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Author Topic: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question  (Read 6283 times)

adias

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DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« on: August 23, 2015, 07:34:48 PM »

In a locked thread I only saw today, M. Reichmann said:

"In future years when a format that one of your cameras used to use no longer is supported, because the manufacturer has gone out of business or moved on to other things, don't come crying to me."

My question is: if a given RAW format is supported today by Adobe, meaning Adobe's DNG Converter is today capable of reading it and generating a DNG, why is it that such format cannot be read by a future Adobe's DNG converter in X years when such format manufacturer is out of business?

The issue seems to me that beyond the longevity and support of a given proprietary RAW format, there is also the question of the longevity and support of DNG (format and engine).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 12:10:58 PM by adias »
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TomFrerichs

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2015, 10:29:02 PM »

In a locked thread I only saw today, M. Reichmann said:

"In future years when a format that one of your cameras used to use no longer is supported, because the manufacturer has gone out of business or moved on to other things, don't come crying to me."

My question is: if a given RAW format is supported today by Adobe, meaning Adobe's DNG Converter is today capable of reading it and generating a DNG, why is it that such format cannot be read by a future Adobe's DNG converter in X years when such format manufacturer is out of business?

The issue seems to me that beyond the longevity and support of a given proprietary RAW format, there is also the question of the longevity and support of DNG (format and engine).

The DNG format is well documented. Individual camera RAW formats, certainly from Canon and Nikon, are not publicly documented.

Further, each camera model puts a slightly different spin on the file format, although those changes are getting smaller. For example, some D7200 shooters were rewriting the EXIF data in their RAW files so they looked like they had been created by a  D5200 to get them processed by convertors until that software caught up with the new camera.

Software could be written to process DNG files much later down the road since the format is open. A programmer wouldn't need to reverse engineer the format as the first step. Additionally, if multiple manufacturers adopted DNG or other open format, then the work of writing a convertor could be amortized over many camera file types.
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digitaldog

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 10:39:20 PM »

The issue seems to me that beyond the longevity and support of a given proprietary RAW format, there is also the question of the longevity and support of DNG (format and engine).
You could substitute TIFF for DNG in the above sentence. IOW, what's the long term support for TIFF, JPEG (two openly documented formats) or PSD (one that is proprietary)?

Depending on how long, long term is, anything is possible. But the history of file formats, and it's not that many years, illustrates openly documented formats survive longer than proprietary formats. The TIFF I created in 1990 in Photoshop 1.0.7 can be opened to day in Photoshop CC but as importantly, many other software products.
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Andrew Rodney
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AlterEgo

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2015, 11:21:30 PM »

The DNG format is well documented. Individual camera RAW formats, certainly from Canon and Nikon, are not publicly documented.

Further, each camera model puts a slightly different spin on the file format, although those changes are getting smaller. For example, some D7200 shooters were rewriting the EXIF data in their RAW files so they looked like they had been created by a  D5200 to get them processed by convertors until that software caught up with the new camera.

Software could be written to process DNG files much later down the road since the format is open. A programmer wouldn't need to reverse engineer the format as the first step. Additionally, if multiple manufacturers adopted DNG or other open format, then the work of writing a convertor could be amortized over many camera file types.

apparently you are not aware that dcraw & exiftool and their derivatives|refactoring already preserve access (and "document" publicly) to those raw formats for posterity... open source, available for eternity.
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AlterEgo

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 11:28:31 PM »

the question was = "if a given RAW format is supported today by Adobe, meaning Adobe's DNG Converter is today capable of reading it and generating a DNG, why is it that such format cannot be read by a future Adobe's DNG converter in X years when such format manufacturer is out of business?"

the answer is - no need to worry, if Adobe decides to drop such support, then you can always run the most recent combo of OS/Adobe DNG converter for that OS that still supports that particular raw format... in case of any trouble in a virtual machine... so once raw is supported that really means it is supported forever.

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adias

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 01:24:19 AM »

the question was = "if a given RAW format is supported today by Adobe, meaning Adobe's DNG Converter is today capable of reading it and generating a DNG, why is it that such format cannot be read by a future Adobe's DNG converter in X years when such format manufacturer is out of business?"

the answer is - no need to worry, if Adobe decides to drop such support, then you can always run the most recent combo of OS/Adobe DNG converter for that OS that still supports that particular raw format... in case of any trouble in a virtual machine... so once raw is supported that really means it is supported forever.




That was my point... It does not matter if a given proprietary RAW format ceases to be maintained by its originator, as long as (i) that RAW format was supported by DNG at some point in time and (ii) DNG is still running/alive at that time.

Therefore, there is no worry to use today a proprietary RAW format (supported by DNG) even if one does not use DNG and has not converted the proprietary RAWs to DNG... because one can always convert the proprietary RAWs to DNGs in the future.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 01:56:05 AM by adias »
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digitaldog

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 10:11:34 AM »

Therefore, there is no worry to use today a proprietary RAW format (supported by DNG) even if one does not use DNG and has not converted the proprietary RAWs to DNG... because one can always convert the proprietary RAWs to DNGs in the future.
We shouldn't have to. Now should new camera buyers have to wait on everyone to support that new format. It eventually gets 'hacked' at an expense of others, what's the point?
But then there are the numerous advantages to the DNG format itself...
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Andrew Rodney
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AlterEgo

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 10:29:13 AM »

Now should new camera buyers have to wait on everyone to support that new format.


one example - mr X likes color rendering from Adobe own profiles... mr X has to wait till Adobe profiles the camera... or mr Y likes color rendering from PhaseOne own profiles... mr Y has to wait till PhaseOne profiles the camera.


plus as dcraw code (sequential releases - do compare) clearly shows changes in format itself are indeed very rare - all tags used by 3rd parties are well known... but Adobe insists that if the well known tag(s) containing the camera model has a different camera model inside (and that is not a change in format) then ACR/LR will not open the raw file... it is their business decision with valid reasons behind it indeed, however it just shows that the reason for not supporting the new camera are not the changes in the format itself  ;D
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: DNG long term support of proprietary RAW formats question
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 11:14:15 AM »


one example - mr X likes color rendering from Adobe own profiles... mr X has to wait till Adobe profiles the camera... or mr Y likes color rendering from PhaseOne own profiles... mr Y has to wait till PhaseOne profiles the camera.

Correct, the waiting argument is still as much nonsense as it has ever been, no matter how many times the fanboys repeat it. Everybody needs to (at least) profile a new camera. The better Raw converters may even use some of the proprietary camera maker's data directly from the Camera Raw, without the need to translate that to a DNGesque dialect (like adding exposure offsets that only make sense to Adobe programs).

Of course Adobe wouldn't mind if manufacturers did Adobe's work for them, but there's virtually no incentive whatsoever for the camera makers to do so. Instead, there are more drawbacks than benefits for independent companies with huge patent portfolios who do not want to spill the future technology beans before they need to.

BTW, Capture One apparently figured out long before Adobe did, how to do a more proper conversion of the Fuji Xtrans sensor data. One has only to look up the complaints about Adobe's earlier attempts on various fora.

Cheers,
Bart
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