13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2008 1:17 PM by (Amit_Bar)

    Is DNG a universal raw format?

    dorin_nicolaescu Level 5
      I have DNG files converted from both a Nikon D70 and a D80. Now, ACDSee Pro 2.0 reads the former, but not the later (original Nikon NEFs, as well as the DNGs). Also, for example, Aperture's specs state that it only reads DNGs from cameras it already supports.

      I thought that DNG is a universal format, in that that it doesn't matter from which format it was converted. Otherwise, what's the point of it?

      So where is the problem in this case / in the DNG format or the poor implementation of software packages?
        • 1. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional
          Incomplete implementation of software packages.
          • 2. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
            JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
            Adobe developed the DNG format with the intention of it being somewhat of a "universal" format. Something that could be used to "standardize" images from different cameras. Adobe has published the DNG specifications in an attempt to promote the format as such. But different companies have the option of implementing DNG support differently. I am not enough of a programmer to discuss all that is involved. I do know that other companies support DNG only for the cameras that they already support.

            When RawShooter was still in existence they proudly announced that they were supporting DNG, but only for the cameras they already supported. I argued with them, stating that it was supposed to be a universal format. Their reply was (essentially) that Adobe didn't understand all the ramifications.

            As far as Photoshop and ACR are concerned, the DNG format is pretty much universal. How other companies choose to implement the support is left entirely to that company's discretion.
            • 3. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
              ArrrBee Level 1
              Well, you have your answer and it is as far as I am concerned a nasty one.
              The other companies are just being dumb. This is also why DNG isn't ever
              going to be the universal open RAW format Adobe would like. But, at least it
              isn't Adobe's fault.

              Robert
              • 4. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                Panoholic Level 2
                > Now, ACDSee Pro 2.0 reads the former, but not the later (original Nikon NEFs, as well as the DNGs). Also, for example, Aperture's specs state that it only reads DNGs from cameras it already supports

                Are these products available in a newer versions, which supports the new camera models? Does the upgrade cost money?
                • 5. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                  I think about purcahsing ACDSee Pro 2 and wonder whether they solved this problem meanwhile. Can you read the DNGs now?
                  • 6. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                    dorin_nicolaescu Level 5
                    > I think about purcahsing ACDSee Pro 2 and wonder whether they solved this problem meanwhile. Can you read the DNGs now?

                    It does read the D70 DNGs, but not D80 DNGs.
                    • 7. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                      Level 1
                      That is very disappointing. Everywhere you can read that DNG is the best solution to preserve the RAW files for long term. But, if the software you use doesnt support it, it remains a great problem. All the more so, when you don't preserve the original RAW files when you convert them.
                      • 8. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                        gkaiseril MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                        Given time the DNG converter will support more cameras and some camera manufacturers will continue to add the DNG format optoion and more software will support the DNG standard and like the PDF format there maybe a more open and public version.
                        • 9. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                          Level 1
                          That is possible that over ten years we will be much wiser about it and all that will be seen in another light. At the moment it is very frustrating to know, that the different manufacturers of camera's and software keeps for their own reasons necessary optimizing at their own yard. For me there is so far no reason to rush and convert all RAW files to DNG.
                          • 10. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                            ArrrBee Level 1
                            Unfortunately Adobe removed the backbone from DNG when they didn't make it a
                            requirement that implementation of DNG being universal. That is why most
                            third party RAW software doesn't support DNG until it supports the cameras
                            proprietary RAW format. Has Adobe mandated that it truly be non-camera
                            specific so that no matter what cameras the third parties did or didn't
                            support it worked with all DNG files generated from all proprietary RAW
                            files things would be a lot different.

                            The reason they didn't was no one would have bothered with it and that would
                            have killed it. What Adobe doesn't get is that without that mandate DNG is
                            already dead. You can't have a freely open standard RAW format whose RAW
                            files can't be read until the software supports the cameras proprietary
                            format. DNG is and most likely always will be a lame duck.

                            Robert
                            • 11. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                              Level 1
                              Robert Barnett, you say:

                              > That is why most third party RAW software doesn't support DNG until it supports the cameras proprietary RAW format.

                              What software NOW behaves like that? My own tests (admittedly on a subset of available products) show that they typically support DNG even when they don't directly support the camera. Aperture was the last major product I knew of that didn't, and that changed with 2.0. (I agree that there used to be more products with the limitation, but products typically evolve for the better).

                              My experience of 13 (non-Adobe) products with better support is at:
                              http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/dng/dng_not_native.htm#examples
                              • 12. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                                dorin_nicolaescu Level 5
                                Oops... Just tried ACDSee Pro 2 it DOES support Nikon D80'd both NEF and DNG. My bad.

                                It is ACDSee 8.0 (and perhaps Pro 1.0) that supports NEF and DNG from D70, but neighter NEF nor DNG from D80.
                                • 13. Re: Is DNG a universal raw format?
                                  Level 1
                                  Thank you for the correction. Well, that's sounds better!