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DNG: How is it doing in the marketplace?

 
 
Barry Pearson
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      01-16-2006
Paul Rubin wrote:
> "Barry Pearson" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

[snip]
> > (I don't know if it would be possible to run the DNG Converter under
> > an emulator on Linux. It is not performance-critical, so perhaps an
> > emulation environment would work there where it wouldn't be suitable
> > for other pruposes. Do you know anything about emulators on Linux?)

>
> I don't want to use emulators; I don't want to use anything that I
> don't have source to.


Then write a DNG converter, or persuade others to! The argument that
Adobe should release the source code isn't credible - why not say the
same thing about Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Bibble, etc?

> > DNG is most certainly a raw format! It contains the original raw image
> > data. Some cameras and digital backs use DNG as their native raw
> > format.

>
> Can I recover the raw image data from the DNG file? I thought you
> mentioned in another post that it couldn't be reversed. If I want to
> run the NEF to DNG converter to get a DNG file, then run a DNG to NEF
> converter and get the NEF file back from the DNG, can I do that?
> Preferably the identical NEF, but at minimum, the image data (if not
> the file headers) should be bit-for-bit identical.


As far as I know, you could do that, if someone wrote such as
converter. I believe that all the contents of NEFs are in the DNG. The
image data is. The problem, of course, is that Nikon don't publish
their formats, so it would be hard to get right. (And I'm not sue what
the legal position would be, because Nikon haven't said anything about
that either). But there has been at least one case where someone wrote
a RAW2NEF converter (for a hacked camera) so a DNG2NEF converter may be
possible. But why bother? Either keep the original NEFs, or embed them
in the DNGs.

[snip]
> > No they don't. Anyone could write a DNG converter.

>
> Yes, but if someone does, then it's no longer the case that DNG's only
> come from Adobe products. Right now it's the case, and that's how
> Adobe likes it. If Adobe wanted it otherwise, it could release its
> current converter as source code. Of course there are obvious business
> reasons for it to not do that, and I wouldn't expect them to do it,
> but that's what I mean by conflicting interests.


DNGs DON'T only come from Adobe products! I've shown which non-Adobe
products write DNG in the links I posted earlier in this thread.
(Perhaps between 10 and 15). And, as I've pointed out,
Hasselblad-Imacon have their own DNG converter for some of theoir
non-DNG formats. This is what Adobe want - they want full take-up of
DNG, which is why they published the specification and published a
worldwide royalty-fee license for anyone to write and use/sell such
code. It is the camera manufacturers that are uncooperative! DNG is
open - other formats are not, and there aren't yet enough companies
taking advantage of DNG's openness.

[snip]
> > Not obvious to me. The future health of top-end digital photography
> > needed a common raw format. Adobe is the only one who put resource into
> > it. We will all benefit from it.

>
> I've pointed out numerous ways in which Adobe's actions didn't
> maximize the public interest, because Adobe (as is understandable and
> logical and I'm not blaming them) instead chose to follow a competing
> self-interest.


Not where DNG is concerned. And this thread is about DNG.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.barry.pearson.name/photography/
http://www.birdsandanimals.info/

 
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Paul Rubin
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      01-16-2006
"Barry Pearson" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> Then write a DNG converter, or persuade others to! The argument that
> Adobe should release the source code isn't credible - why not say the
> same thing about Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Bibble, etc?


The vendors of all those products have conflicts of interest that
prevent them from releeasing the source code. DNG is not any different.
Me, I use GIMP.

> As far as I know, you could do that, if someone wrote such as
> converter. I believe that all the contents of NEFs are in the DNG.


I thought you said otherwise in an earlier post.

> The image data is. The problem, of course, is that Nikon don't
> publish their formats, so it would be hard to get right.


In that case, getting NEF to DNG conversion must also be hard to get right.

> (And I'm not sue what the legal position would be, because Nikon
> haven't said anything about that either).


Nikon doesn't get to decide what the law is.

> DNGs DON'T only come from Adobe products! I've shown which non-Adobe
> products write DNG in the links I posted earlier in this thread.


I mean DNG's that are made by external converters, from NEF files (etc).
Yes, cameras making native DNG files is the situation we really want.
You seem to think that the current situation (Adobe products make
DNG from NEF) is almost as good. I think it's maybe slightly better
than not having DNG, but only slightly.

> > I've pointed out numerous ways in which Adobe's actions didn't
> > maximize the public interest, because Adobe (as is understandable and
> > logical and I'm not blaming them) instead chose to follow a competing
> > self-interest.

>
> Not where DNG is concerned. And this thread is about DNG.


What do you mean by that? If Adobe released source code for their DNG
converter, that would do more for the public, and more to promote DNG,
than keeping converter proprietary does. They'd similarly do more
good by pressuring Nikon to quit with the hokey WB encryption instead
of going along with it, and imagining bogus legal threats especially
based on laws created by their own lobbying.

The reasons they don't do those things are quite apparent and not
horribly blameworthy in the narrow instance, but they show the
conflict of interest I keep describing. You can't seem to comprehend
that just because the reason not to do something good is
understandable, doesn't mean there's no conflict.
 
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Barry Pearson
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      01-16-2006
Paul Rubin wrote:
> "Barry Pearson" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> > Then write a DNG converter, or persuade others to! The argument that
> > Adobe should release the source code isn't credible - why not say the
> > same thing about Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Bibble, etc?

>
> The vendors of all those products have conflicts of interest that
> prevent them from releeasing the source code. DNG is not any different.
> Me, I use GIMP.


Perhaps the same process that led to GIMP could lead to an open source
DNG Converter. DNG isn't the problem there - the problem appears to be
the proliferation of unpublished raw formats from the camera
manufacturers.

> > As far as I know, you could do that, if someone wrote such as
> > converter. I believe that all the contents of NEFs are in the DNG.

>
> I thought you said otherwise in an earlier post.


I hope I didn't say such a thing!

> > The image data is. The problem, of course, is that Nikon don't
> > publish their formats, so it would be hard to get right.

>
> In that case, getting NEF to DNG conversion must also be hard to get right.


Hard, yes. One problem is the camera calibration data, which is
currently produced by obtaining a camera and taking some test shots
with it. But not impossible - several people have done this work. For
anyone wanting to produce an open source DNG converter, dcraw may be a
good start. It is published C code that understands lots of raw
formats. (And anyone wanting to avoid the work of producing their own
camera calibration data could take the relevant DNGs produced by
Adobe's products and copy the camera calibration data out of them! I
look forward to someone putting all the bits together and doing this.
But it won't be me - I don't need it for my own use).

> > (And I'm not sue what the legal position would be, because Nikon
> > haven't said anything about that either).

>
> Nikon doesn't get to decide what the law is.


But they can influence how the law treats any particular case. Adobe
publish a worldwide royalty-free license for DNG. That provides
safeguards and confidence to anyone writing DNG-handling software.
Nikon do no such thing. (I've read that Adobe acted as they did because
Nikon wouldn't assure them they they wouldn't sue if the decrypted the
encrypted parts of NEFs). I don't know what problems that might cause
in an particular country. Perhaps none - but I'm not sure.

> > DNGs DON'T only come from Adobe products! I've shown which non-Adobe
> > products write DNG in the links I posted earlier in this thread.

>
> I mean DNG's that are made by external converters, from NEF files (etc).
> Yes, cameras making native DNG files is the situation we really want.
> You seem to think that the current situation (Adobe products make
> DNG from NEF) is almost as good. I think it's maybe slightly better
> than not having DNG, but only slightly.


The target is to have "DNG" as an option on all cameras. But this
thread is about the take-up of DNG in the marketplace, not the
longer-term target, and for take-up the DNG Conversion route is
adequate. When I try to guess where the take-up would be without the
Adobe DNG Converter, I am convinced that it has made a massive
difference.

> > > I've pointed out numerous ways in which Adobe's actions didn't
> > > maximize the public interest, because Adobe (as is understandable and
> > > logical and I'm not blaming them) instead chose to follow a competing
> > > self-interest.

> >
> > Not where DNG is concerned. And this thread is about DNG.

>
> What do you mean by that? If Adobe released source code for their DNG
> converter, that would do more for the public, and more to promote DNG,
> than keeping converter proprietary does. They'd similarly do more
> good by pressuring Nikon to quit with the hokey WB encryption instead
> of going along with it, and imagining bogus legal threats especially
> based on laws created by their own lobbying.

[snip]

I doubt if it would make much difference! I believe most, perhaps the
overwhelming majority, of photographers feel OK about using products
supplied by software companies. (After all, most do so, even where
there are alternatives). Although I am in favour of someone or some
organisation producing an open source DNG converter, because it would
be a useful thing to have, and because a second source is often a good
thing, it is unlikely that I would use it.

Why would it make the slightest difference to Nikon? Did dcraw make any
difference to Nikon? The problem appears to be that Nikon can get away
with what they are doing. Too often, Adobe gets the blame for what
Nikon do! Perhaps, as you suggested in an earlier posts, refusing to
support Nikon would achieve more than making it easier to handle NEFs.
But since Nikon appear to consider themselves to be a "total system
supplier", and have said that they believe Nikon Capture is really what
photographers should be using, even refusing to support NEFs suits
them!

The problem with Nikon is for Nikon's (prospective) users to solve -
Adobe can't solve it by themselves.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.barry.pearson.name/photography/
http://www.birdsandanimals.info/

 
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Bill Tuthill
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      01-18-2006
Barry Pearson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> The target is to have "DNG" as an option on all cameras. But this
> thread is about the take-up of DNG in the marketplace, not the
> longer-term target, and for take-up the DNG Conversion route is adequate.


Why is the long-term target to have a DNG option on all cameras?

Why not a lossless JPEG 2000 option instead? Currently it might require
more computational resources, although perhaps ASIC chips could minimize
overhead, but wouldn't lossless JPEG 2000 be more compact than DNG?

 
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Paul Rubin
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      01-19-2006
Bill Tuthill <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> Why not a lossless JPEG 2000 option instead? Currently it might require
> more computational resources, although perhaps ASIC chips could minimize
> overhead, but wouldn't lossless JPEG 2000 be more compact than DNG?


JPEG 2000 is a format for representing color pictures. DNG is for
representing raw camera images, which are (normally) monochrome images
taken through a Bayer filter. The idea of a raw image is that it
hasn't been converted to a color picture, hasn't had any noise
reduction, etc. By the time it's converted to (even "lossless") jpeg
or tiff, information has been lost.
 
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eawckyegcy@yahoo.com
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      01-19-2006
Barry Pearson wrote:

> It depends on your workflow and the tools you use. For example, if you
> want to put metadata into the raws for asset management or rights
> management purposes, you probably need to use DNG.


You note that DNG is TIFF. You also note that most raw formats are
just undocumented tags in an otherwise TIFF framework. Since TIFF is
TIFF, the claim that one "probably need[s] to use DNG" to add
"metadata" (for whatever purpose) makes no sense.

 
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