14 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2016 2:29 AM by Just Shoot Me

    Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster

    Froodster

      Is converting edited images to DNG a good strategy to protect against corrupted Lightroom catalogs?

       

      I had a minor catastrophe today when my catalog became corrupted. Two of the most recent backups were also unreadable, but I'm up and running with an older backup (although I have some work to do on my most recent images).

       

      If had saved my edited images to DNG, each file would contained its own XMP file and so my edits would have been saved. Is saving to DNG a good strategy to guard against catalog failures - and be reasonably future proof? Perhaps I should save a DNG, a TIFF and a JPEG of the final images?

        • 1. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
          deepakg1988 Adobe Employee

          Hi,

           

          Saving the file to .DNG, wont save a seprate .xmp file.

          In case of .DNG the metadata is written within the file.

           

          I would recommend you to use the raw file, which will enable you to save the .Xmp sidecar file.

           

          You can find it by clicking the Lightroom file menu and then clicking ‘Catalog Settings’.

          screen-capture-3.jpg

          Under the ‘Metadata’tab you’ll find the option that you can click on and off.

          This option automatically saves any changes you make to a RAW file in Lightroom (basic adjustments, crop, B&W conversion, sharpening etc) into the XMP sidecar files that are saved right next to the original RAW files.

          What this means is that if Lightroom ever crashes, or your catalog is corrupted all the work you did should be saved into those xmp side car files. So all you’ll need to do is reimport those files back into Lightroom and you’ll still have all the adjustments you made.

           

          Thanks.

          • 2. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
            Froodster Level 1

            Thanks for the reply, but wouldn't DNGs be tidier? If I have sidecar XMP files, could that possibly complicate things, for example making sure they stay with the image file?  Whereas as a DNG has the XMP file embedded in the file?

            • 3. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              That issue is really a personal choice. Some people prefer to have the XMP sidecar files. The thing to remember is that, even with DNG files, it's necessary that you check the option to write changes to XMP or the Lightroom changes will not be written to the DNG file. Some have reported that choosing that option tends to  affect the performance of Lightroom. The only real safe backup system is to backup the catalog on a regular basis and have a backup of your images on a separate drive.

              • 4. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                dj_paige Level 9

                The best protection against a catalog disaster is to make regular and automated backups of your catalog file.

                 

                The problem with using XMP (either in the DNG file or as a sidecar file for your RAW) is that some metadata is NEVER written to your XMP. Things like collection membershjip, virtual copies, edit history, pick flags and a few other things are not written to XMP. So you cannot make backups of these items using DNG or XMP files, you must have a backup of your catalog file to maintain these things. Saving to XMP is a partial backup only.


                but wouldn't DNGs be tidier? If I have sidecar XMP files, could that possibly complicate things, for example making sure they stay with the image file?

                If you do stupid things, like move the photos without moving the xmp sidecar files, then yes. Why would you do that however?

                 

                If you don't do stupid things, then there's no difference in the ability to save certain metadata between XMP sidecar file with RAW, and DNG, with respect to catalog restoration.

                • 5. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                  Froodster wrote:

                   

                  Is converting edited images to DNG a good strategy to protect against corrupted Lightroom catalogs?

                   

                  I had a minor catastrophe today when my catalog became corrupted. Two of the most recent backups were also unreadable, but I'm up and running with an older backup (although I have some work to do on my most recent images).

                   

                  If had saved my edited images to DNG, each file would contained its own XMP file and so my edits would have been saved. Is saving to DNG a good strategy to guard against catalog failures - and be reasonably future proof? Perhaps I should save a DNG, a TIFF and a JPEG of the final images?

                  Yes to everything you have said. But first I would look at "Why your catalog file got corrupted". On a properly working computer that should never happen no matter how big the catalog file is.

                   

                  I have been running LR since V1 on at least 5 different computers, notebooks and desktops, Windows and Mac OS X, and have never had a corrupted catalog file.

                   

                  I started out in the Digital world with a P&S Canon camera while still using a Leica M3 film camera. I then switched to a Nikon that output NEF files. I then switched back to Leica with the release of the M8 digital camera. Since Leica uses DNG as their RAW file format on the M line of digital cameras I converted all my Nikon NEF files to DNG. I then, about 2 years ago, switch to Fuji and started using their RAF RAW files but recently converted all of those to DNG. To each their own.

                   

                  I personally don't like to store all the edits in the catalog file so I have the option checked to Auto write changes to XMP, which writes the edits into the DNG file. That way if I chose to I can open any of those DNG files (or other format RAW files that writes a XMP file) with ACR and all the edits I have done show up. Also if I change anything in ACR they show up in LR. Only using the Catalog file to store edits does not give you that option.

                  • 6. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                    JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I don't think writing changes to XMP files prevents the changes from being stored in the catalog. Writing changes to XMP is done in addition to the catalog changes.

                    • 7. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                      JimHess wrote:

                       

                      I don't think writing changes to XMP files prevents the changes from being stored in the catalog. Writing changes to XMP is done in addition to the catalog changes.

                      Yes but you are depending on just the catalog file to hold the edits. Also my other point about using ACR. If you store the edits only in the catalog you can't open the file in ACR and see, and change, the edits you have done in LR. ACR doesn't see them as they aren't included with the file, DNG, or a XMP sidecar file.

                      • 8. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                        DdeGannes Level 5

                        Quote "Yes but you are depending on just the catalog file to hold the edits. Also my other point about using ACR. If you store the edits only in the catalog you can't open the file in ACR and see, and change, the edits you have done in LR. ACR doesn't see them as they aren't included with the file, DNG, or a XMP sidecar file."

                         

                        Why do you need this option. Lightroom can do everything that Adobe Camera Raw can do and more. There is a life without .xmp and .dng. If you are worried about the edits being stored in your Lightroom Catalog file. Just make a backup every day, why settle for a partial save of data in .xmp.

                        To wit you can delete Adobe Camera Raw plugin from Photoshop if you have the latest version of Lightroom available. I have not utilised Adobe Camera Raw since version 2.4. At present if you have the Creative Cloud Photographers package you have Photoshop CC and Lightroom as a free application so there is really no need for Adobe camera Raw. 

                        • 9. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                          Because it is MY CHOICE. I thought I made that clear with the words "If "I" Chose".

                           

                          That is "Your Choice". I can and will make other choices.

                          • 10. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                            DdeGannes Level 5

                            I was just making the point that there is a choice, its not a necessity

                            It becomes a necessity for those who are not prepared to utilise Lightroom and prefer to utilise the Photoshop / Adobe Camera Raw workflow. Now that Lightroom is provided free with the current version of  Photoshop it is not really necessary to resist the use of Lightroom.

                            Should it not be in Adobe's interest to standardise one raw processing package instead of having to maintain Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw?

                            • 11. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              The only reason I made the comment is that your response seems to imply (at least to me) that writing changes to XMP bypassed writing them to the catalog. And I was just clarifying that the catalog is still storing all of the adjustments.

                              • 12. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                DdeGannes wrote:

                                 

                                I was just making the point that there is a choice, its not a necessity

                                It becomes a necessity for those who are not prepared to utilise Lightroom and prefer to utilise the Photoshop / Adobe Camera Raw workflow. Now that Lightroom is provided free with the current version of  Photoshop it is not really necessary to resist the use of Lightroom.

                                Should it not be in Adobe's interest to standardise one raw processing package instead of having to maintain Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw?

                                I use LR everyday. I still use ACR on occasion because I am so use to it. So I am prepared and do use LR most of the time. But If "I" chose to use ACR I want whatever edits I have done in LR to show up.

                                You weren't just making a point that there is a choice. You were criticizing my choice to ACR if I want to. You also continued that criticizing in the post I quoted above.

                                 

                                LR has ACR built in. So they will always have to maintain ACR.

                                • 13. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                                  DdeGannes Level 5

                                  I concede that if you wish to make use of ACR to open raw files directly then you do have that choice, but there is always the option to use Lightroom option to "edit in Photoshop" which will have your work from Lightroom included.

                                  • 14. Re: Should I convert to DNG in case of a catalog disaster
                                    Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                    DdeGannes wrote:

                                     

                                    I concede that if you wish to make use of ACR to open raw files directly then you do have that choice, but there is always the option to use Lightroom option to "edit in Photoshop" which will have your work from Lightroom included.

                                    My god let it go. This started because you lost track of the original question and focused on my reply, with my reasons, for doing either converting to DNG and or writing edits to a XMP sidecar file. My reasons are my reasons and don't need comment from you. Just like you might drive a BMW and someone else drives a KIA. They are both cars and do exactly the same things. Why one person chooses one and the other person chooses the other is MOOT.