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Converting RAW to DNG

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  • Converting RAW to DNG

    I would like some advice on converting RAW to DNG. I have read on line that it is a good practice to convert all my RAW images to DNG after uploading them. I am using Adobe Lightroom 2.2. When I use "Convert to Linear Image", my files double in size. Should I be using "Preserve RAW Image" ? What is best practice and why? Should I be "embedding original RAW image"? Should I leave it as the one of many Panasonic/Lumix formats? I am really confused and would appreciate any advice?

  • #2
    Re: Converting RAW to DNG

    You should really do nothing. Keep your RAWs as they came off the camera. You obviously have a converter software (ACR?). Open your images with that, do any necessary editing and save the result in another format, PSD, TIFF or JPEG. Leave the RAW original alone in case you want to come back to it later and do some different editing.
    You may also want to do some Googling for DNG vs RAW. You will find, among other things, that it is a format that was pushed by Adobe under the pretext that support for RAW files would be somehow disappearing in the future and render them unreadable. A day before that happens we all can go out and convert them to some other format.

    Juergen

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    • #3
      Re: Converting RAW to DNG

      Robbie, I have to agree with Juergen. It is true that sometime in the future, programs like Adobe Camera RAW may no longer support the conversion of the mushrooming number of RAW files for all of the camera models of all of the camera manuafacturers. However, by the time that time comes, there will be tens of millions of images around and there will be converters made available, whereas we do not know how widely the DNG format will be accepted by the world.
      Regards, Murray

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      • #4
        Re: Converting RAW to DNG

        Well, it looks like Robbie got an interesting discussion started in the Adobe Forum:
        http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.3bc03c04.59b79390/0

        I had not seen that until just now. Apparently he came to the conclusion that we recommended here.

        Juergen

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        • #5
          Re: Converting RAW to DNG

          Thanks Juergen, yes I did come to the conclusion exactly as put by yourself and Murray. I had no idea that I would start such an interesting debate on the Adobe forum. There is no doubt, especially for someone still sorting all the technical stuff out that keeping the RAW original files unaltered is the way to go. It may have got a bit technical on the Adobe site but at least I am now happy with the decision I have made.

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          • #6
            Re: Converting RAW to DNG

            There is no right or wrong way of saving the file. Its what works best for you, and honestly, half the time I don't even remember if the file is in CR2 or DNG, it all acts and looks the same when opened in Photoshop. There are no advantages or disadvantages to either format. So really, however you have been working up to now, stay that way. The rest of the world doesn't see your RAW only you do when you first start editing.

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            • #7
              Re: Converting RAW to DNG

              We (as an agency) get a lot of photos in these days. It used to be that a shoot would be about 100 pics. Now you easily get 10.000 shots in. The only reason that we prefer to use DNG is because of keywording. DNG's can store keywords in the file, whereas most RAW files CR2's for instance, don't store the keywords in the file, but only in the Lightroom library. It's quite handy to be able to run a quick search for "action" "messi" "barcelona" and only get very specific results.

              But that's the only reason we use DNG. If that's not something you desire then there's no reason to convert your RAW's.

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              • #8
                Re: Converting RAW to DNG

                DNG is also useful on a case-to-case basis where a client may want a RAW file from a new camera but is running Photoshop CS2 or CS3 and does not have access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Camera Raw. It's also useful if the DNG converter program updates to support a new camera before specialized programs do, an example being able to bring in a DNG from a new camera into Photomatix before HDRsoft issues an update.

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                • #9
                  Re: Converting RAW to DNG

                  Originally posted by Robbie Dahl View Post
                  I would like some advice on converting RAW to DNG. I have read on line that it is a good practice to convert all my RAW images to DNG after uploading them. I am using Adobe Lightroom 2.2. When I use "Convert to Linear Image", my files double in size. Should I be using "Preserve RAW Image" ? What is best practice and why? Should I be "embedding original RAW image"? Should I leave it as the one of many Panasonic/Lumix formats? I am really confused and would appreciate any advice?
                  It looks like you're sticking with RAW for now which is fine. I've recently made the switch to DNG because I have a newer camera and haven't yet updated to CS4 so my ACR doesn't support my RAW files. This would be fine if I made all of my adjustments to RAW in lightroom (lightroom does support my files) and then used PS just to edit it as a Tiff, but I work a lot with using the RAW file as many different smart objects to reinterpret the file many different ways and then mask in those changes. I'm also interested in trying out the profile editor that creates a custom color profile specific to your camera using a greytag color chart (I think you have to be in DNG to do this).

                  I don't do the linear and go for the "preserve RAW image".... if your are embedding the RAW file into the DNG, that will allow you to get back your RAW file if you need it for some reason or if the DNG format ends up getting abandoned on down the road. However, this significantly increases your file size by a lot. If you can use all of your applications with your RAW files and you don't mind sidecars, then sticking with RAW will probably be better than spending the extra time waiting for DNGs to convert.
                  Last edited by Andrew Lawrence; 10-10-2009, 01:01 AM.

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