Archiving raw files.

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by benjamin_kim|2, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. Im currently using lightroom to archive all raw files base on year, date, and topic. But some people told me that it's not a good way to archive raw files with lightroom but bridges. I have no idea why bridge is more superior tho. Im also using capture one pro too due to medium format and sony raw files. Which programs should I keep using then?
  2. There are two basic approaches: Use the file system's structure to organize images, or put references to them (not the image themselves) in a database and have multiple, overlapping organization methods (keywords, collections, etc.). Lightroom allows you do both, since when you import an image it can stay in its file system location.

    The Lightroom approach is vastly superior to using the file system only. It is often misunderstood by people who don't use it. The most common misconception is that it puts images into the database.
    EricM likes this.
  3. Most important is if it works for you. Think of a situation when your harddisk crashes, will you be able to rebuild your archive in a reasonable time.
    My archive looks a bit like yours, I had a harddisk fail on me and it took me little more time than that needed for copying the RAW files to a new harddrive. Lost about 15 pictures out of 60,000 or so. My conclusion was that my approach was ok.
    If you want to know all read Peter Krogh's DAM book.
    EricM likes this.
  4. I use Lightroom 5. I am converting all of my NEF (Nikon RAW) files to Adobe DNG files, in the hope they will be more consistently supported into the future. I have found that DNG files are more accessible across multiple platforms than are the NEF files from my various camera bodies.
  5. Lightroom is ideal for what you want to do. Bridge is not nearly as good, although it was pretty good until LR came along.

    I have to say that converting all RAW files to DNG seems unnecessary unless one thinks Adobe and Nikon will not be with us in the future. One could argue that they are more likely to remain with us in the future than DNG.
    EricM likes this.
  6. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

  7. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    How does a dng open in Nikon software? It doesn't. Your nef currently opens in more software than a dng. This wont change. I'd research and re-think this. Even Adobe suggests not to throw out your original raws after converting. If you're taking 100,000 images a year like some do here, this is unreasonable in both time and hard drive space.

    Yes, unnecessary. In the grand scheme of things today, DNG is small obscure file format that hardly anyone bothers with. Most of the seasoned pros and veterans have stopped with added step of conversion and almost all of the "new" photographers that have swelled onto the scene lately haven't even heard of dng. It's just some little box they leave un checked on their $9/mnth Lr subscription.
  8. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    I archive all my raw files directly from the camera (CR2) by shooting date, stored on hard disk and BluRay. But I convert the (small percentage of) images I actually process into finished images to DNG. First, I use Photoshop CS5 and one of my cameras is too new for it to support. So I have to convert those files to DNG before I can do anything with them. (That's a better option for me than renting CC.) CS5 can read my other camera's files, but I export those to DNG in Camera Raw before I open them in Photoshop. The DNG files for the "keeper" images contain the adjustments I made in Camera Raw. I archive those "keeper" DNG files with the finished images. Those files are between 15% and 20% smaller than the original CR2 files, which can be significant when archiving to BluRay (alongside hard disks). But I also archive all the original CR2 files, whether I make finished images from them or not. That way I keep all my options open.
    EricM likes this.
  9. I shoot Canon. I find it inconceivable that either Adobe or Canon, particularly Canon, will shut off being able to read their own RAW files. If they do, then DNG has probably gone too.
  10. For those who don't know, DNG files (theoretically) have the benefit of maintaining all original settings and edits organically within the file, rather than requiring a sidecar file or a separate tracking file (as in LR). I've not yet figured out how to make very best use of this, but I, too, have newer camera bodies with NEF files my PS5 won't open, and I've been unsuccessful in loading the required update(s). We'll have to see how the DNG approach works over the long haul, but I'm just a dilettante anyway.
  11. Adobe Bridge is more file structure oriented than Lightroom, but Lightroom is perfectly up to the task, is generally quicker and has a much better thumbnail and retrieval system. Rather than allow Lightroom to decide where to store images, I use it to create directories and sub-directories on a RAID server centrally located in my home. I usually create directories and copy images from memory cards using Microsoft Explorer or Apple Finder, then import those images into Lightroom "in place." I use the same scheme on the road, and copy directories to the server when I return home.

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