DNG question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ted Witcher, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Ted Witcher macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2003
    #1
    One of the benefits of .dng is that adjustments are written into the actual file as opposed to a sidecar. I made a change to a pic in LR, exported it as .dng, and then opened it in CR with my adjustments intact. But then shouldn't I also see my adjustments if I import it into Aperture? Why doesn't A3 see those changes?

    And further, is there a way to export a .dng from A3 that I'm missing? Shouldn't I be able to, in the same way, make changes to a .dng within A3 and move that raw file into some other app or to someone else so they can work on it? Isn't this the whole point of .dng? So why doesn't Apple support this?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #2
    DNG is not fully supported, so while Adobe wants this to be a universal format, its not. I had a lot of images in dng, that I was unable to import into Aperture. Luckily for me I still had the RAWs
     
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #3
    I'd recommend against using DNG unless your camera natively writes DNG files (e.g. Leica).
    Also, if you're editing in Lightroom, the RAW files, no matter what format, do not have a sidecar; instead, the Lightroom library works similarly to Aperture's referenced library, storing all adjustment data on the .lrcat file. So maybe Camera Raw recognized that the DNG was from Lightroom and read the Lightroom catalog for the adjustment values?
     
  4. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Yes, no sidecar if you stay within the program. But if you take the raw file elsewhere you have to have a sidecar or you use .dng which doesn't require it (or isn't supposed to). I primarily use A3 and almost always convert to .dng and don't really have a problem. In this instance I was experimenting with LR because there's a particular adjustment package I wanted to use that isn't available for A3; if I could export that file and just use A3 for its DAM abilities all the better. But unfortunately the files aren't traveling -- well, that's not fair. A3 isn't reading them is more accurate. In fact, A3 doesn't allow you to export the raw file as LR does; there's no setting for it. Only rendered files. So Apple, as usual, is not playing nice with the rest of the world. If you want to be in the photography game you have to deal with Adobe, whether you have a beef with Flash or not. Otherwise, just get out.

    It's too bad, because the program is better in many other aspects... and if they spent a little effort on developing it Aperture could easily be a class leader. It should have decoding like C1 and some of the adjustments LR has and its own workflow, and they'd be dominant.
     
  5. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #5
    Well, you're expecting Aperture to read metadata for adjustments that it doesn't have.
    For example if you make distortion correction edits on Lightroom, you won't see it in Aperture because Aperture doesn't have distortion correction.
    It saves the number value that the adjustment was made at, not the actual result of the adjustment.

    Aperture does allow exports of masters/originals; I believe it's either a separate option or in the export dialog. I haven't used A3 in a while since switching to LR.
     
  6. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    No, I'm expecting it to read standard contrast/exposure/channel mixer/etc. adjustments that are commonplace and have been written to a supposedly universal file format. And yeah, you can export the unaltered master, but you can't export a .dng with adjustments written to it, which is supposed to be a benefit of .dng.
     
  7. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #7
    DNG has no practical benefits in its current state. Not even the adjustment metadata benefit that you mention, since most people stick to one RAW processor.
    Are you sure you included the metadata? If so then the DNG that was written is probably corrupt, not A3's fault; A3 works fine with DNGs AFAIK.
     
  8. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Excellent! Near success. It opens the .dng now, but doesn't include the adjustments. Strange, because the preview does have the adjustments, but when the full file loads it's back to the original image.

    Oh, well. Thanks.
     
  9. Razeus macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #9
    DNG is NOT the original file your camera made. DO NOT convert your files to dng.
     
  10. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2003
    #10
    I prefer it. But thanks.
     
  11. Razeus macrumors 603

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    #11
    Hey, it's your files. Good luck.
     
  12. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

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    Brooklyn
    #12
    Hands down the best file format for digital still image preservation is a TIFF, which not incidentally is a proprietary format whose specification is under the copyright of Adobe.

    There is an entire field of study devoted to the preservation of images. For the last few years archivists and librarians have turned their attention to the 'born digital' revolution in order to make recommendations about ensuring that these types of images are available for future generations.

    Like photographs, digital images must be physically stable but unlike photographs these new images are not 'human readable' and so another type of metaphysical stability now comes into play. The sheer number of, and changes to, RAW file formats should be of concern to anyone who expects to be able to read their files down the road. Camera RAW files are in fact based on Adobe TIFF file format so the idea that a RAW file is superior to a DNG file because of an association with Adobe is off base.

    This study was conducted by the Library of Congress and should be of interest:
    http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/content/tiff_tags.shtml

    ...unless of course you prefer luck over knowledge.

    EDIT:
    ISO standards take years to develop and become accepted by the international standards body. DNG will surely improve over time.
     
  13. Razeus macrumors 603

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #13
    All of my best images (not all the RAWs of course) are archived to 16-bit .TIFFs. I keep the original camera RAW, the final processed 16-bit Tiff and the high resolution JPEGs.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    It's certainly your preference but I was surprised that Aperture and OSX unable to read the dng that I converted my images to from my Oly OMD and as I mentioned I thought I as up the creek. I did not want to convert them to TIFF (read huge files) but luckily I still had the RAW files.

    Regardless of how you slice it, DNG is a proprietry format that by and large camera makers have no embraced. Adobe had hoped that camera makers would embrace this format and avoid their own proprietary formats. They haven't and not every system or application supports DNG. OSX and Aperture certainly don't.

    For that reason alone I stopped using it.
     
  15. Ted Witcher thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2003
    #15
    It's an Apple issue. The transcoding works fine and they are read just fine in LR. If I recall I also had issues with new versions of Leica Ms, which record natively to .dng. Apple just doesn't take this space as seriously as they could. As a result they lose market share to Adobe, which makes it even more difficult for them to pay attention.

    It brings up a larger point, really, which is Apple's strategy towards all of its so-called pro apps. Logic, I'm told, is perfectly fine for pro recording, a suitable substitute for Pro Tools. But Aperture and FCXP are perceived, fairly or not, as behind their competitors.
     

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