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DNG conversion saves space over regular RAW camera files

I wanted to let people know that when you convert a RAW file from a camera (cr2, nef, etc..) to DNG format with the Adobe DNG converter software (which is a batch process and can run in the background while you do other things) it saves space by compressing the file without any data loss. I just processed a folder of images that was 4.65GB down to 3.65GB by converting to DNG which makes it much easier to burn it to one DVD. And every bit of space saved add up.

So, I wanted to share this will any digital newbies or anyone who did not know.

PS> even when you convert a DNG from an in camera DNG it still saves space.

by Aaron Lee Fineman at 2007-06-20 00:14:01 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) New York City , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Now, that is a good reason to use the DNG format. Cheers, Aaron.

by Ed Giles | 20 Jun 2007 02:06 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
i have cs3 but I can’t figure out how to convert to .dng … I’ve read you can do it but I can’t figure out how. Any tips? I wouldn’t mind saving some space.

by Peter Hoffman | 20 Jun 2007 06:06 | naperville, IL, United States | | Report spam→
peter, you can choose the option when importing the photos from your camra trough bridge.

by Milos Djuric | 20 Jun 2007 06:06 | Berlin, Germany | | Report spam→
Peter “to DNG format with the Adobe DNG converter software” which is free on the adobe site. All my original files are DNG, I throw away RAW, this has become part of my workflow ever since recomended by fellow LSer Keith Dannemiller

by adam wiseman | 20 Jun 2007 12:06 | Mexico DF, Mexico | | Report spam→
You can download the free Adobe DNG Converter Software here.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 20 Jun 2007 15:06 (ed. Jun 20 2007) | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Another nice thing is that any raw edits gets saved within the DNG file, not in an external XMP file. That right there was enough to make me want to use DNG.

by Brian C Frank | 20 Jun 2007 15:06 | Des Moines, IA, United States | | Report spam→
Not all metadata is carried over in the DNG transfer. In some cases, not all data from the sensor is carried over either (black masked pixels, raw data from foveon sensors is transformed and not truly raw, etc..). Chances are it will make little difference but I think it’s bad advice to suggest people throw away the original RAWs. I’d rather have data I don’t need than to not have data I do need.

by Tommy Huynh | 20 Jun 2007 17:06 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Tommy, do you know if that’s more problematic with some RAW formats than others? You’ve said above that the foveon sensors are particularly problematic, how about Canon CR2 or Nikon NEF’s?

by Ed Giles | 21 Jun 2007 00:06 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Ed, I’m not sure if I’d call it problematic but it certainly isn’t good practice if you want to preserve your data. IIRC, Canon’s CR2 loses the data from the black masked pixels, AF points, and other propietary Canon data. NEF “loses” WB data and and other propietary Nikon data. I put it in quotations because the data is still carried over, but because Nikon encrypts the data, Adobe can’t decode it and transfer the data to the fields allocated for WB data.

Whether it really matters in terms of your image, most of the time I’d say no. However there have been times where I had backfocus issues and I wanted to go back to my photos and check which AF points were used, etc.. and this data would not be there if I didn’t have the original RAW files. Also the black masked pixel data can be used to reduce noise and optimize image quality. I find DPP gives the best results and I will convert CR2 files using it for critical work. I always keep the proprietary RAW, storage is cheap, and the compatability argument for DNG is beyond stupid IMO.

by Tommy Huynh | 21 Jun 2007 00:06 (ed. Jun 21 2007) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
the RAW problem or flaw is smth that considers lots of digital photographers.. try thinking in long term basis.. let’s say 10 years from now: will i.e. NEF of your camera now (because NEF from NEF in some cases is different) be opened by a software then? most people think it will.. well think of the Minolta case. Sony bought it and noone knows what will happen to Minolta DSLR users that use the MRW format not in 10 but in much less years..

anyway the problem is big.. DNG is one of the solutions, maybe not the best but actually the only offered right now (Pentax already adopted it for its DSLRs)

more to read and think:

Notes on the future of Open RAW formats, and a look at DNG

by Nikos Kantarakias | 21 Jun 2007 09:06 | Skiathos, Greece | | Report spam→
In my oppinion it is not wise at the moment to throw away the raw file. Even though Adobe has promissed to have DNG open and support it who knows how long they will last. Until there is a open Raw/DNG format widely accepted by all camera vendors it is better to keep both DNG and the raw file.

I am using Lightroom now and after importing and putting all the metadata I sawe the file as DNG. This keeps all the metadata with the file. Some thing that is not possible with other raw files.

I then burn the Raw to DVD and keep the DNG on hard disks.

Fore those wanting to read some more on the workflow you can have a look at :


by Kristjan Logason | 22 Jun 2007 01:06 | Mexico city, Mexico | | Report spam→
Just for the record, I do not trash my Nikon .nef files after conversion to dng. I save both formats to an external drive and also burn both to a DVD. I too believe that ‘once burned, twice shy’.
Keith Dannemiller

by Keith Dannemiller | 22 Jun 2007 01:06 | Mexico City, Mexico | | Report spam→

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Aaron Lee Fineman, Photographer Aaron Lee Fineman
New York City , United States
Ed Giles, Photojournalist Ed Giles
Sydney , Australia
Peter Hoffman, photographer Peter Hoffman
Naperville , United States ( ORD )
Milos Djuric, Photojournalist Milos Djuric
Hannover , Germany ( HAJ )
adam wiseman, photographer adam wiseman
Mexico Df , Mexico
Brian C Frank, Photographer Brian C Frank
Des Moines, Iowa , United States
Tommy Huynh, Travel & Corporate Photog Tommy Huynh
Travel & Corporate Photog
Houston , United States
Nikos Kantarakias, Nikos Kantarakias
(the problem to your solution)
Athens , Greece ( ATH )
Kristjan Logason, Photographer Kristjan Logason
(editorial and advertising)
Leikanger , Norway
Keith Dannemiller, Photographer/Photojournal Keith Dannemiller
Mexico City , Mexico


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