Old 06-25-2009, 03:35 AM   #1
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Default DNG vs. Camera RAW

Question: What are the differences, advantages, disadvantages, etc. of DNG vs. the Camera's RAW format (in my case .PEF)?

My new camera has the option to shoot either, and I'm unsure of the advantages or disadvantages of either.

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Old 06-25-2009, 03:53 AM   #2
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I convert my Canon 40D .CR2 RAW files to DNG tp process them. Why? Because PS CS2 doesn't support 40D RAW files.

Take a look at my stuff from Sep 08 onward...all were RAW to DNG converts using Adobe's DNG Converter.

Would I prefer to not convert and use the out-of-the-camera RAW? Yes. But until I get the latest PSElements to get an ACR that recognizes 40D RAW files, I'll stick with the DNG conversion...
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:54 AM   #3
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Each camera manufacturer makes their own proprietary file format for their raw files (PEF for Pentax?, NEF for Nikon?, CR2 for Canon). DNG is a file format specification created by Adobe which they are touting as a standard. Adobe provides programs you can download to convert your raw files to DNG.

The question becomes one of which standard do you think will be supported down the road. Adobe would like you to think theirs will last longer because it is "independent".

Personally - and this is not my area - I find it hard to believe that old camera formats won't be supported for a long, long time. Even the latest ACR from Adobe maintains support of the Canon D30 and D60, which are back from when? A long time ago.

I am figuring that, when the time appears to be coming, at that point I might convert all my CR2 files to DNG or whatever. But I don't need to do it yet.

As for what to shoot now if you have a choice, well, the question becomes what does your software support, and how well? You may want to do some test comparisons and see which works well for you. Maybe it makes no difference, I don't know.

Looking forward to what others have to say.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:43 AM   #4
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Just one point: when it comes to really long term readability of digital data, there are three crucial things: public specification, original manufacturers sticking to it and future developers willing to implement it. And in first two points, DNG performs better because it is already used and has a bit more official, reliable and readable specification than source code of dcraw.
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differences, dng, pef, raw

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