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> "The reason I believe is because by default the image remains in "mosaiced" form in the DNG. Meaning that it's the unaltered proprietary RAW data as it was taken off the sensor, in turn meaning that it's the same data found in the vendors own RAW formats, in turn meaning that in 10 years a RAW converter trying to read it ultimately needs to understand the propriety mosaic format of the camera manufacturer. In short, it would be no more portable than a RAW file unconverted from the vendor."
It IS more portable. It could be processed by any product that accepted DNG's "staggered" metadata, and that software would be able to handle any cameras that used a staggered configuration:
Currently, this only applies to Fujifilm cameras. That isn't a DNG restriction, but just the nature of the industry.
DNG doesn't require the software accepting the DNG file to recognise specific Fujifilm models, "just" to recognise the tags that define the staggered configuration. Many software products don't, and again that isn't a DNG restriction, but (presumably) the result of business decisions by the software suppliers.
DNG can't remove the need for raw-processing software to have algorithms suitable for the sensor configuration concerned. Neither can Adobe force other companies to implement the whole of the DNG specification. In future, to use the software you want, you may either have to persuade them to add support for this feature of DNG, or convert those non-linear DNGs to linear-DNGs.
I put no faith of any kind on other companies to support DNG 20 seconds from
now let alone 10 years from how. It is interesting that you are worried
about these other problems and not so worried about whether anything will be
able to open the DNG file. The point of the future proof DNG is not will
every raw processor on the market in 10 years be able to open it. You can't
do that now. The question is will any raw processor be able to open them and
the answer is Adobe will. Having one company who's products can open any DNG
file is better and a lot more future proof than no company which is what
could happen with a proritary raw format. Also given that DNG is pretty much
a free format available to anyone there are going to be other options as
well. Maybe not from the big raw processor makers but shareware and so on.
I don't think DNG will go the way of PhotoCD or some of Kodak's old formats
that are pretty much unsupport even by Kodak. In the end however there is no
guarantee and the fact that some raw processor makers choose to only support
DNG for some cameras and those cameras that have to support the propritary
formats before they support DNG sucks and everyone should be complaining to
them to stop that sh*t.
I convert all of my images to DNG and have faith in Adobe and DNG is far
more future proof than any other raw format.
I guess I feel like DNG has gotten enough acceptance, even if it's not as fully implemented as it could but, that I have relative confidence that it will be supported in the long term.
It's true that at the very least Adobe will support DNG moving forward, but because all these models are already baked into ACR outside of DNG (for instance, ACR supports S2 RAF, S3 RAF, S5 RAF etc.) that I also trust Adobe to support the unconverted RAW formats as well for the long term. In short, I'm not sure it's any less likely that Adobe won't support Fuji RAF in 10 years than Fuji RAF converted to DNG.
Regardless, the issue here as I see it is many well informed people are indicating with no qualification to convert to DNG for long term portability, but for some models at least this isn't really any more portable (and perhaps less) than the original format.
Thanks to Barry I guess I see why it's "technically" more portable - it isn't being literally encoded in the same RAW format as came out of the camera, but unfortunately not all RAW converters are supporting the total DNG spec. In that regards I guess it's neither here nor there, but ultimately it doesn't matter to me because the fact is these other converters aren't working for me.
That in turn is a shame, because while I trust Adobe to be there in the future for me and I use Lightroom more than any other converter, I still find Capture One and DxO as very nice converters that have advantages in some cases over Lightroom.
Thanks Barry and Robert for your replies!
>Yes, if it was converted to "linear" it would be portable, but if it's converted to "linear" you've fixed it in stone and really it doesn't have much difference from say converting it to TIFF (particularly since DNG is based on TIFF right?).
Actually, this is not true.
A linear DNG created from a raw file still has nearly all the flexibility advantages of a "mosaic" raw file. It is still trivial to change white balance, exposure adjustments with full highlight recovery, use different camera profiles, etc. The only thing you lose the ability to use newer demosaic algorithms in the future.
TIFF files are much harder to adjust because the white balance and exact exposure setting have already been "burned into" the image data.
Thanks Thomas - that's very useful to know!
Yes many thanks for that explanation. I was under the incorrect impression that linear files were much more limited in their ability to withstand significant adjustments.