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Author Topic: Archival storage format  (Read 4305 times)

David S

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Archival storage format
« on: June 13, 2016, 03:14:20 PM »

I am looking for ideas on how to best store shots for future use but archival for now. The files have all been processed in Lightroom but it is the storage format question that interests me.

Is TIFF or DNG a better choice?
If DNG should on include the original RAW file too?

Thanks,

Dave
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Telecaster

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 04:28:18 PM »

I'd say hedge your bets and save a version in every format you use. I do this, even though I then periodically go through old files and wipe everything besides the RAW (and JPEG if I had the camera set for RAW + JPEG production initially).

-Dave-
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David S

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 04:49:18 PM »

Yeah. I suspect that is the best.

Thanks,

Dave
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degrub

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 11:15:36 PM »

Multiple copies in several locations.
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Ajoy Roy

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 05:02:57 AM »

I use Nikon NX-D which creates sidecar files. I archive the RAW and sidecar files on at least two external disks.

The sidecar files can be decoded easily, so in future it is possible to rebuild the adjustments. I also assume that the Nikon NEF files will be readable in future.

In case you want to doubly sure of reading the files in case all the present software goes for a six, then you can convert the NEF files to either Tiff16 or to structured data files which contains 16 bit binary data with a text header. That will always be readable come what may.
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scyth

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 10:22:57 AM »

I am looking for ideas on how to best store shots for future use but archival for now. The files have all been processed in Lightroom but it is the storage format question that interests me.

Is TIFF or DNG a better choice?
If DNG should on include the original RAW file too?

Thanks,

Dave

certainly an original RAW as it was written by camera's firmware... what else is on top of that is a matter of taste - I backup to clouds raws, sidecars, finished output after conversion/processing... while cloud is not 100% reliable you can at least spread between several different providers who/which allow unlimited storage with paid subscription (while that lasts)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 10:26:22 AM by scyth »
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 01:18:01 PM »

I save all raw files and working PSD files.  I also archive are client formatted files (8-bit tiffs, jpegs and web-sized jpegs). 

I maintain all the files in two locations, one on site and one off.  I also am planning on installing a server, and all of my files would be kept on that as well if I did.  (This would make three locations.) 

I should not that I do not shoot many files on a typical job, roughly 6 to 8 images per day.  After erasing the test captures, my raws do not take up a lot of space. 
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rdonson

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 01:31:27 PM »

I save everything (RAW, PSD, PSB, JPEGs, videos, etc).  Disk space is inexpensive these days.

Stone me if you will but I never saw an advantage for me to convert RAW files to DNG.

All my photography files are on a redundant array (Drobo) which is backed up to another redundant array (Drobo).

I'm considering using BackBlaze for cloud storage as well.
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Ron

dwswager

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 08:32:39 PM »

I am looking for ideas on how to best store shots for future use but archival for now. The files have all been processed in Lightroom but it is the storage format question that interests me.

Is TIFF or DNG a better choice?
If DNG should on include the original RAW file too?

Thanks,

Dave

I store original RAW/JPEG files and any other files that represent work product.  That means XMP sidecar files from Lr or ACR, TIFF/PSD files derived from an original.

Most all are stored on 2 drives in a server and I have been attempting to find a media solution.  M-Disc is about the best from a logevity standpoint, but the limited capacities and price make you blanch next to SSDs today.
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BobShaw

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2016, 03:18:37 AM »

I save everything (RAW, PSD, PSB, JPEGs, videos, etc).  Disk space is inexpensive these days.

Stone me if you will but I never saw an advantage for me to convert RAW files to DNG.

All my photography files are on a redundant array (Drobo) which is backed up to another redundant array (Drobo).

I'm considering using BackBlaze for cloud storage as well.
+1. Pretty much what I do.
I have yet to hear a good argument for DNG, let alone an argument good enough to double my storage requirements, as you would not dare trash your raw.
I don't do cloud storage and probably never will simply because it is not practical when you have 3TB to back up.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 03:31:54 PM »

16 bit tiff and I'm done with the Raw image.

After re-edits starting with PV2003 then to PV2010 and then finally to PV2012, I don't think I can make the Raw image look any better with future upgrades and improvements to technology which was the original reason for shooting Raw.

Besides there are way too many other variables that screw up the Raw previews with each Raw processor upgrade especially with shadow and highlight detail that I'm done with this archiving for future proofing Raws and my associated edits and being concerned that if I don't keep up with technology all my work in the form of xmp sidecars or catalogs will no longer be compatible or read by the newer upgrades.

Do you know how much work it takes to re-edit over a thousand Raws just to see if the newer processing engine makes the image look better? It's exhausting!
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FabienP

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2016, 05:48:43 PM »

16 bit tiff and I'm done with the Raw image.

After re-edits starting with PV2003 then to PV2010 and then finally to PV2012, I don't think I can make the Raw image look any better with future upgrades and improvements to technology which was the original reason for shooting Raw.

Besides there are way too many other variables that screw up the Raw previews with each Raw processor upgrade especially with shadow and highlight detail that I'm done with this archiving for future proofing Raws and my associated edits and being concerned that if I don't keep up with technology all my work in the form of xmp sidecars or catalogs will no longer be compatible or read by the newer upgrades.

Do you know how much work it takes to re-edit over a thousand Raws just to see if the newer processing engine makes the image look better? It's exhausting!

Tim,

You don't think you could improve on your RAW files in the future... and yet you already improved them twice by migrating the original rendering from PV2003 to PV2010 and PV2012 ;)! Who could tell if, sometime in the future, an even better processing engine might help you extract even more goodness out of your original files? Obviously, you might not want to reprocess every file, only those which might benefit the most.

For that reason, I would never discard the original RAW files! I will let hairsplitters decide if original RAW files vs. DNGs are the best option. We might know a bit more about this question in twenty years ;D.

Cheers,

Fabien
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Archival storage format
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2016, 08:54:14 PM »

Didn't say I would throw away the Raw files. I'm keeping them.

I'm just not going to future proof the xmp sidecar edits in the their current state and convert/bake the edits into tiffs. The xmp sidecars edits will stay with the original Raws but I'm not putting faith in Adobe software upgrades reading them ten years from now.

Besides in the future I may just start over from scratch and toss the xmp edits if I happen to see a huge benefit in software features that make it worth my time.
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