DXO Optics and DNG format

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by stanleybeck, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. I’ve just been informed by DXO that DXO Optics doesn’t read/open DNG files created by other software. I find this a little odd, because it was the intention that DNG was to be the “universal negative” RAW file. It just doesn’t make sense to me that software developers would still want to be locked into proprietary file formats, which make their product less attractive to those using competitor’s products.
     
  2. DNG was created by Adobe in the hopes of establishing an open file format that all could access, regardless of their software source. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet, since the NIH attitude seems to be alive among other developers. Maybe in time, but I'm not holding my breath...
     
  3. What DxO says doesn't make any sense if they are following the DNG openly published format. I don't use the product but I recall hearing something in the past about them not following it hence this may be the issue. It's like saying they can't open a TIFF created by another package. DNG and TIFF are close cousins, openly documented and there should be zero issues with other software products IF DxO is following the spec.
     
  4. That's sort of what I was thinking, Andrew.
     
  5. http://dpbestflow.org/DNG
    Other popular imaging software that does not support DNG includes DxO (can’t read a DNG, but it can create a linear DNG) and Bibble, which can’t read or write DNG.​
    One thing I do know is if you wish to start with DxO, you can't get a true raw (non demosaiced) version out, even using DNG. It's a rendered image in the DNG package. So passing a DNG from DxO back to say Lightroom is kind of pointless. Might as well send LR a TIFF! It appear's DxO's "support" for DNG is simply as an output format and not a good variant at that, but they can't do anything but process the data and save it out as a non raw file.
    Nothing stops them from opening a DNG. They choose not to.
     
  6. For what it's worth, DxO's reasoning for "not DNG":
    We understand the issue with this format and here is an explanation: a DNG file cannot be used as just another RAW input file, since it does not contain all the calibration data Optics Pro uses when processing RAW files (especially, but not only, for the denoising algorithm).

    Therefore, even if Optics Pro could process DNG files without the data it requires, it could not achieve the same quality level as with an original RAW file, and we do not believe people who shoot RAW would be interested in such a substandard solution...

    This is the reason why Optics Pro only supports the DNG files generated by the cameras we calibrated in our labs, and for now we’d rather focus on extending our camera coverage than working on generic support for DNG files.​
    It sounds plausible on first blush, but I don't know if it's true. I can't imagine what "calibration data" are provided in (say) a CR2 that wouldn't also be provided in a DNG copy of the same CR2; or which data in a Raw file "drive" Optics Pro's (excellent) NR functionality that would not be in the DNG too.
    If it's proprietary "Maker Notes" data, that stuff is usually only fully readable by the camera manufacturer's own software.
     
  7. Not “plausible” because the changes made to DNG are non-destructive – they can be reset, just as NEF files can be reset by deleting the “xmp” sidecar file.
     
  8. It sounds plausible on first blush, but I don't know if it's true.​
    Still makes no sense to me. What so called calibration data are they talking about and from where? They process the camera maker's proprietary raws don't they?
    If it's proprietary "Maker Notes" data, that stuff is usually only fully readable by the camera manufacturer's own software.​
    And that data can be stored in a DNG even if everyone else couldn’t access it. There are private tags available for DNG conversion to store such proprietary info. Kinds of sounds like BS but you know who to ask, Peter Krogh who wrote the piece I referenced.
     
  9. It would be interesting to see Adobe's opinion of DxO's reasoning...
     
  10. LOL. I think Adobe’s opinion would be, “Stick with Photoshop and/or Lightroom, and don’t buy from our competitors.” If DXO wants to use the current situation to improve their market share, they should take a look at their own reasoning.
     
  11. Not “plausible” because the changes made to DNG are non-destructive – they can be reset, just as NEF files can be reset by deleting the “xmp” sidecar file.​
    I think we're at cross purposes, Stanley. I'm well aware of DNG (or any other Raw format) changes being non-destructive - that's not the issue.
    The issue is whether there's something in a native Raw file that Optics Pro needs, that would not be present in a DNG copy of the same Raw file.
     
  12. The issue is whether there's something in a native Raw file that Optics Pro needs, that would not be present in a DNG copy of the same,​
    I'm checking with Peter and he's checking even higher up. Hopefully we'll have an answer soon.
     
  13. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "The issue is whether there's something in a native Raw file that Optics Pro needs, that would not be present in a DNG copy of the same Raw file."​

    Maybe Andrew will tell us what data gets discarded when we convert to dng?
     
  14. Maybe Andrew will tell us what data gets discarded when we convert to dng?​
    I did get an answer but I need to hear back if I can use a direct quote and from whom the quote came from! The bottom line is this: as I assumed above, all metadata is preserved in the DNG file converted Adobe software. Even the proprietary metadata. I'm told this is for nearly every raw format that can be converted (read that as Nikon and Canon among others).
    So if someone wants to call DxO on this, by all means do so.
     
  15. DxO works in a way that both the camera and the lens must be supported and it uses those modules to get all the adjustments.
    For instance, if you have a not supported camera it will not perform the conversion of the RAW files, therefore it doesn't look that surprising it doesn't read DNG files not produced by a supported camera.
    As an example, check their supported equipment list and look for Fuji X-Pro1. As this camera is not yet supported you have to check "Other models" to see what the program can do, and going down the list you'll confirm that it will not convert the RAW files:
    http://www.dxo.com/intl/photography/dxo-optics-pro/supported-equipment
     
  16. DxO works in a way that both the camera and the lens must be supported and it uses those modules to get all the adjustments.​
    Fine but the question is if this data set is recorded by the proprietary raw file, it should also be recorded in the DNG. If DxO and read and understand it, it's not proprietary and should also be accessible in the DNG. IOW, nothing is thrown away, even data only the manufacturer could understand.
     
  17. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "I did get an answer but..."​

    You've been specific in past dng threads on what "useless proprietary data" gets discarded when converting to dng.
     
  18. You've been specific in past dng threads on what "useless proprietary data" gets discarded when converting to dng.​
    I think you misunderstood! The point about being useless proprietary data is that only the manufacturer can understand it. That's what makes it proprietary! And DxO would have as little use for data they can't understand as well everyone else. But that's not what they are saying or rather implying. Further, my source made it very clear that if one converts using Adobe software, the proprietary data isn't throw away, it is stored in private tags. Data that again is unusable to anyone else but still there. ALL the metadata including the camera maker's private metadata data is preserved in a DNG. Who can understand and access it is another story.
     
  19. OK, thanks to Peter for contacting Thomas Knoll and Thomas for allowing me to copy and paste exactly what he wrote back:
    I don't know what they are talking about. For nearly all raw formats (the main except being medium format camera backs), all the metadata (including the camera maker's private metadata data) is preserved in the DNG file created by Adobe software at default compatiblity settings. This is certainly true for Canon and Nikon raw files. If Adobe warned to commit the engineering resources to it (which we don't at present), we could write a reverse converter. For example (this would work for Canon also): NEF -(nikon raw software)-> TIFF NEF -(adobe dng converter)-> DNG -(adobe reverse converter)-> NEF -(nikon raw software)-> TIFF The two resulting TIFF files would be exactly (bit for bit) the same. The main reason the NEF files would be not exactly the same as we discard the camera generated JPEG previews in the original NEF file. We could generate very similar ones using the Nikon SDK, but I don't think the Nikon SDK is bit-for-bit identical to the firmware in the camera as far as rendering goes. Thomas​
     
  20. Oh and Thomas wrote back:
    I would be interested in hearing DxO's reply. I would like to hear exactly what bit of private metadata they are talking about.​
    So, anyone here who's perhaps a DxO customer want to ping them to explain?
     
  21. I have been doing some test with Nikon NEFs and DNG conversions, using the latest version (8.0.1.43) no compression, compatibility for Camera Raw 7.1 and later.
    Opening both .NEF and .DNG files with Rawdigger, it seems that the DNG version does not keep the masked pixel area present in the .NEF files, which is useful for noise characterization.
    According to the DNG specification, there is a tag for masked pixels, but I'm not sure why they do not appear in Rawdigger, so this is either a bug in Rawdigger or the free DNG converter strips away that data.
    If data such as masked pixels is thrown away in the DNG conversion, then the argument from DXO is reasonable.
    So passing a DNG from DxO back to say Lightroom is kind of pointless. Might as well send LR a TIFF!​

    I don't agree with this statement. DxO DNG are "Linear DNG" meaning the they are demosaiced (no longer RAW) but they:
    • Are not color space encoded, and it is actually the only way to preserve colours outside of AdobeRGB (the default workspace for DXO)
    • In LR you can apply the DNG profile of your choice and continue with the edits
    • You can apply white balance later as in a Raw File (the channels are still linear)
    • You can generate a DNG profile with the Xrite tool
    • You can open it in Rawdigger and do the analysis to the data
    This workflow had more validity in the past, when older versions of LR which did not have optical corrections.
    DxO has also reduced the compatibility with LR. Before you could select images from a LR catalog, not anymore.
     
  22. According to the DNG specification, there is a tag for masked pixels, but I'm not sure why they do not appear in Rawdigger, so this is either a bug in Rawdigger or the free DNG converter strips away that data.​
    I can't answer that but according to the spec and Thomas, that data should appear so it looks like a bug in RD to me. But again, that's an assumption. I could ask Thomas, but I suspect he'd say the same and RD could say otherwise.
    I don't agree with this statement. DxO DNG are "Linear DNG" meaning the they are demosaiced (no longer RAW) but they:​
    None of the items in your list could be encoded into a TIFF? I'm not saying that's necessary and my point was, you don't have raw data anymore. I suspect a good majority of DxO users are not as savvy about this as you are and assume: It's a DNG, it is raw. Based on the data you point out and based on expected workflows, makes sense it be saved as a DNG but I don't know that a TIFF couldn’t be used as well. And while this is interesting, it doesn't answer their lack of DNG on the input side which is the topic at hand.
     
  23. None of the items in your list could be encoded into a TIFF?​
    I guess you could. I should have said "The current implementation of DxO..."
    it doesn't answer their lack of DNG on the input side which is the topic at hand​
    Maybe it is just playing safe from their side as they only consider files straight from cameras. They actually do support DNG's from cameras (such as some Leica models)
     
  24. Just for the record, I don't subscribe to the idea that "something" about native Raw files compared to converted DNGs somehow makes or breaks Optics Pro's ability to convert and process a a file properly...
     
  25. This has been an interesting discussion, since I know so little about these file structures.

    "The point about being useless proprietary data is that only the manufacturer can understand it."​

    This would suggest that, in theory, the manufacturer’s software would be best able to convert and process their own RAW file, assuming all other controls are present and work equally well. If I remember, Capture NX and View NX were Nikon’s software, but was sold off to another company.
     
  26. This would suggest that, in theory, the manufacturer’s software would be best able to convert and process their own RAW file​
    In theory, but definitely not in practice - for example, even though DPP can no doubt delve into every dirty little secret contained in the encrypted Maker notes Exif, there's simply no question whatsoever that (to use one familiar example - there are many) Lightroom's demosaicing, noise reduction and highlight recovery algorithms are demonstrably just plain better than the ones in DPP.

    That's not to say that someone might not still prefer DPP's conversions, but objectively, Lr's demosaicing renders better detail with less noise and fewer artefacts; its noise reduction is starkly better in terms of the balance between noise suppression and detail retention; and Lr's ability to recover detail from hot-to-blown highlights is far superior to DPP's.
     
  27. The TRUTH is, they don't wanna, and you can't make them. The WHY is so much BS. Lots of good software out there.
     
  28. Great thread. I just installed the trial version of DxO Oprics Pro 9, hoping to compare the new PRIME denoise software to other current software. I'm an experienced software person, so I expected this to be a quick experiment. After an hour or so of digging, I've done it.. BUT my entire photo library is in DNG format.... and DxO prefers not to support this format. hmm.. Why would a software company trying to establish itself as best-of-breed image processing ban a market segment dedicated to hiugh quality imaging (ie those who have chosen DNG as an image format)? Seems like an odd business decision, but oh well. Adobe, Topaz, and NIK all make great denoise software, so bye bye DxO.
     
  29. Why would a software company trying to establish itself as best-of-breed image processing ban a market segment dedicated to hiugh quality imaging (ie those who have chosen DNG as an image format)?​
    Ask them. Send them this URL. Tell them you understand this is small engineering to implement and except for some political agenda, why will they not support this?
     
  30. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    so bye bye DxO.​

    Conversely, most of us have said bye bye to DNG. More options, and all that.
     
  31. I use DxO Optics Pro 9.0.1 and have been using earlier versions since 2009. I used to save my files in Raw, JPEG, DNG and sometimes TIF. I stopped the DNG a while back, thinking it was overkill, but I understand the compulsion.
    When I look at "Export to Disk" one of the choices is still DNG. Is not all DNG supposed to be the same format? I thought that was the whole point of DNG, that it is a generic format that should survive proprietary format wars. Am I missing something in the discussion?

    Since I don't use DNG anymore, I figured that it might be hard to find, so I started by looking a "Help" and there it was for anyone to see.
     
  32. It's not that DNG format changes, it's the Adobe DNG converter that changes it, but I'm not clear why Adobe needs to upgrade the converter and whether newer versions makes all DNG files backwards compatible with older Raw converters that use DNGs made with older Adobe converters.
    That's how you ask concerning a non-proprietary open source format and whether it will be compatible with all Raw converters past and future. Ask why the Adobe DNG converter needs to be updated/upgraded.
     
  33. I'm not clear why Adobe needs to upgrade the converter​
    For one, to update new cameras thanks to their proprietary nature. The converter updates to provide more functionality, much like we've seen in TIFF over the years (Layers etc). The user can control the version of DNG to deal with backwards functionality if necessary. IF a software product supports DNG, we'd expect the publisher to update it's DNG support which isn't large engineering by any degree.
     
  34. I could see where a DNG reading program might need an upgrade to take advantage of new OS or hardware issues. The old software might still open the file, but optimized new software might open it faster.
    Can DXO DNG files be opened in Adobe? I haven't tried in a couple of years. If no one knows, I'll create one myself and try, but I assume that someone knows.
     
  35. Can DXO DNG files be opened in Adobe?​
    If written to spec, absolutely but please give it a try.
     
  36. All their excuses look pretty weak now that DxO Optics Pro 10 is out and it accepts DNG files from Adobe.
     
  37. Grant S. writes:
    All their excuses look pretty weak now that DxO Optics Pro 10 is out and it accepts DNG files from Adobe.​
    I have no inside info about why DxO declined to support DNG in the past. But I can confirm Grant's observation: DxO Optics Pro 10, released in late summer 2015, supports Adobe-converted DNGs and provides the same lens corrections it gives to original raw files. I just tested this with some PDF files from 2009.
    Even more interesting: the new DxO ONE camera (brilliant review of which can be found here*) uses DNG as its native raw format, and its proprietary 'SuperRAW' format is basically just 4 DNG files inside a wrapper. So it appears DxO is now supporting Adobe DNG pretty well.
    I'm giving serious thought to going all-in on DNG. Major advantage for me would be having all that metadata written into the DNG file so I could get rid of XMP sidecars. I wish that my other cameras gave me the DNG capture option. It was one of the things I liked about my old Pentax cameras: I had choice of PEF or DNG. I'm mainly shooting Olympus and Panasonic micro four-thirds now and none of my cameras let me choose DNG raw capture. I expect Canon and Nikon to hold out as long as possible, but I do wish the micro four-thirds system cameras would adopt DNG. Seems more consistent with the micro four-thirds 'let's all get all along, okay?' philosophy.
    Will
    *"Brilliant review"? Well, my wife liked it. :)
     
  38. I so agree with this:
    Major advantage for me would be having all that metadata written into the DNG file so I could get rid of XMP sidecars.​
    IMHO they are a recipe for disaster. Nice plea for the adoption DNG can be read here
     
  39. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    It's baffling to me how anyone could be afraid of a file
    type.

    After my raw nefs are backed up and archived, all I have
    to be concerned about after that is the tiny xmp files.
    When my syncback software scans my drives for files
    that have changed since its last scan, it has a small task
    to back up just the xmp files instead of the entire massive dng.
    It's also wonderful to view a folder by 'file type' and just
    drag the xmp files over to external hard drives for
    updating your back ups. This is so much quicker on your desk time in front of the monitor
     
  40. Not sure who you are referring to as being 'afraid' of a file type but it seems to me that there are both pros and cons to converting RAW into DNG. I've read quite a few discussions on the web about this -- here for example -- and on balance it seems to me that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. However I can see both sides of the argument and don't find either of them baffling.
     
  41. It's baffling to me how anyone could be afraid of a file type.​
    Exactly, DNG is a file format, nothing to fear. As Lawrence states clearly and correctly, there are pro's and con's of each, be it TIFF vs. PSD, PSD vs. JPEG, proprietary raw vs. DNG. Use which ever works for your workflow. Nothing at all baffling unless you wish to make it baffling or are uneducated about the facts.
    FWIW, there's far more one can embed into the DNG container than XMP, data that is useful to many of us.
     
  42. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "IMHO they are a recipe for disaster."

    I was referring to this. I've never once heard about xmp
    files causing a problem or how they possibly could

    "...but it seems to me that there are both pros and cons
    to converting RAW into DNG."

    Judging by how little it is practiced today, it's safe to
    conclude that there's more cons than pros.

    I went all in
    when dng was introduced and just recently stopped it a
    few years ago. My "work for hire" material though, still
    has to be delivered in dng. It's a waste of time for me.
     
  43. "IMHO they are a recipe for disaster."
    I was referring to this.​
    Indeed it's FUD. And you're correct, there's nothing to fear with respect to DNG and other file formats. It provides enormous workflow advantages for some, zero for others. The same is true for JPEG or PSD. There are a few, tiny capabilities PSD's provide that TIFF doesn't but none for me so I never use PSD. For those that do, AOK. It's baffling to me too how anyone could be afraid of a file type.
     
  44. Why be afraid of a file type? The issue is the possibility that the software of tomorrow won't be able to read the files we create today in anything but the most important filetypes.
    As a prime example, try to open a PhotoCD. Photoshop dropped this capability around CS4. There are probably still a couple of ways, but it's getting slimmer and slimmer. (Other examples: 8-track music, floppy disks, SCSI scanner, etc.)
    I'm keeping my .NEF files. I use Lightroom, but I export the sidecar files, because I'm not counting on my Lightroom catalog being usable forever, more likely something will open the .NEF with the sidecar. I make good jpegs of every image and for special images a TIFF as greater insurance of future usability.
    I'm betting someone will keep producing software that opens .NEF files. Will future software be able to open DNGs? PSDs? Lightroom catalog? The iPhoto catalog? I'm not counting on any of these.
     
  45. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Great post, Sebastian. I feel the same. At some point you
    have to trust some file types and I'm more comfortable
    going into the future with nef/xmp files than having them trapped inside an obscure dng that the industry is already quickly forgetting about.


    "I'm betting someone will keep producing software that
    opens .NEF files. Will future software be able to open
    DNGs? PSDs? Lightroom catalog? The iPhoto catalog?
    I'm not counting on any of these."


    Nor me. Yet strangely there is people like you here that also can't open their earliest digital images yet still continue to close their options by converting to dng and throwing out their native raws. Foolish, imo.
     
  46. "IMHO they are a recipe for disaster."
    Oops! So sorry for the confusion! I omitted two little words from this: '...for me'. Knowing the way I work, at some point I'll almost certainly delete the XMPs or overlook them when moving my NEFs somewhere else. I already have enough files floating round the place without doubling the number - a single original file per image is enough for me!
    One thing that I am curious about is Eric~'s assertion that DNG is an 'obscure format that the industry is already forgetting about'. Leaving aside the fact that some manufacturers -- Leica, for example -- are using the format in camera, there is quite a bit on the web about the advantages that DNG offers. For example, the Library of Congress seems to be indirectly funding the promotion of DNG (click here for details) as well as other proponents of the format such as Michael Reichmann. So I'd be interested in hearing the evidence for the format being dropped.
     
  47. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    ob·scure. adjective. not well-known : not known to most people : difficult to understand : likely to be understood by only a few people : not clearly seen or easily distinguished : not readily understood or clearly expressed
    "One thing that I am curious about is Eric~'s assertion that DNG is an 'obscure format that the industry is already forgetting about'. Leaving aside the fact that some manufacturers -- Leica, for example -- are using the format in camera, there is quite a bit on the web about the advantages that DNG offers."
    Yet the dng advantages aren't enough for industry adoption. Leica and Pentax are small (obscure) companies and it makes sense for them to use dng. The better question is why everyone else (Sony, Fuji, Nikon, Canon) isn't using dng? Why don't they trust the Adobe format?
    The photographers out there making 3Tb's of raw data a year don't (usually) bother with the time consuming step of converting to dng. Why? Because when we do the dng thing, now we have two files, nef and dng. What's the next step? Do you delete your original nef and put your trust in dng forever? Not very many are comfortable with that conundrum. So, do you keep both nef and dng and back-up those up two file types as you carry on producing 3Tb's of raw files a year? That's what I chose. And when I'm staring at a computer with seven hard drives in it that's networked to synology nas with five more hard drives and that is then duplicated off-site while it takes 14 months for Crashplan to do cloud back-up...I'll tell you from experience that keeping both nef and dng begins to be ridiculous. Do my photos look better with dng? Are they more future proof? Does it save me time? Save hard drive space? Opens up software options? No, not in the least.

    "So I'd be interested in hearing the evidence for the format being dropped."
    I didn't say dropped. The new people to digital photography, have hardly heard about dng. They've come home with their $800 Costco kit and now paying $10/mnth for CC Lr like millilions of others and dng is now reduced to an obscure check-box on the Lr import window...one that many rarely investigate.
    Adobe has reduced their marketing for dng compared to the past and it's not even including anymore when you manually download the raw camera updates. And have you noticed it's even harder than it needs to be in order to find the dng converter on Adobe's site? If you're not convinced that dng is being forgotten about, take your own poll amongst your ten closest photographer friends and then take the additional steps and make polls on Flickr and the Fb photographer groups where you can sample from real numbers. You'll quickly find out that few actually bother converting their files to dng.
     
  48. I have a theory that the proprietary Raw file formats of the major makers is part of their overall strategic direction. For instance, when you compare dynamic range at low ISO between Nikon and Canon, you see that Nikon has higher DR. I always thought that was due to sensor design, but after I bought a 50+mp Canon 5DsR, I began to think that the Raw file format is playing a role. Soon after I bought my 5DsR, one of my Nikon buddies asked me about the Raw file size. I said that my files were averaging around 70MB and he said that the files from his 34mp Nikon 810 were that big.
    I wonder if Canon is purposely giving up a little bit of DR in order to increase processing speed. This weekend, I'll convert some files to DNG to see if they're larger or smaller than the Canon CR2 files. Of course, if the CR2 file format is limiting the collection of some DR data, then it's lost and will not show in a DNG file; however, in Raw conversion, I typically raise Shadows and reduce Highlights, so that data manipulation may create a larger file. Still, my base belief is that the Raw file contains all the data that you'll ever have. You can only recover highlights if there's data there to recover, but I'll see what happens.
    I'm old enough to have seen several file formats disappear in data storage and audio. I'd like to see DNG become a native format for Canon and Nikon, but I'll bet that there are strategic product placement choices that are at least partly delivered through proprietary Raw files.
     
  49. b·scure. adjective. not well-known : not known to most people : difficult to understand : likely to be understood by only a few people : not clearly seen or easily distinguished : not readily understood or clearly expressed.
    Sounds like a number of file formats including those that have nothing to do with image data.
    DNG like it's cousin TIFF is an openly documented file format, making both far easier for others to support and provide access than proprietary data. Like the PhotoCD example. Not only a proprietary file format (PhotoYCC) but the need to render that pre-raw with few existing tools to do so (FWIW, GraphicConverter for $39 can open PDC image packs and a slew of other files). So Proprietary data: Historically cases where files are difficult or nearly impossible to access. Open formats: Historically less so.
     
  50. David, just bracket a range of exposures, 3 stops 'under' and over, examine the raws with this:
    http://www.rawdigger.com
    The raw is the raw, view the raw histogram of each.
     
  51. If, "The raw is the raw" then why does Rawdigger say, "RawDigger supports nearly all cameras that have raw capability. Support for new cameras is usually implemented within few weeks after raw samples become available."

    It more like, if you can review the data, the data is the data, but it doesn't mean that Raw file engines use the sensor-data in the same way. Data might be truncated in order to speed up the processing, if that serves a priority of the camera maker.
     
  52. If, "The raw is the raw" then why does Rawdigger say, "RawDigger supports nearly all cameras that have raw capability. Support for new cameras is usually implemented within few weeks after raw samples become available."​
    Because the raw from new camera systems is different from the last, not necessarily useful and more to the point, requires all 3rd party raw converters to 'hack' the new format and understand how to render it. True for Adobe, the Rawdigger folks and every other non manufacturers raw converter.
    Again, proprietary data has it's flaws.
     
  53. Exactly. A Raw is not a Raw. All Raws, or almost all, are different. The makers have their reasons that we do not fully understand. If they didn't have their reasons, they'd all be using DNG.
     
  54. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    David, I'm not sure how long you've been around and in the game but I think you'd find this an interesting read from the OpenRaw.org movement. Stuart touches on many issues of why dng will never be adopted by the large manufactures and on the other side, Peter Krogh and Thomas Knoll's counter responses are just as valuable. I can't believe this is nearly ten years ago...
    Let me first make one thing clear: DNG is not an open standard for defining and storing all needed RAW camera information.
    DNG makes the RAW format problem worse, not better.
    DNG is not an open standard in that it does not document all the essential information contained in current RAW format files like NEF and CR2 (which also don't document this information).
    In many ways, DNG can be viewed as simply yet another RAW format with undocumented information - except that DNG has the added risk that information can be lost during conversion to/from DNG and other RAW formats.
    From a software developer point of view, DNG is a step backwards. From a camera manufacture's perspective, DNG does not address the missing elements in EXIF.
    From a photographers perspective, DNG is dangerous because people believe they are storing for the future with the format, when nothing could be further from the truth.​
    http://web.archive.org/web/20060421030226/http://www.openraw.org/node/1482
     
  55. Raw vs. DNG is not the main point I've been making. Given the huge difference in the relative size of Nikon's Raw vs. Canon's RAw, something else, besides EXIF, is going on. Whatever it is, we don't know, and that excellent article you cited (thank you friend) does not address.
    To restate very briefly, why is Nikon's 34mp sensor produce a 70MB file and Canon's 52mp sensor produce only a 70mp file? Is it that Nikon's sensor generates that much more information or is it that Canon has truncated its file to achieve more frames-per-second, or some other objective? A standardized Raw file would prevent makers from using the file format to achieve differing corporate objectives. That's reason enough that it'll never happen.
     
  56. A fascinating discussion. Many thanks to Eric~ for answering my question. I can well understand that if you are producing a large number of RAW files every week then you don't want to take the additional step of converting them to DNG unless there is a compelling reason to do so. My own situation is different -- a bit like those 'obscure' camera manufacturers -- and to me DNG does appear to offer some advantages. Whether it is more future proof than NEF, CR2 Etc. only time will tell.
     
  57. Exactly. A Raw is not a Raw. All Raws, or almost all, are different. The makers have their reasons that we do not fully understand. If they didn't have their reasons, they'd all be using DNG.​
    Sorry no. The raw sensor data is the raw sensor data. There's other data too, including a rendered JPEG reflecting the camera processing of that raw data. Proprietary metadata is just that, proprietary and only accessible by the software that the manufacturers write to understand that proprietary data. If you're not using the manufacturers raw converter, what good is it? Raw is raw. IF you want to examine it, especially for understanding it's exposure, use RawDigger, what it shows you is without ambiguity, it shows a true raw histogram.
     
  58. Just checking my understanding: A RAW file contains
    - The raw sensor data, basically realized photon counts at each sensor site (I say realized because not all photons are counted)
    - A rendered JPG. How big? Full resolution, same as the camera jpg?
    - Other data about the shot, some that all our programs can read (e.g. exposure, info about the lens and camera, etc.) and some that is proprietary (maybe the focus point). Programs other than from the manufacturer may not be able to make sense of the proprietary data.
    Have I got it about right?
     
  59. Have I got it about right?​
    You do indeed.
     

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