess it is easier to do then to explain ;)

Greetings,
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl