Poll

Do you save your originals as DNG or RAW?

DNG
- 22 (26.8%)
RAW
- 60 (73.2%)

Total Members Voted: 81


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Author Topic: DNG or RAW  (Read 51590 times)

alain

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 04:23:48 am »

This question is about DNG or RAW for original camera files. Which format is your choice and why. I'm really more interested in your answers than in the poll but thought it might be interesting o see numbers. I usually don't save JPEG (unless it's the only thing available) and scanner files are TIFF. Files edited in PS are either TIFF or PSD.

I use RAW for :

No vendor lock in.
DNG stores extra metadata in the "large" RAW file while doing some -non destructive- changes, which makes backups and "backup snapshots" a lot bigger.
For good raw conversion the camera specifics need to be known to the RAW-convertor, this is a lot more work than decoding a RAW file (although it's probably less boring work).

 
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john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2013, 04:38:53 am »

Erik
You understand that converting to dng effectively locked you in the adobe products? IMHO not a wise long term strategy.

You understand you can happily use DNGs in Aperture? For example.

OK, you do have a point, but it's not black and white. Adobe's recent shenanigans should make us all more aware of the need to have exit strategies, but you're not locked in.

John

john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2013, 04:47:35 am »

DNG stores extra metadata in the "large" RAW file while doing some -non destructive- changes, which makes backups and "backup snapshots" a lot bigger.
With DNG you do not need to keep backing up the files simply because you've saved metadata to them! For one thing, the metadata doesn't contain all your work, so the backup value would be questionable. Secondly you simply fine tune your backup strategy to backup DNGs when they are new, not thereafter. Together with backups of your Lightroom catalogue, this provides have 100% coverage of your work. An inability to fine tune one's backup strategy isn't a reason for avoiding DNG.

alain

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2013, 05:07:26 am »

You understand you can happily use DNGs in Aperture? For example.

OK, you do have a point, but it's not black and white. Adobe's recent shenanigans should make us all more aware of the need to have exit strategies, but you're not locked in.

John
I use a PC, Aperture is, as far as I know, Apple only.
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alain

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2013, 05:13:28 am »

With DNG you do not need to keep backing up the files simply because you've saved metadata to them! For one thing, the metadata doesn't contain all your work, so the backup value would be questionable. Secondly you simply fine tune your backup strategy to backup DNGs when they are new, not thereafter. Together with backups of your Lightroom catalogue, this provides have 100% coverage of your work. An inability to fine tune one's backup strategy isn't a reason for avoiding DNG.

I don't use Lightroom, oh but then there's no use for DNG anyway.  It's an Adobe only format.

I like my backups to be as generic as possible, those are to important to mess around with ("finetune").
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john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2013, 05:24:46 am »

Fine tuning isn't messing around, just clear thinking.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2013, 05:26:35 am »

An inability to fine tune one's backup strategy isn't a reason for avoiding DNG.

Hi John,

To be fair, the same could be said about keeping one's Raw files Raw, and also save the XMPs with the same name. In fact, when only the small XMP file changes, it's much faster to back-up (think network or off-site storage) than a entire container DNG. It's also much easier to copy entire folders for others to work on.

What I fail to see is how one can assume that the conversion to DNG isn't built on Adobe's assumptions how the file should be rendered. Unless Adobe have unraveled all proprietary Raw formats, they cannot possibly utilize all the Maker-note data and masked sensel area information that the original Raw has to offer. There is a reason why e.g. Canon users get much more reliable color (notably Reds) with Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) than with Adobe's profiles.

IMHO, all DNG does, is make it easier to process images in (predominantly) Adobe applications.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 05:28:06 am by BartvanderWolf »
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john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2013, 06:02:32 am »

But, Bart, those xmp files fail to include a load of my Lightroom work, so their backup value is only second-rate. Backing up DNGs when only they are new, then routinely backing up the catalogue, provides 100% coverage of all images and work, and it isn't any more onerous in a network/offline environment. But this line of "you've got to backup your DNGs when you write metadata to them" keeps being wheeled out by the anti-DNG crowd even though it has always been bogus.

If you want to attack DNG with any credibility, it is far better to point to its patchy support by non-Adobe apps. That's where I would have doubts, but it's a case of inconsistency or limited choice rather than lack of options.

Is any of that maker note information really that useful? Really? Adobe do preserve it, just don't use or expose it (IIRC there's an unparsed additional metadata field in Lightroom's SQL).

John

alain

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2013, 06:26:46 am »

But, Bart, those xmp files fail to include a load of my Lightroom work, so their backup value is only second-rate. Backing up DNGs when only they are new, then routinely backing up the catalogue, provides 100% coverage of all images and work, and it isn't any more onerous in a network/offline environment. But this line of "you've got to backup your DNGs when you write metadata to them" keeps being wheeled out by the anti-DNG crowd even though it has always been bogus.

If you want to attack DNG with any credibility, it is far better to point to its patchy support by non-Adobe apps. That's where I would have doubts, but it's a case of inconsistency or limited choice rather than lack of options.

Is any of that maker note information really that useful? Really? Adobe do preserve it, just don't use or expose it (IIRC there's an unparsed additional metadata field in Lightroom's SQL).

John

Like said, backup is very important and most backup solution work on the file level.  Operational it should be working without thinking.

What you suppose is to backup only new files and NOT changed files.  This isn't something most backup programs support and for good reason.  Also things like snapshots, delorean backups (clever using hard links to create snapshots), time machine (for MAC users) will store a DNG every time it's changed. 

If a upload of images from a memory card gives a problem with a file, it's hopeful that you notice it before the backup is made.


I agree that it's also important that it's an adobe format without much (if any) support outside adobe.  It's not a nice message to someone that he/she has to keep renting Lightroom just to be able to open it's old photo's. But this is still better than having to say he/she screwed the backups. 



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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2013, 06:54:06 am »

But, Bart, those xmp files fail to include a load of my Lightroom work, so their backup value is only second-rate.

But, John, that also applies to my Photoshop layers, DNG files do not store those. Frankly, that has not much to do with DNG as a future proofing vehicle, but more with the application functionality (and databases, and warts, and such).

Quote
If you want to attack DNG with any credibility, ...

Huh? I just do not see the benefits for my workflow, YMMV.

Quote
it is far better to point to its patchy support by non-Adobe apps.

Now that would be the day, blame the others for not complying with Adobe's way of seeing things?

Quote
Is any of that maker note information really that useful? Really? Adobe do preserve it, just don't use or expose it (IIRC there's an unparsed additional metadata field in Lightroom's SQL).

After initially leaving out some data that was required to successfully reduce pattern noise, Adobe have come to realize that they'd better store everything(?) in their container, even if they do not (know how to) use it. Next someone will blame other software makers if they do not use the DNG as intended, while the Original Raw Converter will be able to utilize the original Raw data file. This will only get more complicated over time.

Currently, as another example, DPP will allow to retroactively correct for lens distortions and vignetting quite effectively, with the data stored in the original Canon Raws from my previous models as well. It even allows to 'de-fish' my fisheye wide angle shots. The same goes for dust removal if stored in the Raw file data, and there are no doubt more benefits we do not know about (I'm sure there could be a benefit for noise reduction when the camera's internal temperature field is intelligently combined with the exposure level data).

I'm not saying DPP, or LR, or PS, or you name it, is the best tool for everybody and their specific workflow requirements, that's not what this thread is about. What it is about, is that using DNG is mostly beneficial for working with certain Adobe applications (e.g. Lightroom), and may be a drawback for working with other software.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 06:58:32 am by BartvanderWolf »
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john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2013, 07:21:08 am »

To be honest, I'm not going to get into addressing every point, Bart. These discussions always disappear down rabbit holes with all sorts of micro-exceptions and nuances. People either get the advantages of DNG and use it, or they don't / won't. And yes, those advantages are most with Adobe applications. And yes, others - most of all, the camera makers - deserve blame for not supporting a non-proprietary standard.

"What you suppose is to backup only new files and NOT changed files.  This isn't something most backup programs support and for good reason."

Sure. So you just physically separate new or "virgin" DNGs from the "working" DNGs to which LR writes metadata. Once new DNGs are backed up, they can be moved over to the drive/folder for working DNGs which isn't targeted by the backup program. It takes a few seconds.

John

Damon Lynch

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Re: DPP vs. ACR
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2013, 07:56:04 am »

DPP will allow to retroactively correct for lens distortions and vignetting quite effectively

IMHO DPP can do an astonishing job optimizing files from a lens like the Canon 16-35 2.8 Mk I. I guess Canon put their optical scientists to good work there! I don't know why DPP needs to modify the original CR2 file but that is what it does. It would be so nice if Adobe could license this technology from Canon, because it's a real shame it's locked away in a RAW convertor that struggles in (many) other areas.

Bart I didn't realize that ACR also does a poorer job with reds compared to DPP. I had always thought occasional poor reds from my CR2s were purely because of the PhotoRGB -> SRGB workflow, but now I see there might be more to it. Something to keep in mind when I next process a CR2 with plenty of reds (assuming I don't need operations that Adobe excels at like highlight recovery).
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alain

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2013, 08:19:19 am »

...
"What you suppose is to backup only new files and NOT changed files.  This isn't something most backup programs support and for good reason."

Sure. So you just physically separate new or "virgin" DNGs from the "working" DNGs to which LR writes metadata. Once new DNGs are backed up, they can be moved over to the drive/folder for working DNGs which isn't targeted by the backup program. It takes a few seconds.

John
This is not so "simple" with several offside-backups, I have a rotation schedule that takes up to about one month (but only a few days after an important shoot).  I also don't need to think carefully when making backups.  Are you suggesting that DNG's should not to be worked on until all backups are done?   

A simple suggestion : keep the original RAW's in a separate location and backup those.  A lot safer and easier.  Storage has become cheap, a 3 TB drive is less than 100 euro's.  Using 3 for offside-backups will get quite far.

BTW. I hope that you do have offside-backups.
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john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2013, 08:25:33 am »

People always find ways to make things difficult, don't they?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 08:28:47 am by johnbeardy »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2013, 09:05:24 am »

Hi,

Having 75000 images in Lightroom is a mighty lock inů

DNG is an open standard, so anyone can use it. All programs I use support DNG fully, with Capture One and DxO being the exceptions, but I use neither.

An open and publicly specified standard developed by people with a long tradition in image handling seems like decent option to me, compared with formats invented by camera manufacturers. I don't think Nikon is more credible than Adobe.

Best regards
Erik


Erik

You understand that converting to dng effectively locked you in the adobe products? IMHO not a wise long term strategy.




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jrsforums

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2013, 10:15:40 am »

But, Bart, those xmp files fail to include a load of my Lightroom work, so their backup value is only second-rate. Backing up DNGs when only they are new, then routinely backing up the catalogue, provides 100% coverage of all images and work, and it isn't any more onerous in a network/offline environment. But this line of "you've got to backup your DNGs when you write metadata to them" keeps being wheeled out by the anti-DNG crowd even though it has always been bogus.



I'm confused....

How is backing up DNGs plus the catalog provide a better Lightroom backup than having backups of my RAWS, XMPs, and catalog?  Or for that matter, just my original RAWs and the catalog?  (though I prefer backing up the XMPs also)
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jrsforums

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2013, 10:23:50 am »

You care about proprietary metadata and such?

Andrew.....shame :-)

You know that is a fox....which should not be followed down the hole.  :-)
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John

john beardsworth

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2013, 10:35:10 am »

How is backing up DNGs plus the catalog provide a better Lightroom backup than having backups of my RAWS, XMPs, and catalog?  Or for that matter, just my original RAWs and the catalog?  (though I prefer backing up the XMPs also)

It's not better but it is complete - 100% coverage of my images and any work on them. The XMPs are superfluous but might provide the warm feeling of doing something.

jrsforums

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2013, 10:48:41 am »

It's not better but it is complete - 100% coverage of my images and any work on them. The XMPs are superfluous but might provide the warm feeling of doing something.

just to be clear....both are "complete", correct?
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PeterAit

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Re: DNG or RAW
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2013, 11:12:23 am »

Thanks for the responses, I was not aware that some cameras now use DNG as their RAW format.
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