NEF in CS5

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by riz, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. riz

    riz

    Hi,
    I didn't know that I can open NEF file directly in Photoshop CS5. Till now I have been using DNG converter to convert NEF in DNG and opening the later in Photoshop.
    If I can open NEF in CS5 for editing then why convert into DNG?
    Pardon my ignorance, but please let me know the usage of NEF and DNG.
    Thanks in anticipation.
    Regards,
    Riz
     
  2. The NEF files are Nikon's proprietary format for RAW files. DNG is a file conversion utility from Adobe. Many people think that Nikon's NEF files contain more info than files converted to DNG. Many people use DNG as they are concerned that NEF files might not be supported sometime in the future. They convert the files to DNG as they feel that Adobe will be around longer than Nikon (I guess). Some users convert NEF to DNG as they are completely hung up on anything Adobe comes out with. People also us DNG to convert RAW files to usable files when the camera manufacturer comes out with a new camera that creates files that Adobe cannot yet read. You most certainly do not need to convert to NEF to DNG but sometimes it might help as mentioned previously (or in other ways that I'm sure someone will mention).
     
  3. If I can open NEF in CS5 for editing then why convert into DNG?​
    Here are a few reasons:
    http://www.ppmag.com/reviews/200709_adobedng.pdf
    And anytime now, we’ll have a word about the evils of DNG from Mr. K.... <G>
    They convert the files to DNG as they feel that Adobe will be around longer than Nikon (I guess).​
    Actually if both disappear from the planet, those using DNG will be in better shape because anyone can decode the raw data for no cost and do so easily, where decoding the NEF would be costly since someone has to hack the proprietary format.
     
  4. Good answer, Dan.
    Some users convert NEF to DNG as they are completely hung up on anything Adobe comes out with.​
    Yes, agreed. And doing so is short sited in my opinion.
    If I can open NEF in CS5 for editing then why convert into DNG?​
    That's a great question that most have been asking for the last couple years. There is none really, and for many it was a brief trend. There's more minus than pluses to converting to DNG. If you convert to dng, you are locked out of NX2. Today, it's not that great of software and you might not use it, but what about tomorrow and NX3 or NX6?
    Actually if both disappear from the planet, those using DNG will be in better shape because anyone can decode the raw data for no cost and do so easily, where decoding the NEF would be costly since someone has to hack the proprietary format.​
    This is false and already makes no sense. The sky isn't falling. Raw data is super easy to backwards engineer and is why there's already more software choices (many free) that can open and use a NEF than there are for a dng. Becareful of terrorist words like "proprietary formats" as an argument in favour of converting to dng by those that fly Adobe's flag.
     
  5. Raw data is super easy to backwards engineer and is why there's already more software choices (many free) that can open and use a NEF than there are for a dng.​
    I guess you yourself can do this? I suppose its so easy, that we all have to wait for support for new cameras and raw formats for months and months after release for our 3rd party converters for what reason? OK, its a conspiracy from Adobe and all other 3rd party converters. They can hack the new data format in an hour, but they wait months to release support because they have an agenda to push DNG (which produces zero income and a lot of engineering work).
    Becareful of terrorist words like "proprietary formats" as an argument in favour of converting to dng by those that fly Adobe's flag.​
    Oh, so an NEF or CRW from a just released model isn’t proprietary? Anyone can access OUR data out of the camera? You’re being an idiot to suggest that the data isn’t proprietary. It most certainly is. The JPEG out of the camera, not at all. Its an open and fully supported file format. I can and others can access that data, the day the camera is released. The raw? Not so. Do you think about what you write about DNG or does this dribble just flow naturally from your keyboard?
     
  6. See, Rizwan? But things are looking up. He usually includes name-calling while putting words in the mouths of people that he disagrees with.
     
  7. Name calling, where? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. So it was the other Garrision K. who wrote:
    Speaking of making pennies, a pro Adobe mag and someone like Andrew that makes their living waving Adobe's flag, is the last resource I'd seek for an objective opinion on DNG.​
    As I pointed out, I’m not on the Adobe payroll not that facts about proprietary formats which you intent to continue to ignore again in this thread, makes a difference.
    The points above are facts. The day Nikon or Canon comes out with a new camera system, anyone can access the JPEG but no one but those manufacturers can access the raw (our raw) data. Every other raw converter on the planet has to hack the format for access. Yes or no? How then do you differentiate the difference between JPEG (an open format) and NEF/CRW etc, a proprietary format, or how on earth do you write with a straight face, nonsense like Becareful of terrorist words like "proprietary formats" as an argument in favour of converting to dng by those that fly Adobe's flag? So if the camera also output a DNG, it would or would not be as accessible from the get-go as that JPEG? Yes or no?
    Terrorist? Are you kidding? You should be ashamed of writing such dribble!


    Rizwan, don’t expect an answer from Mr. K. He’s all over the PhotoNet forums knocking Adobe (and Apple) or any other company he finds to his disliking despite capabilities anyone but himself finds useful and totally ignores any salient points presented. He will however provide tens of thousands of poorly generated Google searches to back up his so called claims.
    Read the DNG article, look at the facts and see if they format is useful to you or not. In the end, unlike Mr. K (whoever he is, whatever he actually does for a living, its all non transparent), it makes zero difference to me if users stick with proprietary formats or use DNG. But understanding the actual differences is useful and the reason you will not see me and others make blunt and blatant simplistic statements of “fact” that Mr. K is so famous for on this forum.
     
  8. I don't think either Nikon or Adobe will disappear overnight, and even if they do, the program on my computer that can convert one file type into the other will not. At the moment, I can do more with NEF than DNG. The moment I can do more (or things that are more useful to me) with DNG than NEF, I will convert my files (but will probably still keep a copy of the originals). I have no sentimental connection whatsoever to either Nikon or Adobe, whatever is more convenient is what I will go with.
     
  9. Well said, Oliver. I'm also not interested in backing up both dng and nef and then having edits only applied to the dng as my nefs sit collecting dust. Its a total work-flow nightmare keeping both.
    Rizwan, here's a recent thread that pretty much sums it all up in a balanced and adult manner with PN's most active and experienced photographers. As well as the great wisdom, keep track on the posts for those in favor and those against and clearly DNG, and Andrew, are 2:1 in a minority.
    http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00X0B7
    Heck, argumentum ad hominem included.
     
  10. riz

    riz

    Thank you all for the valuable feedback. I have one question:
    I opened the NEF in CS5, did adjustments. Now when I want to save a copy of NEF. But, Adobe is not allowing me to save in NEF. Its providing DNG, PSD, JPG, TIF. Why is that so. How would I preserve the original and keep (the adjusted one as) copy?
    Also please let me know what is the purpose of .XMP file that is created while saving (note I saved as DNG).
    Looking forward,
    Regards,
    Riz
     
  11. I don't think either Nikon or Adobe will disappear overnight, and even if they do, the program on my computer that can convert one file type into the other will not.​
    Well in my case they did twice. Take Kodak PhotoCD of which I had many. The Kodak Acquire module was a plug-in for Photoshop, it could not run Intel native and in fact, only under PPC chips or OS9. That means that as modern hardware becomes more common, I have to keep a very old machine, OS and version of Photoshop if I want to even access this proprietary data. Kodak as we all know is still in business. The same is true of the raw files from captures I took with Kodak DCS cameras and backs. They don’t make the software any more and what exists can’t run on modern hardware despite captures that are only 10-15 years old. Rendered TIFFs or even TIFFs from scans I had made in 1990, saved in the first version of Photoshop I can open today in CS5 and a slew of other applications. That’s the huge difference in proprietary raw files (data that isn’t rendered like PCD) and rendered images in an open and non proprietary file format.
    I have film that’s vastly older than that which I can print or scan if I so desire. So it has nothing to do with a company evaporating, they can be quite healthy and producing new products. You can (and some have) been burned by proprietary software. The digital camera you purchase today should not hold you hostage in terms of getting to your data tomorrow. As raw converters improve, you can revisit rendering that data just as your skills in the darkroom improve you can reprint from your neg. But as I pointed out, an Mr. K will ignore, the day you buy that camera, you have access to the JPEG in probably hundreds of possible applications. You have one and only one that can access the raw data. And everyone else who wants to provide a method of accessing the data has to spend time and money while you wait for them simply because the camera manufactures force you into this silly proprietary data structure or don’t provide a simple switch on the camera to write the DNG if you the user wish.
     
  12. Rizwan, you cannot save NEF from Photoshop or Camera Raw. The only application I'm aware (there could be others) that can save NEF is Capture NX / NX2
    Regarding the XMP file, it saves all the parametric editing that you do in Adobe Camera Raw, so they are companion to the corresponding NEF file. So all edits you perform in ACR are saved there and you keep the original NEF intact.
     
  13. I don't get a dime from Adobe, Nikon or Canon , but believing that converting to DNG is "short sited (sic)" is as his wrong as his spelling of "short sighted".
    "I opened the NEF in CS5, did adjustments. Now when I want to save a copy of NEF. But, Adobe is not allowing me to save in NEF."
    That's right. Adobe's policy is not to touch your raw data. that is why raw development steps are written to .xmp format side car files. So if you want to save your NEF with those processing decisions to a new location you'll have to copy both files over. DNG does have an option for saving both the original proprietary raw format file along with the dng archival raw in the same envelope. The other thing in the .xmp side car files are other metadata changes like captioning, rating, etc.
     
  14. Oliver Racz: At the moment, I can do more with NEF than DNG.​
    Can give us some examples of this?
     
  15. Just a clarification, only parametric editings or raw development changes are written to the xmp file. Edits performed in Photoshop cannot be saved in xmp. You have to convert to another format.
    My suggestion, once you edited your file in PS, save it in 16 bit tiff.
     
  16. This is false and already makes no sense. The sky isn't falling. Raw data is super easy to backwards engineer and is why there's already more software choices (many free) that can open and use a NEF than there are for a dng. Becareful of terrorist words like "proprietary formats" as an argument in favour of converting to dng by those that fly Adobe's flag.​
    I am curious. Can you please tell me what third party programs can read NEF files? Thanks.
     
  17. Adobe couldn’t save an NEF or a CRW if they wanted to (and they don’t), again, its a proprietary format. Nikon can’t save a PSD unless they pay Adobe to do so (its a proprietary format).
    Rizwan, you could save the raw data as a DNG. But the idea is that proprietary raws are read only, the edits are saved as XMP which along with the raw data is used to render an image in something like a TIFF, JPEG etc. Adobe has zero problem writing the XMP data inside a DNG because its not proprietary. Just like ACR or Lightroom can write this data into a JPEG or TIFF.
    As to “I can do more with NEF than DNG” its only true in the manufacturers processor and the do more is of questionable necessity (its good and necessary if you feel those features are). Again, there is proprietary metadata in the raw. The raw itself is just that, raw. The proprietary metadata may be used in the manufactures processor only to do something users may indeed find useful, like producing a close match of raw to the in-camera JPEG (because the proprietary process for both is known and described). Now say noise reduction or lack of lens correction, or Vibrance etc isn’t available in the manufacturers converter. Or you prefer the demosaicing in a 3rd party converter better. Well pick your converter, you are not going to get both. Either that proprietary metadata is worth sticking with the manufacturers converter or the 3rd party capability is more important and you can forget the advantage of the native NEF vs. DNG. Raw is raw. You pretty much pick the converter and render. IF your converter of choice, even a 3rd party converter can’t deal with DNG, then DNG is a deal breaker (although the company could support it with very small engineering cost and time, always ask).
     
  18. About programs that read NEF Files:
    There are several programs that can read the luminance data for each color channel in the NEF Files. It may require those third parties to do some reverse engineering to be able to do that, and it takes some time before those programs can handle files from newer cameras.
    What has not been easy is to access or decode some metadata, like focus point, active lighting, etc.
    Even the way the picture controls work is propietary. The camera profiles you find in the adobe applications are result of reverse engineering and trial & error.
    Note: The previous information may not be 100% accurate
     
  19. I opened the NEF in CS5, did adjustments. Now when I want to save a copy of NEF. But, Adobe is not allowing me to save in NEF. Its providing DNG, PSD, JPG, TIF. Why is that so. How would I preserve the original and keep (the adjusted one as) copy?​
    In this case you would want to save the adjusted file as a PSD if you plan on working on it later, this will leave your original raw image intact, and give you a copy of the edited version you could go back to. Once you have made changes with Photoshop your file isn't in NEF format anymore.
     
  20. NX2 shows me the focal point on an NEF file. DNG, I believe doesn't or at least I don't recall seeing how to get that. So there must be some loss of info in the conversion?
     
  21. NX2 shows me the focal point on an NEF file. DNG, I believe doesn't or at least I don't recall seeing how to get that. So there must be some loss of info in the conversion?​
    The loss is the proprietary metadata that one converter can use as I thought I made clear. If you find seeing the focal point useful in rendering the raw file, then by all means you want to retain that data and use that converter. In terms of the captured raw data, no, its again raw. DNG can’t use or read the proprietary metadata but then I don’t think any converter other than Nikon’s can either.
    Yes, there is loss of data in the conversion. The data is separate from the raw data and if the loss of this proprietary metadata is something you find useful, you will not want to convert to DNG (or use any other raw converter).
     
  22. as noted, the DNG conversion (like any other 3rd party conversion) is not going to pickup oddball metadata like focus point.
     
  23. I would think the proprietary metadata adds will remain in perpetuity as they give the camera manufacturers a few minor advantages if you use their s/w. [Music formats are also horrendous in sharing of tag information.]
     
  24. I don't get a dime from Adobe, Nikon or Canon , but believing that converting to DNG is "short sited (sic)" is as his wrong as his spelling of "short sighted".​
    The best you can do is a spelling mistake? I'm all ears, how am I wrong, Ellis?
    Can give us some examples of this?​
    Nef's open in NX2. Dng's do not. You might want to NX2 or 3 or 5 down the road. We're in the infancy of digital, it's asinine to paint your self into a corner with dng.
    The wise are waiting until DNG becomes a recognized ISO standard and then have the large manufactures like Nikon and Canon output as dng.
     
  25. I am curious. Can you please tell me what third party programs can read NEF files? Thanks.​
    I think they all do, Douglas? ACR, Raw Therapee, Bibble, Capture, Picasa, DxO, If you google 'raw converter' you can find more.
     
  26. I would think the proprietary metadata adds will remain in perpetuity as they give the camera manufacturers a few minor advantages if you use their s/w.​
    It might and I have no problem with that if at the same time, I could switch from proprietary raw to DNG just as I can switch to JPEG. Then, I could have access to my raw data the day the camera ships. Then users who feel the proprietary metadata is useful can use it, the rest can discard it. There is no technical reason we can’t have such a switch, its all political and to some degree, due to the attitude of owners who are unaware or don’t care that the raw data the camera provides, unlike the JPEG, is proprietary and a burden on others.
     
  27. NX2 shows me the focal point on an NEF file. DNG, I believe doesn't or at least I don't recall seeing how to get that. So there must be some loss of info in the conversion?​
    DxO has just recently started accepting dng's. And I don't have time to confirm but I believe DxO behaves like NX2 with the nef and gives you lens corrections when using nef. But you lose this option if you've converted to dng before hand.
    Dng is not for me. The conversion throws out data you might want down the road.
     
  28. Guess I confused myself. It is the proprietary metadata. Nevermind. BTW, I do know that erd party sw can process NEF files. I use LR3 myself.
     
  29. The wise are waiting until DNG becomes a recognized ISO standard and then have the large manufactures like Nikon and Canon output as dng.​
    You obviously don’t know the ramifications of waiting for a body like the ISO to get stuff done or how such “standards” don’t insure much. Look at how well JPEG 2000 with its ISO “support” changed the world.. Not. So you think it takes ISO “certification” for Nikon and Canon to finally provide us a DNG switch? That says what about the current camera manufactures who DO support DNG? If you spent half your time and energy dismissing DNG (and Apple) and actually tried to convince users to ask (demand) Nikon and Canon to support DNG, or lobby those companies to provide us our data in an open format, your efforts would be far more useful to the industry and fellow (assuming you are) photographers.
    Again, there is zero reason why Nikon or Canon can’t provide a proprietary raw, JEPG, DNG and maybe TIFF. If they stopped thinking all we photographers want is bigger sensors, and instead listened to a vocal user community that wants an open raw format, it might happen. “Efforts“ of people such as yourself serve no purpose other than expounding some odd agenda. Tell us why we should ignore and forgo the implementation of an open raw format? In what way is this good for the photo community?
     
  30. I think they all do, Douglas.​
    Yup, usually many months after the camera has shipped because it takes that amount of time for each company to hack the proprietary raw format, run it through Q&E, beta test it, document it etc. Lightroom 3.3 just shipped with new camera supported**. Typically Adobe has to update this app every 13 weeks or so in order to apply bug fixes but primarily to add new cameras that have shipped since the last version. 13 weeks is pretty quick too, many smaller companies take longer to update their converters. What this means again is, you the customer get to wait on your favorite software company to again take valuable time and resources to support a new camera that you can’t access in their products. All thanks to proprietary raw data.
    **Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Canon PowerShot 95, Nikon D7000 and Olympus E-5
     
  31. Rizwan, you might find converting to dng a logistical nightmare for your workflow like so many others have.
    I back up my files on DVD and an external hard drive. This is common practice. Like most others, I take it a step further and make a duplicate of those two copies and get them out of the office and put them "off site" in case of a disaster. I know have four copies of a single nef raw. The proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng. To do so, and follow my back up regime, I've just doubled my back up and archiving work load as I know have 4 copies of a nef and 4 copies of a dng. I don't want 8 copies of a single picture. This takes a lot of time with no proven benefit in terms of picture quality or performance.
    The great thing about xmp side car files next to your nef's, is that is that this tiny xmp file is all you have to keep backing up if you have made changes to your image. Many love this and when we move to cloud computing and storage, it will be of even greater benefit.
     
  32. The proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng.​
    They do? Which proponents would that be (all, some, you have some stats?). Personally I don’t keep any of my proprietary raws, I convert on import into Lightroom. I have zero need for them. I have no need for the proprietary data that DPP may use since I have about 4 other raw converters I’d use if I couldn’t use Lightroom. So Rizwan, keep a copy of the NEF if you wish, don’t if you don’t have the need. No one here I’m sure has done anything statically accurate to determine if the DNG users of the world keep or don’t keep the proprietary raws. Some do, some don’t. Some like to make up claims that have no basis in fact. Some like to make up simplistic points that they think sound compelling until you wonder where on earth they came up with their facts.
    I back up my files on DVD and an external hard drive. This is common practice.​
    Common to who? I can see zero reason to spend the considerable time (time which you use knocking DNG conversions) to write data to a DVD. Multiple hard drives, (including RAIDs) on and off site, yup. The only digital captures I’ve ever lost in 19 years are those I can’t render because of proprietary raw data (or PCD).
    To do so, and follow my back up regime, I've just doubled my back up and archiving work load as I know have 4 copies of a nef and 4 copies of a dng.​
    Only if someone is folly enough to follow your regime does the math work that way. You think maybe someone would just keep four copies of the DNG or 3 copies and one NEF? A belt and suspenders is one thing. Two belts and 4 suspenders is crazy. You’re what, Herb Ritz or Greg Gorman, your work is that valuable to the world?
    The great thing about xmp side car files next to your nef's, is that is that this tiny xmp file is all you have to keep backing up if you have made changes to your image.​
    True indeed. But then there’s all the useful data that isn’t stored in the sidecar file (some is proprietary) like the JPEG rendered data in the DNG, the DNG profile. So you back up over and over again, all those sidecar files to DVD?
    Many love this and when we move to cloud computing and storage, it will be of even greater benefit.​
    So they would NOT be storing the original raw? Cause that’s the big sucker to upload to the cloud. Just upload the DNG once, then save when you wish, the LR database which also stores the equivalent of the rendering and then some. Easy to update if necessary (unlikely) the DNGs on the cloud if you have the database. You can have DNG and the equivalent of XMP sidecar data without thousands of tiny separate files, most of us are going to backup the database anyway (lrdata or whatever database file the DAM is using).
     
  33. Not archiving NEF has two significant real-world consequences. You can't use Nikon's software to read DNG, which means you have no access to Nikon's own device profiling (the thing that gives the nice default colours from NX conversions that many of us like). You also can't provide an original in-camera file to anyone who might request one (like a competition judge or a newspaper editor - some competition rules explicity disqualify entries where this file can't be produced).
    There's absolutely no risk that any common, current raw file will become unreadable in the forseeable future (barring nuclear war, asteroid impacts, or a successful Palin/Voldemort campaign in 2012). All of these files are supported by dcraw, a tiny C program with freely available source code that will compile on any common operating system (and most of the uncommon ones):
    http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/
    You may never use dcraw itself, but its quite likely you'll have come across one of its many derivatives (listed on the project page).
     
  34. Funnily enough, all converters mentioned by Garrison K. are only one: dcraw. All those programs he mentioned extract the raw data out of the proprietary NEF files using dcraw. Yes, even photoshop. The data is eventually treated in different ways, but Dave Coffin's code is ubiquitious.
    By the way, what happened when Nikon encrypted the white balance of the D200? What will happen if they suddenly decide to encrypt the whole data?
     
  35. or a successful Palin/Voldemort campaign in 2012​
    OK, now you’re really scaring us!
    All of these files are supported by dcraw...​
    All the files (as of today) are supported by Adobe too. Once they, like dcraw decode the new proprietary format. Or does dcraw have some capability that all the other raw converters lack that can from day one, automatically render this new proprietary raw? On Dave’s page, he states:
    So if Canon comes out with the 5DMIII tomorrow, doesn’t Dave, like Adobe, or anyone else not using dcraw in their converters have to do some work to make that number 395?
    An interesting web page about dcraw can be found here:
    http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/dcraw/index_en.htm
    You’ll find Guillermo hanging out often on Luminous Landscape.
    Dave is to be commended for his work and his motives and this paragraph sums up the issues for those of us capturing raw data (OUR raw data):
    Motivation

    While most camera manufacturers supply raw image decoding software for their cameras, this software is almost always proprietary, and often becomes unsupported when a camera model is discontinued. The file formats themselves are often undocumented, and several manufacturers have gone so far as to encrypt all or part of the data in their raw image format, in an attempt to prevent third-party software from accessing it.[1]
    Given this ever-expanding plethora of raw image formats, and uncertain and inconsistent support for them by the manufacturers, many photographers worry that their valuable raw images may become unreadable as the applications and operating systems required become obsolete.[2]
    In contrast to proprietary decoding software, dcraw strives for simplicity, portability, and consistency, as expressed by its author:
    “ So here is my mission: Write and maintain an ANSI C program that decodes any raw image from any digital camera on any computer running any operating system. ”
    dcraw's open source nature is crucial in assuring this universality: even if its author loses interest in developing the software, or in supporting a particular model of camera, interested users are free to extend it. This helps ensure that it will be possible to decode supported raw image formats far into the future, even after the cameras that produced them are obsolete.​
    Kind of sounds like DNG in terms of the motives.
    This is also an interesting sentence on Dave’s page:
    I'm designing a digital camera. How do I convert its raw photos into something that dcraw and Adobe Photoshop can open?
    Download LibTIFF v3.8.2 and apply this patch. Then use this C program as a template for converting your photos to valid Adobe DNG files.​
     
  36. They do? Which proponents would that be (all, some, you have some stats?). Personally I don’t keep any of my proprietary raws, I convert on import into Lightroom. I have zero need for them. I have no need for the proprietary data that DPP may use since I have about 4 other raw converters I’d use if I couldn’t use Lightroom. So Rizwan, keep a copy of the NEF if you wish, don’t if you don’t have the need. No one here I’m sure has done anything statically accurate to determine if the DNG users of the world keep or don’t keep the proprietary raws. Some do, some don’t. Some like to make up claims that have no basis in fact.​
    And where's your stats to show me incorrect? I can point to John Nack, Adobe DNG page et al, all insist that you keep and back up the original raw after converting to dng. It's common sense. Heck, we can even take a PN poll, "Do you throw out your original raws after dng conversion?"
    Perhaps in your little utopian adobe bubble you don't feel a need to keep them, but suggesting others to throw them out after conversion is the worst advice I'd read here in a long time.
     
  37. Maybe you guys should go out for a beer (or something else) together.
     
  38. He talks too much. His neighbors wont even drink beer with him.
     
  39. or a successful Palin/Voldemort campaign in 2012​
    OK, now you’re really scaring us!
    All of these files are supported by dcraw...​
    All the files (as of today) are supported by Adobe too. Once they, like dcraw decode the new proprietary format. Or does dcraw have some capability that all the other raw converters lack that can from day one, automatically render this new proprietary raw? On Dave’s page, he states:
    So if Canon comes out with the 5DMIII tomorrow, doesn’t Dave, like Adobe, or anyone else not using dcraw in their converters have to do some work to make that number 395?
    An interesting web page about dcraw can be found here:
    http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/dcraw/index_en.htm
    You’ll find Guillermo hanging out often on Luminous Landscape.
    Dave is to be commended for his work and his motives and this paragraph sums up the issues for those of us capturing raw data (OUR raw data):
    Motivation

    While most camera manufacturers supply raw image decoding software for their cameras, this software is almost always proprietary, and often becomes unsupported when a camera model is discontinued. The file formats themselves are often undocumented, and several manufacturers have gone so far as to encrypt all or part of the data in their raw image format, in an attempt to prevent third-party software from accessing it.[1]
    Given this ever-expanding plethora of raw image formats, and uncertain and inconsistent support for them by the manufacturers, many photographers worry that their valuable raw images may become unreadable as the applications and operating systems required become obsolete.[2]
    In contrast to proprietary decoding software, dcraw strives for simplicity, portability, and consistency, as expressed by its author:
    “ So here is my mission: Write and maintain an ANSI C program that decodes any raw image from any digital camera on any computer running any operating system. ”
    dcraw's open source nature is crucial in assuring this universality: even if its author loses interest in developing the software, or in supporting a particular model of camera, interested users are free to extend it. This helps ensure that it will be possible to decode supported raw image formats far into the future, even after the cameras that produced them are obsolete.​
    Kind of sounds like DNG in terms of the motives.
    This is also an interesting sentence on Dave’s page:
    I'm designing a digital camera. How do I convert its raw photos into something that dcraw and Adobe Photoshop can open?
    Download LibTIFF v3.8.2 and apply this patch. Then use this C program as a template for converting your photos to valid Adobe DNG files.​
     
  40. or a successful Palin/Voldemort campaign in 2012​
    OK, now you’re really scaring us!
    All of these files are supported by dcraw...​
    All the files (as of today) are supported by Adobe too. Once they, like dcraw decode the new proprietary format. Or does dcraw have some capability that all the other raw converters lack that can from day one, automatically render this new proprietary raw? On Dave’s page, he states:
    So if Canon comes out with the 5DMIII tomorrow, doesn’t Dave, like Adobe, or anyone else not using dcraw in their converters have to do some work to make that number 395?
    An interesting web page about dcraw can be found here:
    http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/dcraw/index_en.htm
    You’ll find Guillermo hanging out often on Luminous Landscape.
    Dave is to be commended for his work and his motives and this paragraph sums up the issues for those of us capturing raw data (OUR raw data):
    Motivation

    While most camera manufacturers supply raw image decoding software for their cameras, this software is almost always proprietary, and often becomes unsupported when a camera model is discontinued. The file formats themselves are often undocumented, and several manufacturers have gone so far as to encrypt all or part of the data in their raw image format, in an attempt to prevent third-party software from accessing it.[1]
    Given this ever-expanding plethora of raw image formats, and uncertain and inconsistent support for them by the manufacturers, many photographers worry that their valuable raw images may become unreadable as the applications and operating systems required become obsolete.[2]
    In contrast to proprietary decoding software, dcraw strives for simplicity, portability, and consistency, as expressed by its author:
    “ So here is my mission: Write and maintain an ANSI C program that decodes any raw image from any digital camera on any computer running any operating system. ”
    dcraw's open source nature is crucial in assuring this universality: even if its author loses interest in developing the software, or in supporting a particular model of camera, interested users are free to extend it. This helps ensure that it will be possible to decode supported raw image formats far into the future, even after the cameras that produced them are obsolete.​
    Kind of sounds like DNG in terms of the motives.
    This is also an interesting sentence on Dave’s page:
    I'm designing a digital camera. How do I convert its raw photos into something that dcraw and Adobe Photoshop can open?
    Download LibTIFF v3.8.2 and apply this patch. Then use this C program as a template for converting your photos to valid Adobe DNG files.​
     
  41. 'The data is eventually treated in different ways, but Dave Coffin's code is ubiquitious.'
    As Dave Coffin puts it "Dcraw has made it far easier for developers to support a wide range of digital cameras in their applications. They can call dcraw from a graphical interface, paste pieces of dcraw.c into their code, or just use dcraw.c as the documentation that camera makers refuse to provide". But this doesn't mean that all the derivatives are the same converter - some are just informed by the code or use bits of it. Photoshop certainly doesn't use the whole thing, though the developers are familiar with it. Thomas Knoll commented about specific details of the dcraw code when discussing Nikon's white balance encryption, though he didn't use dcraw's reverse-engineered decryption key for legal reasons.
    Dave Coffin responded pretty quickly to the MakerNote encryption issue - you can find the key (which e.g. ExifTool also uses) by seaching the code for 'xlat'. It's conceivable that a camera manufacturer might one day use a more effective encryption scheme than Nikon's rather feeble effort, and perhaps apply it to the whole file. If at this point Adobe did a deal with the manufacturer to provide a key (like the Nikon WB arrangement) and the DNG converter worked with these files, then there would be an additional argument to adopt a DNG workflow. But given the flack Nikon had over WB, this doesn't seem terribly likely. And of course none of this would affect the formats in use today.
     
  42. And where's your stats to show me incorrect?​
    I never said you were incorrect and I don’t have to! You made a point. Its up to you to back up that point with some facts or we can and should just dismiss what you said as something you pulled out of your back end.
    I can point to John Nack, Adobe DNG page et al, all insist that you keep and back up the original raw after converting to dng​
    Ah, so whatever John Nack says on his blog is your proof? Doesn’t John Nack suggest the use of DNG? It would appear you two are in this case (where it doesn’t suite you) in disagreement. Your simplistic statement (again) was: The proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng. Perhaps another case of your sloppy writing you really wanted to say: Some proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng. That would actually make some sense!
    Perhaps in your little utopian adobe bubble you don't feel a need to keep them, but suggesting others to throw them out after conversion is the worst advice I'd read here in a long time.
    English must be a 2nd language for you. Where did I tell others to throw away their DNGs? I used my workflow as an example suited to me only. I actually said: So Rizwan, keep a copy of the NEF if you wish, don’t if you don’t have the need.
    What apparently you find so difficult to fathom is that unlike you, I try to show people options based on facts, and let them make up their own minds. Doesn’t matter to me if everyone or no one keeps their proprietary raws. I don’t make silly blatant statements like you do so often here. Statements like “Close the door and forget using DNG”. If someone decides to work differently then I, unlike you, I don’t dismiss their workflow let alone hijack threads that have nothing to do with DNG, then in the middle start spouting more nonsense as if it were factual. Didn’t you get hip to the silliness of your Google searches as proof of your points after many of us pointed this out to you? Worse, when we ask you salient questions to back up your supposedly valid belief systems, you usually ignore the question, once again making me think you either don’t have a clue about what you are so sure is correct or have some other motive.
    You are an anonymous poster here with pretty strong beliefs but not a lick of transparency about who you are, what you do, why you feel your opinions are so correct. You have a single image on your info page (which I certainly hope doesn’t represent your photo skills in large, sorry). What chops in the photo or imaging industry make you so darn sure of yourself? When others call you out, you dodge the question or ask a question with a question like And where's your stats to show me incorrect? Its all very black and white with you, your way or the highway. God forbid anyone ask you to back up anything you’ve posted. You know its right and dammit, those are the facts as you see em.
    You sure have a lot of points to make but you sure have zero to back em up. You are entitled to your opinion, you are not entitled to your own made up facts. You ever hear of peer review?
    Perhaps in your little utopian adobe bubble you don't feel a need to keep them, but suggesting others to throw them out after conversion is the worst advice I'd read here in a long time.

    ...terrorist words like "proprietary formats"
    Why are you creating more work for your self and converting to DNG?
    Speaking of making pennies, a pro Adobe mag and someone like Andrew that makes their living waving Adobe's flag, is the last resource I'd seek for an objective opinion on DNG.


    You really serious with this nonsense Mr. K? It has to be difficult to sleep at night wanting to be some kind of real photographer, or expert/guru of imaging when you can’t even read a post and reply without distorting what was clearly written staring you in the face. ...suggesting others to throw them out after conversion is the worst advice I'd read here in a long time. (simplistic overstatement after totally misunderstanding what was written YET AGAIN). So how about it Mr.K, just who are you really, lets see some images you created, some articles on the subject of DI you’ve written, some awards from your peers (whoever they might be). Or at the very least, try reading a reply and attempting to avoid misunderstanding what was written while putting words in people’s mouths. That would go a long way towards having others read what you have to say with such vigor and taking you at all seriously. Otherwise we’ll have to tell your mommy no more posting on the grown ups forums.
     
  43. 'Then use this C program as a template for converting your photos to valid Adobe DNG files.'
    Dave Coffin is actually a fan of the DNG format, see e.g.:
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05042701davecoffininterview.asp
    But just because the Adobe DNG converter exists, he (or anyone who succeeds him) isn't going to stop writing code to handle in-camera raw format #395 directly (just as DNG 1.4.0 will also be supported). As far as most FOSS developers are concerned, Adobe is just another proprietary software company that (when it comes right down to it) can only be trusted to act in its own interests. Sometimes these interests have some overlap with those of the open development community (as when Adobe provides a useful and 'open' file format), sometimes not.
     
  44. But just because the Adobe DNG converter exists, he (or anyone who succeeds him) isn't going to stop writing code to handle in-camera raw format #395 directly (just as DNG 1.4.0 will also be supported).​
    I would certainly hope not! The more options, the better! The question was about the need for Dave, like Adobe to update this code whenever a new camera comes out. So the question is, doesn’t Dave have to do some work to support camera format #395? I suspect he would. And yet when model 395 comes out and spits out a JPEG, no work at all. My point is, we’d all be better off if the manufactures produced a standard raw file, having private tags to place whatever proprietary data they wanted to supposedly maintain whatever competitive advantage they think they see there. That’s what we have in ICC profiles. The format is fully transportable in all ICC aware applications. There are private tags that vendors can use without destroying the openness of the format. We can have our cake and eat it, we just have to make our desires strongly known to the manufacturers. Its our data.
     
  45. That should read: Where did I tell others they should throw away their NEFs?
    Of course I never did.
    You want to keep em, keep em. You want to throw them away, throw them away. Nearly everyone who can makes such informed decisions are adults.
     
  46. Maybe you guys should go out for a beer (or something else) together.​
    Think he would drink beer with a adobe bubble, DNG proponent terrorist, pro Adobe mag that makes their living waving Adobe's flag? <g>.
    When he is of legal drinking age (or acts like it), that be fun.
     
  47. Maybe you guys should go out for a beer (or something else) together.​
    Think he would drink beer with a adobe bubble, DNG proponent terrorist, pro Adobe mag that makes their living waving Adobe's flag? <g>.
    When he is of legal drinking age (or acts like it), that be fun.
     
  48. Garrison K wrote:
    The proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng.​
    I advocate using DNG as your archive raw format, but while the approach of keeping both the proprietary and dng format (and they are kept in the same virtual envelope) approach may work for some few people, I don't use it --with the sole exception raw files from Phase One cameras,. I make a duplicate of those and while one is converted to dng (and archived using Lightroom v3) the other is kept in Phase One's raw format for processing in Capture One Pro 6 raw processing software -- and I don't know of very many who do keep both.
     
  49. "The proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng."
    They do? Which proponents would that be (all, some, you have some stats?).​
    For example the book "Real World Camera RAW with Adobe Photoshop CS5" by Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe.
    It says that Bruce archives one copy of each image as DNG-with-raw-embedded to long term storage while using a smaller compressed DNG as working file.
    Jeff archives a copy of the original RAW and uses a DNG version as working file.
     
  50. For example the book "Real World Camera RAW with Adobe Photoshop CS5" by Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe.​
    Yup, some (key word) proponents of DNG suggest you keep your original raws. No argument some do. Some don’t. Writing "The proponents of dng suggest you keep your original raw when converting to dng." as if “the proponents” are some well organized group, or some network or committee of DNG users is another example of how some present their arguments poorly and with prejudices. Just like saying about your workflow This is common practice.
     
  51. Can give us some examples of this?​
    Absolutely. I can use Capture NX if I want to.
     
  52. Yup, some (key word) proponents of DNG suggest you keep your original raws. No argument some do. Some don’t.​
    You look more foolish with every post. Some do, some don't, eh? Okay, please link or cite a single expert that advocates throwing away the original raw after converting to dng.
     
  53. Okay, please link or cite a single expert that advocates throwing away the original raw after converting to dng.​
    There’s one on this page that advocates each person make their own decisions and who doesn’t save his proprietary raw (again, you need to actually read and attempt to comprehend the text before posting). He advocates users decide what they feel is useful and not useful to archive based on their own needs, something you should actually think about sometime.
     
  54. lol. I'll take that as "no" then.
    I'm on side with Thom. I can't find a fault in his philosophy towards dng.
    http://www.bythom.com/dng.htm
     
  55. I started down the DNG road a few years ago and gave up. Too much of an extra step in the post processing work flow and I still see no real advantage in repursuing DNG (from Canon raw). It's those little metadata things proprietary to Canon I am "afraid" of losing and the extra time and storage of saving DNGs and raw files (extra storage and again, more time).
    However, both Andrew & Garrison make good points.
    Until I see that Adobe and Photoshop are coming to an end then maybe I'll change my habits.
     
  56. I’ll take that as “no” then.​
    Anyway you take it is suspect IMHO based on what you write based on your misunderstanding of English.
    I don’t advocate, I educate. You are the one who advocates and without much education I can see (unless providing specious and simplistic claims, Google searches is your idea of education). Here and elsewhere on this site, people ask about DNG. I provide them a URL about the spec and its capabilities. I expect them to use or not use it based on their needs and what they learn about the advantages and yes, the disadvantages. I don’t hijack threads and make simplistic negative statements or advocate a workflow I might use as the “common sense” implying not following it to the T (like your silly math about backing up 8 iterations above) is not common sense (meaning nonsensical).
    I don’t advocate users implement DNG any more than I advocate they keep or not keep the proprietary raws. I tell them the ups and downs of the decisions they can make and treat them like adults who can decide for themselves. I stated I don’t keep the proprietary raws and why. If someone feels the same way, fine. If they don’t, fine too. IF you can find a technical issue with the article on DNG above, I’m happy to look into it and discuss it. If your main beef with DNG is it doesn’t fit your needs fine, but thus far, all your rants about DNG (in a number of threads here) have had little meat (the bit about backing up sidecar files versus the entire DNG has merit to some degree). So hopefully you now understand that not proponents of DNG but rather users of DNG may or may not keep their proprietary raws and that your point that (all) Proponents of DNG recommend you backup your proprietary raw files is another simplistic statement that can’t be proven and isn’t even relevant. As I said, after educating yourself about the format, if you want to keep the proprietary raw or you don’t, its entirely your decision based on your unique needs. Period.
    What I do advocate if that is the right term is for open raw standards because it only helps and doesn’t hurt photographers (of which I am one). I’m unclear if you are or have ever been a working photographer and I’ve asked you why you spend so much time slamming an open raw format and why even a small part of your efforts are not aimed at achieving this raw standard but in typical form, questions addressed to you are ignored!
    You can take the above answer to your question as yes or no. Its just another post of yours to distract us from questions asked of you, an M.O that’s tiring and not necessary. Now maybe we can get back to the lack of transparency of a certain Mr.K? You got some work we can see? A web site? A bio? For all we know, you work for Nikon or Canon as an anti-DNG proponent (lobbyist) who finds those who do use DNG terrorists. Please prove this idiotic conspiracy theory I made up is wrong. We are all ears.
     
  57. 'So the question is, doesn’t Dave have to do some work to support camera format #395? I suspect he would.'
    Sure, though often this is pretty trivial. With some flavours of NEF, the only significant difference is the string in the 'Model' tag. As far as I know, things only get tricky when Nikon starts playing games like encrypting the MakerNote.
    'My point is, we’d all be better off if the manufactures produced a standard raw file, having private tags to place whatever proprietary data they wanted to supposedly maintain whatever competitive advantage they think they see there.'
    We would! We'd also be better off if all our cameras used a standard lens mount, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. With the current situation (the biggest manufacturers using their own in-camera raw files), I can really see only 2 classes of users really benefiting from a DNG workflow:
    (a) Users of ACR/LR (or any other raw processors that can save edits to DNG) who want to keep all their edits in a single file (rather than in a sidecar, etc.).
    (b) Users of old versions of ACR/LR (etc.) who don't want to upgrade just to support a new camera.
    Proposing DNG as a supposedly more 'archival' format than NEF is, I think, a solution in search of a problem. The NEF file structure is well-known, and (unless they've changed it) is even based on the same ISO standard as DNG:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_Image_File_Format_/_Electronic_Photography
    The devil is in the undocumented details in each variant, of course, but we have the dcraw code for that. Recent NEFs do contain encrypted metadata (which dcraw can crack), but then so do the DNG files derived from them, which faithfully copy the whole MakerNote across.
    Users who do benefit from DNG need to be aware of the potential pitfalls if they also don't archive NEF. If (e.g.) they decide down the line they like the 'Nikon colours' that match their in-camera jpegs better than the ACR output, they can't go back to NX. And of course there's the 'original in-camera file' issue we've discussed before in relation to competition entries:
    http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00WQjJ
    http://www.photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00Usgn
    So, choose the workflow that suits you, but do it for the right reasons and be aware of how this affects the ways the files can be used.
     
  58. I started down the DNG road a few years ago and gave up. Too much of an extra step in the post processing work flow and I still see no real advantage in repursuing DNG (from Canon raw). It's those little metadata things proprietary to Canon I am "afraid" of losing and the extra time and storage of saving DNGs and raw files (extra storage and again, more time).​
    Same here, Ken. In seven years, dng still hasn't taken off. It isn't the gem we hoped it to be. Most of us have shrugged and gotten over it.
     
  59. Last time I checked the most current version of Capture NX2 had not yet been updated to work with the NEF files from a Nikon D7000. I've been shooting with a D7000 since late October.
    On the other hand, Adobe Camera Raw 6.3 and Lightroom 3.3, and Adobe's DNG conversion software have been able to work with D7000 NEF files since day 1, even when all three of the Adobe products were only in the release candidate stage.
     
  60. The D7000 is supported by Capture NX 2.2.6 (released in late October) and by the version of the free View NX 2 package that ships with the camera (and which now has a reasonable set of raw conversion options).
     
  61. Ellis, maybe you're right, I don't know, because I don't have a D7000, and don't bother about things that don't affect me. The issue you describe would not affect anyone who does not have the latest camera models. However, not being able to use NX2 on DNG files (regardless of what camera you use to take the original picture) is enough for me to stick with NEF for the time being. I only occasionally use NX2, but I do use it, and I would not want to throw away the option. I totally believe that it is not Adobe's fault that Nikon does not support an open source file type, but that is another thing.
    We are all photographers, either as a hobby or profession, we have a common interest, and find it rather sad that people don't get along because they prefer to work with different file types.
     
  62. I have been writing computer software since the mid-80 when assembly language was common, and FORTRAN was the only high level language available. I have also been an overly-serious amateur photographer since the late 90s. As someone whose paying job is writing product-based, proprietary software for a manufacturing company, I have a perspective on the whole RAW issue that most photographers may not have. This is not to say that my perspective is any more valid than that of others, it's just one that seems to always be lurking around but never fully stated. That perspective is that, from the camera manufacturer's point of view, the RAW data is part of the camera product, not part of the photographer's product. More specifically, it's part of the camera function in taking an analog image from the lens to a data file in an open format such as TIFF or JPEG. The fact that the manufacturer allows us to "grab" this data while the image is transiting from analog to TIFF, is something market pressure has forced, but not necessarily something the camera maker would prefer to do. When seen from this perspective, RAW data was never intended to be anything more than a transient step, lasting anywhere from milliseconds to a few days of post processing. It was certainly never intended to be a long term archival format.
    Most modern computer software systems are developed with object orientation. That is, a strict binding between data and algorithm. If RAW is the data part of the object, then the converter is the algorithm part. Lose either one and you have nothing. How many people who archive any form of RAW data also archive a copy of the converter software along with it? Not many I'd bet. Even if they did, is the converter compiled for a processor that is till active like the Intel, or for some now defunct processor like the once popular Motorola 68010?
    Archiving ~recoverable~ computer data over a long term (50, 100, 200 years, for example) is fraught with difficulties that even our top commercial/government/military computer facilities wrestle with. It's doubtful that the photography industry will solve this problem while on it's present tack of supporting numerous RAW proprietary formats as archive formats.
     
  63. Now maybe we can get back to the lack of transparency of a certain Mr.K? You got some work we can see? A web site? A bio?​
    I'm not really sure how my site of boring photos and tear sheets and client list would strengthen anything I said or further discredit what you have?
    Predictable though, how you only bring this up when you lose an argument. It's always the same. When you're words don't hold water, you'll start over semantics in a grande fashion of double-speaking distraction. Then when that fails you move onto paragraphs of putting words into others mouths with a nice blend of ad hominem abuse. For your finale, as if an autistic child flailing around in the swimming pool, we're treated with the good old "where's your website's" routine like it's some sort of trump card. It's old.
     
  64. http://xkcd.com/386/
     
  65. haha, that's funny. thnx
     
  66. I'm not really sure how my site of boring photos and tear sheets and client list would strengthen anything I said or further discredit what you have?​
    Let us be the judge (the point of being transparent).
     
  67. How many people who archive any form of RAW data also archive a copy of the converter software along with it?​
    Barry, your arguments fit the theory. However, in practice there are several free and/or open source programs that can read the "proprietary" RAW files of most major cameras. You have Picasa, FastStone, IrfanView, Xnview, and UFRaw, just to mention a few. In addition Mac OS X has built in support for more than a hundred different proprietary RAW files. The formats are hardly a secret.
    Further, the "well documented" DNG format comes in different variants that sometimes cannot be read. Apple's Aperture, just to take one example, used to choke on DNG files converted to "Linear Image" and for some DNG files from specific cameras or lenses (sic!). I do not know if these problems are fixed, but I would not bet on it.
    It is not certain that all DNG files from today will be readable in a hundred or even fifty years' from now. They are not even universally readable today.
    It is not impossible that all current NEF files will be readable in a hundred years time, as there already is open source code that can read it.
    What will happen is uncertain, and only future can tell. I suggest we all convene here again in a hundred years' time to settle the case.
     
  68. Barry and Magnus, you both make very good points. However...
    You have Picasa, FastStone, IrfanView, Xnview, and UFRaw, just to mention a few.​
    The more options the better but going back to my Kodak experience, there is no real insurance that a converter we can operate today, with today’s OS will operate tomorrow unless you also archive a computer and OS that will run the converter. Now maybe due to the few products that could handle the Kodak data in the old days, this problem was far more severe. But its a possibility. Photoshop 1.0.9, the first version I owned and CS5 can both open a JPEG and the differences in OS, hardware etc haven’t affected this functionality.
    Apple's Aperture, just to take one example, used to choke on DNG files converted to "Linear Image" and for some DNG files from specific cameras or lenses (sic!).​
    That’s a bug that Apple has to deal with, its not a DNG issue is it?
    It is not certain that all DNG files from today will be readable in a hundred or even fifty years' from now.​
    No more certain than with a TIFF (which has undergone some changes over the years). The differences are, being an open format, its more likely and easier for someone who has the ability to write software to read those files in fifty years. But yes, there is no guarantee.
    It is not impossible that all current NEF files will be readable in a hundred years time, as there already is open source code that can read it.​
    Yes today. But that tells us nothing about tomorrow. And this is true of all formats. I used to use a product for contacts called “Now Contact” and the company is gone, the software can’t run on modern hardware. I can (could) export out a txt file and import that into my newer contact software. But it wasn’t 100%, I lost some data (links to calendar items). Compared to not being able to open an image, not a hill worth dying on but I can’t say I’m happy about this. I have Hypercard Stacks I built that I can’t use because there is no Hypercard anymore, it can’t run under OS X. So we all have probably experienced data we were working with in the past we can’t work with today. Its for these reasons I try to avoid such data loss and for me personally, losing an image or losing a contract address is far from equal. I suppose that means I have to render every damn raw as a TIFF if I want even more insurance I can access that data in the farther future.
     
  69. If the files still exist in a century (the real issue!), and you've archived a copy of the dcraw source code (or someone else on the planet has), then I'd bet on readability of all current raw formats (including DNG). The dcraw source is written in ANSI C, an open standard that's existed for 20 years already, and which will compile on any sane operating system now and in the forseeable future (if only for the benefit of computer historians!). Will you have an appropriate camera profile to do an accurate conversion, though? Maybe now would be a good time to make appropriate standard ICC profiles for your cameras and store them alongside that copy of dcraw (better grab the lcms source too) with your raw files (NEF, DNG, or whatever). And save a tiff, too, to preserve your 'final intentions' for each image (after editing) in a standard colour space. Better yet, make some archival prints...
     
  70. I have been writing computer software since the mid-80 when assembly language was common, and FORTRAN was the only high level language available. I have also been an overly-serious amateur photographer since the late 90s.
    What does that mean? I too am a professional programmer and started programming in high level languages before 1975. By 1985 there were over a dozen high level langues in professional use. Fortran has been around since 1960, so has COBOL. BASIC was "new" in the '70s and then Pascal hit the scene in '77 or so. So many others I could list. Maybe your date is off Barry -- a typo?
    In any case, back to on topic, I'll forego my earlier DNG conversions until I see no more third parties will support my Canon raw image files. That will NEVER happen anyway.
     
  71. Will you have an appropriate camera profile to do an accurate conversion, though? Maybe now would be a good time to make appropriate standard ICC profiles for your cameras and store them alongside that copy of dcraw (better grab the lcms source too) with your raw files (NEF, DNG, or whatever).​
    ICC camera profiles are a hit or miss proposition anyway and not necessarily needed, certainly for rendering. The raw converter has to assume some color space before this even comes into play (raw files are scene referred, ICC profiles are output referred). Meaning you have to render the data before you can even build an ICC camera profile (which isn’t the case with DNG profiles, they are scene referred). Since the converter has to make some assumption about the spectral sensitivity of the chip and filters even before final rendering and they can all do this differently. IOW, its not a real issue.
     
  72. The more options the better but going back to my Kodak experience, there is no real insurance that a converter we can operate today, with today’s OS will operate tomorrow unless you also archive a computer and OS that will run the converter.​
    I'm not sure you fully got my point. I'm not interested in the number of options available to me. I am interested in the fact that the formats already are documented/cracked so well that a number of software makers have been able to use the information.
    The code is there. It is available for anyone to see. When it is written in c++, that means that anyone with knowledge of that language can convert it to any other language. Even in one hundred years' time or a thousand. You do not need any specific computer or compiler, provided you have the skill and patience to convert the code to an existing environment.
    Check for example http://ufraw.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/ufraw/ufraw/dcraw.cc?revision=1.235&view=markup to see some source code for the interpretation of raw files from hundreds of cameras.
    This information will not be lost. Ever.
    I admit that it is not a trivial task. I could never do it myself, for example. And the interpretations ufraw/dcraw make are usually much worse than the current commercial software, like Adobe, Aperture, View NX, Capture NX, and so on.
    However, the problems and the complexity to interpret DNG are not negligible either, as can be seen from Apple's failure to fully support the format.
     
  73. Check for example (link) to see some source code for the interpretation of raw files from hundreds of cameras.​
    So if the camera in question is found by doing a search, all is not lost. That’s somewhat comforting.
    However, the problems and the complexity to interpret DNG are not negligible either, as can be seen from Apple's failure to fully support the format.​
    I think you are being too kind to Apple in this respect, others can do this (Raw Developer hasn’t chocked on any DNG’s I’ve feed it yet). Now if they (Apple) could work with Adobe, Epson and Canon to get the print path cleaned up under Snow Leopard first, I’d gladly wait on the Aperture team to deal with DNG.
     
  74. Raw Developer hasn’t chocked on any DNG’s I’ve feed it yet.​
    How many dozens of camera makers have you tried? You clearly have not tried DNG from a Sigma DP1 before RAW Developer 1.8.2, when support was introduced.
    Check http://mac.softpedia.com/progChangelog/RAW-Developer-Changelog-13369.html to see all the dedicated development they have had to make to support different variants of DNG.
     
  75. You clearly have not tried DNG from a Sigma DP1 before RAW Developer 1.8.2, when support was introduced.​
    Nope, don’t own one but I do know about its linear DNG issues. I’d be happy to try a linear DNG through RD if you wish. But if as you say, RD was able to deal with the issue, Apple should as well.
     
  76. ICC profiles because we need some way to describe the colour space of the camera, and dcraw can use them directly (in 100 years!) if you also have the lcms code. DNG profiles for cameras are interesting, and one useful feature of the DNG format is that these profiles can be embedded in the same files as the raw image data for safe keeping. But I don't know if any portable, open source code (our gold standard for long term compatibility) can do anything useful with embedded DNG camera profiles.
     
  77. ICC profiles because we need some way to describe the colour space of the camera,​
    ICC profiles don’t (can’t) do that, they can describe output referred rendering see: http://www.color.org/ICC_white_paper_20_Digital_photography_color_management_basics.pdf
     
  78. You don't like the terminology used by dcraw? You should probably take that up with Dave Coffin rather than me!:
    http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/dcraw.1.html
    "-p camera.icm [ -o output.icm ]
    Use ICC profiles to define the camera's raw colorspace and the desired output colorspace (sRGB by default)."

    The input (camera) profile is the tricky one, of course.
     
  79. You don't like the terminology used by dcraw? You should probably take that up with Dave Coffin rather than me!​
    The terminology I’m not buying is: Will you have an appropriate camera profile to do an accurate conversion. ICC profiles because we need some way to describe the colour space of the camera. Or perhaps the interpretation of where an ICC profile is being used in this context is an area I’m not buying. ICC profiles generally describes the color space of the rendered, output referred data from the raw converter. If you can truly get scene referred rendered data, you could feed that to software that can build an ICC profile but again, its rendered data, its not raw, its not the color space of the camera (they don’t have a color space). A camera has “colors“ it really can capture and encode as unique values compared to others, that are imaginary to us. They don't exist. There are colors we can see, but the camera can't capture that are imaginary to it.
    An ICC “camera” profile does not define the raw data, it defines rendered data. You can use an ICC profile to define the encoding a raw converter produces after rendering, no argument there, not that an ICC profile is necessary for this (your camera JPEGs are encoded into a color space without an ICC profile. Adobe products do this without an ICC profile). Every raw converter has to make some decisions about what it wants to presume** for this data prior to the final rendering (unless it has the spectral sensitivity of the chip and the illuminant under which the image was captured). That’s not what ICC profiles do nor are they needed at this stage. Every converter does this differently which is fine and every converter can then encode from that assumed color space to a color space with an embedded ICC profile if it wants to. Each ICC profile is unique to that process. I can no more use a “camera profile” (which doesn’t fingerprint the camera really) from Bibble and use it in Raw Developer any more than I can take the same NEC 3090 display, profile it on my Mac and use the profile with that identical display on your Mac. Each system is different, that’s why they need unique profiles for this part of the “process”. But we don’t need any ICC camera profiles assuming we have a raw converter that can render the data and encode that data into a color space we can define (now using an ICC profile or some EXIF data).
    **Jack Holms formally the chief camera color scientist at HP, who co-authored the ICC white paper above with me had this to say about the idea of a raw camera color space. The analogy to a film neg is useful because of this idea of scene vs. output referred in light of ICC profiles. The neg is scene referred if you will. The print you make is output referred if you will. Interestingly too is that we can easily build ICC profiles for scanners scanning transparency and can’t for the same hardware, Light source and software scanning a color neg:
    Raw image data is in some native camera color space, but it is not a colorimetric color space, and has no single “correct” relationship to colorimetry.

    The same thing could be said about film negative densities.

    Someone has to make a choice of how to convert values in non-colorimetric color spaces to colorimetric ones. There are better and worse choices, but no single correct conversion (unless the “scene” you are photographing has only three independent colorants, like with film scanning).

    A purist might argue that a color space not based on colorimetry is not really a color space because it is not an assignment of numerical values to colors, defining colors as a human sensation. In the standards committees we decided it is useful to be able to talk about non-colorimetric color spaces so we allow them and use “colorimetric color spaces” when appropriate.
     
  80. Hi Ken. I actually started out doing assembly on a Z80 in the late 70's but not as a profession, I was still in college at the time and was writing low level math functions for other programmers and for academic requirements. Guess I had a penchant for this kind of stuff. My reference to FORTRAN was given simply because it was the predominant language used by engineers at the time, while COBOL was used primarily by the accounting types. Pascal was just coming on the scene, but it never really made it past being an academic tool. It was soon eclipsed by DoD Ada, which also never had much commercial success, and only found a home in the military and some commercial aviation systems with military roots (e.g. Boeing).
    You ask, what does this mean? In truth, it all means very little except to say that I've been around the computer software block a few times through the years, and have seen lots of crap come and go. This is why I'm not impressed with the current state of affairs in the RAW arena. The whole thing is still too dependent on the business whims of the various vendors, and on economic forces that have only short-term profit in mind rather than long term viability. For example, I'd bet Nikon couldn't care less if anyone could read a D2X NEF file 200 years from now. They're wanting to sell cameras and maximize profits today. Why else would they have encrypted the white balance in the D2X NEF file? If the camera makers were really interested in this issue there would be an industry-wide consortium to write standards, rather than just Adobe going at it unilaterally.
    If computer history tells us anything about the future, it tells us that the next killer technology will leave the current technology in the obscure, if not forgotten, past. I still have Visicalc sheets on 8-inch floppy disks (assuming they are still magnetically viable) with no practical way of reading them these days. That obsolescence has occurred in only 30+ years! So what chance does a digital photo archive of today have 200 years from now? Even if we each spend the remainder of our lives continually updating our archives to new hardware platforms, new software versions, and new data formats, who will do it after we are dead? No one, that's who. While the notion of long term storage could mean as little as 5 years for some forms of commercial photography, it's of major importance to those of us who photograph primarily for historical and archive purposes.
     
  81. I'm not getting involved in this ... I was going to at first because I'm getting a D7000 with my Christmas bonus (okay, and some other money), but it seems like a few people in this thread are much more interested in proving how smart they are than helping to answer a question. Mr. Rodney (and to a much lesser extent Mr. hopefully-not-"the"-Garrison-K) are either the smartest photographers in the world, or just have a lot of free time. Personally, I'm too busy shooting and editing to learn what versions of these programs do what, beyond what I've gotta' buy to make my stuff work.
    I'm sure Mr. Rodney will ask to see MY portfolio now too to learn if I'm worthy of speaking of him that way, but frankly I don't care. I like my work, and I'll be damned if I care about a know-it-all's judgement.
    On an unrelated note, if you're still here Ziggy, nice shots. Personally I always get uncomfortable shooting nudes (I guess that's my 'traditional' personality), but you do an excellent job of it.
     
  82. I'm sure Mr. Rodney will ask to see MY portfolio now too to learn if I'm worthy of speaking of him that way, but frankly I don't care.​
    Actually I don’t have to ask, you have a very nice gallery here for all to see (I specially liked image #1 and #15). But if you don’t care, that’s cool. Its nice to at least see sampling of people’s work here.
     
  83. Agree with Andrew Rodney about the quality of your work Zach Zoll. I hope your portfolio serves you well.
     
  84. Let us be the judge (the point of being transparent).​
    I guess not. The point of being opaque?
     
  85. Judgments? What didn't you understand about Zack's post?
    I'm sure Mr. Rodney will ask to see MY portfolio now too to learn if I'm worthy of speaking of him that way, but frankly I don't care. I like my work, and I'll be damned if I care about a know-it-all's judgement.​
    I'm not sure what is sadder. The time you have on your hands to bully strangers on forums, or the void in your life that needs to empower yourself from bullying? You even need to reach back to stale threads.
    Photo.net endorses aliases if they are used for the good of the community. Get over it, or go somewhere else.
     
  86. Photo.net endorses aliases if they are used for the good of the community.​
    Especially those who would prefer to hide behind them.
    At least Zack is talented enough to share his work, not fearing feedback or in his case, showing off his fine work deserving of compliments. Some apparently don’t have such work to show and would prefer to remain anonymous ( adj 1: having no known name or identity or known source). Or as Jack Webb used to say, “the names have been changed to protect the innocent“, which in this case, protect the poster and their “talents” or lack thereof.
    Don’t worry Mr. anonymous, I will no longer ask for transparency from you, or examples of whatever it is you do, its clear you will not share with us. We’ll just have to use your posts to sum you up.
     
  87. We’ll just have to use your posts to sum you up.​
    Bingo. Kind of slow, but glad it finally sunk in. But who is "we"? Like you're some sort of god-like ring-leader here on PN?
    There's plenty of aliases here that offer advice and help others. It might be a tough concept for you to grasp, but not everyone comes here for the glory, the google hits, or to capitalize by floggin their expertise via journals and workshops. Besides, you're proving to us that real name users are just as likely to troll.
     
  88. Bingo​
    I suppose the single image you’ve uploaded to your “bio” page for your photo gallery will be sufficient and speak volumes about your photographic aesthetics and abilities.
    BTW, goggling underexposed snapshot with a magenta cast produces about 19,200 results <g>
     
  89. What speaks volumes is your engagement with someone you supposedly dismiss.
     
  90. We’re engaged? You buy the beer, I’ll supply the image content.
    FWIW, I don’t even come close to fully dismissing everything you’ve written, we’ve (well I) have actually agreed to some valid points. Pointing out the flaws in your logic (which you never address or reply), or my opinion of your photographic skills, based on a single image (which I again have requested more representation and transparency which you continue to ignore), not withstanding. Anyway, enough said. We both have to sleep at night based on our own opinions of our understanding of some DI issues and with our comfort level of our photographic capabilities. I sleep soundly. I’m not at all afraid to post images or info about myself and take legitimate comments from the community. I’m sure I’ll see you in an upcoming post here when DNG and Apple Inc are again mentioned.
     
  91. I just got CS5 and recently compared it to my favorite NEF processing software, Capture NX2. NX2 won. I do like to use Photoshop for image editing, but getting it from NEF to TIF is always done in NX2 to ensure maximum quality.
     

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