Author Topic: Convert to DNG or not?  (Read 2237 times)

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Offline rebeccah

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Convert to DNG or not?
« on: January 31, 2013, 07:42:17 AM »
Hi all

Having purchased my A77 last year I found that the RAW files were not compatible with my PSE7 so I have been converting the files to DNG and keeping a copy of the RAW files - taking up quite a bit of memory. 

My plan was to eventually buy Lightroom which I have read is so much better for post-processing along with having a great organiser.  I thought when I had got Lightroom, I would delete all the DNG files and go back to using the RAW files, not quite sure why, I'm always fearful of converting files and losing something.

The last couple of days I've had a bit of spare time so I decided to download the trial version of Lightroom and have watched some of online the tutorials as the change from PSE to Lightroom seems quite a jump.

Having watched many tutorials, one thing that is recommended by some of the 'tutors' is that you should convert RAW files to DNG as standard practise.

I must admit, at the moment, I'm not in love with Lightroom. I don't seem to have been able to achieve any better images than I could with PSE7 and if the consensus is that RAW files should be converted to DNGs for the longterm anyway then I might as well stick with PSE7 for the moment.

Any thoughts or tips would be gratefully received :-)

Rebecca
Cameras: A77, alpha 100, Minolta Dynax 5, Minolta X300
Lenses: Sony DT 1.8 35 SAM, Sony 70-300 G SSM, Sigma DC 18-125 HSM, Tamron SP10-24, Sigma 28-300D, Minolta 28-80

Offline KAP

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 11:38:59 AM »
I use LR 4 and I do not convert to DNG.  It basically depends on your workflow and, of course, your preference.  If you are importing directly from your camera card or existing photos on your hard drive try importing simply as RAW files and work on them from there on.  If you are coming from PSE 7 LR 4 will take a bit of time to become comfortable with.  If you use a local library, try to get Martin Evening's  on LR 4. It is one of the best, pretty intensive reading; however, really good. Also really expensive and that's why I suggest a library.  There are also some excellent e-books that you can download, all for under $20. If you decide that you want to stick with LR 4, message me privately and I can send you the links. They are a terrific buy and very helpful.

As for videos, check for videos by Julianne Kost and Matt Klowkowski. As for tutorials, google for some by Martin Evening.  There are some tutorials on the internet that are excerpts from his current book. Also, make sure that any videos or tutorials you are referring to deal with LR 4 and not LR 3 as the basic panel has changed from process 2010 to 2012 and is as vastly different.

Feel free to ask me any questions and I hope this helps a bit.  You should definitely be able to achieve a better image with LR.
Gear:  Sony Alpha 350, 77 with a variety of Minolta and Sony lenses.

Offline rebeccah

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 02:02:59 PM »
Hi KAP

Thank you for your quick reply.  I've not totally given up on Lightroom, an old colleague had warned me that it was quite hard to get grips with at first which was why I watched the tutorials.  If you would be happy for me to pick your brains I would be very grateful as I feel I should be able to achieve better results with LR4 than PS4, although my worry is always fear of blaming the tool when it is me that is at fault. I wonder whether my images do not have sufficient image quality to be able to get good PP results, can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear and all that.

I think I might have confused two queries though.  What I was trying to establish here how many people were sticking with RAW files straight from the camera and how many converted to DNGs. 

I think it was Terry White on one of the tutorials who suggested converting everything to DNG as a matter of course.  The argument being that they take up less space and since they are a non-manufacturer specific file they will always be supported.  I was quite surprised to find they were non-manufacturer specific as I always thought DNG was an Adobe product.  I was keeping the RAW files partly as a back up with the thought that DNGs might become unsupported in the future or not compatible with non-Adobe products.  I was wondering what the consensus was on which format it is better to use on a daily basis and which to archive for back up/long term storage?

Thank you for your help

Rebecca
Cameras: A77, alpha 100, Minolta Dynax 5, Minolta X300
Lenses: Sony DT 1.8 35 SAM, Sony 70-300 G SSM, Sigma DC 18-125 HSM, Tamron SP10-24, Sigma 28-300D, Minolta 28-80

Offline OldClicker

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 02:37:56 PM »
DNG is Adobe.  I see no reason to believe that DNG will be supported in the future any more than ARW.  To me, DNG is just one more needless step. - Terry

Offline KAP

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 06:06:55 PM »
Rebeccah, I think I agree with Terry who posted about DNG... I would just go with ARW and save yourself the extra trouble.   So, any questions.. just ask away or message me.
Gear:  Sony Alpha 350, 77 with a variety of Minolta and Sony lenses.

Offline AScot

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 09:26:59 PM »
dng is not a proprietary format. Adobe produced the specification for dng (Digital Negative) and released it to the public. They supply it free together with free editors and the source code is available to all. It's much like Linux, someone has to start it, in this case it was adobe.

You can download the specification, which describes a non proprietary file format for storing camera raw files that can be used by a wide range of hardware and software vendors for free. See this adobe page for info.

The Digital Negative (DNG) format is a non-proprietary, publicly documented, and widely supported format for storing raw camera data. It is hoped that camera manufacturers will adopt it instead of producing all the proprietary RAW formats that they do.

Sony RAW is proprietary and Raw files from an A100 are not compatible with A700, A900, a77 or A99 RAW files, you have to get revisions of Sony's or Adobe's software to read the latest Sony camera RAW.

I personally do not use dng as there seems no real benefit, at this time, to doing so. However if all the camera manufacturers were to adopt it instead of making their own proprietary RAWs, then I would.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline chappo1

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 09:37:57 PM »
Rebeccah, AScot summed it up perfectly and you will find opinion divided and debated endlessly on convert or not.   Adobe would love all camera companies to use its format but they do not.

Our situation.
My computer runs CS6 and it opens my A99 files not problem.  My wife's computer still has CS4 on it and it will not open her A55 files so she has to run the DNG first. I keep mine as Sony raw files. My wife keeps both.

My personal opinion is that I will always keep the Sony Raw file as I may want to use the Sony convertor one day.  And if Sony goes bust then I can DNG them later.
john
“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

Hector Berlioz

Offline rebeccah

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Re: Convert to DNG or not?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 07:31:04 AM »
Thank you all for your help.  Looks like you all have the same view I had before I watched the LR4 tutorial which threw me off track.  I'll go back to plan A, assuming I can get the hang of LR.  As you say, I can always convert files to DNG, if necessary, at a later date,

Many thanks

Rebecca
Cameras: A77, alpha 100, Minolta Dynax 5, Minolta X300
Lenses: Sony DT 1.8 35 SAM, Sony 70-300 G SSM, Sigma DC 18-125 HSM, Tamron SP10-24, Sigma 28-300D, Minolta 28-80