DNG - Adobe proposes industry standard for "RAW" files

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alan Browne, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    A TIFF based cross platform standard.

    Announcement: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0409/04092711adobe_dng.asp

    Adobe page: http://www.adobe.com/products/dng
    (Converter plug in, spec, etc.)

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 27, 2004
    #1
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  2. I'm surprised it took people THIS long to finally agree on an "open
    spec" standard for uncompressed digital still image files. Because it is
    an open specification, it means not only will we see most camera
    manufacturers adopting this standard, but it won't take long for the
    Linux crowd to get programs that can read and/or manipulate DNG files (I
    foresee an update to GIMP pretty soon).

    Raymond in Sacramento, CA USA
     
    Raymond Chuang, Sep 27, 2004
    #2
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  3. If anyone will have luck pushing a standard for digital photography,
    it's Adobe. I guess the question is if the format is limiting or
    encompassing in nature. I'm not a software engineer, so someone else
    will have to answer that.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Sep 27, 2004
    #3
  4. Alan Browne

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    They still haven't agreed on it. Time will tell whether the camera makers
    get on board. We can only hope (and ask them to).
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Sep 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Alan Browne

    F I Nishing Guest

    But have 'people' actually agreed it? Or have Adobe, as I suspect, just
    decided that DNG *should* be the standard?
    Fi
     
    F I Nishing, Sep 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Is this a standard for uncompressed digital still image? If so,
    *why*? TIFF works fine.

    It was announced as a standard for camera RAW images, which is a very
    different thing. In fact I have considerable doubts that a "standard"
    is possible or desirable; RAW files are inherently proprietary.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Sep 27, 2004
    #6
  7. Alan Browne

    Guest

    The DNG is basically TIFF with some new tags and rules. The lack of a
    specified CFA image compression technique suggests that Adobe isn't
    saying this should be the in-camera file format. 16MB+ images for 8MP
    cameras -- scale accordingly for even larger sensors -- seems like a
    very high price to pay for merely claimed support in perpetuity.

    Instead, the DNG looks like something spat out by a a piece of code
    running on a more substantial computer (substantial: _alot_ of
    space), post image aquistion. The manufacturer can release this code,
    just as Adobe has done now. One then obtains best of two worlds: the
    camera maker can work to get as many images onto a CF card as they can
    _and_ offer a solution to the so-called "tower of babel" problem.
     
    , Sep 28, 2004
    #7

  8. David> Is this a standard for uncompressed digital still image? If so,
    David> *why*? TIFF works fine.

    DNG actually is a TIFF with a particular payload. So far, nobody's
    TIFFs are standard with respect to the extended info. DNG standardizes
    that. No reason not to get on board.
     
    Randal L. Schwartz, Sep 28, 2004
    #8
  9. Alan Browne

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Well, there is compression, though -- indeed, I tried the converter on a
    D70 NEF file of 5.2MB, and the resulting DNG was 4.3MB.
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Sep 28, 2004
    #9
  10. Alan Browne

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Odd that Adobe listed the alleged benefits for photographers and
    hardware/software manufacturers, but failed to list the benefits for
    Adobe, even though they were the only reason for creating the format:

    - Adobe can shore up its flagging profit picture by concocting a
    brand-new "non-proprietary" proprietary file format, knowing that in the
    computer world, whoever brings something first to market becomes the de
    facto owner of it, whether it is technically "open" or not. (Notice
    that the symbol for the format already carries the "TM" trademark
    assertion, which is a bit strange for something that Adobe claims is
    non-proprietary.)

    - By developing software in secret long before Adboe releases
    specifications, Adobe already has products ready for market and a huge
    head start on other vendors at the time the specs are released.

    - Adobe can encourage the formation of an "open" committee to nourish
    the standard, of which Adobe will of course be the founding and
    controlling member.

    - Adobe can continue to make subtle but incompatible changes to the
    standard as "enhancements," always making sure that its own software is
    modified to handle them _first_, so that other vendors must constantly
    scramble to accommodate the changes. This gives Adobe ever-increasing
    market share.

    - Adobe can leave the simplest part of the format "non-proprietary," and
    then make a large set of virtually essential enhancements proprietary
    and available only in its own software or under license. If anyone
    tries to work around this, Adobe will pull a fat list of patents out of
    its hat and threaten the upstart.

    Where do photographers and consumers fit in here? The answer is, they
    don't. The whole idea is to make money; that's _always_ the whole idea.
    You're just exchanging one raw, proprietary format for another--that way
    you can pay Adobe money as well as the manufacturer of your camera.

    It amazes me that people still fall for this sort of thing in
    computerland. Perhaps if Microsoft tried it there would be enough of an
    upswelling of public opinion to make them back down, but too many people
    still trust vendors like Adobe. I guess they'll learn the hard way.
     
    Mxsmanic, Sep 28, 2004
    #10
  11. Alan Browne

    Mxsmanic Guest

    The latter. There's no advantage for Adobe in adopting an open
    standard. The whole idea is to come up with a proprietary standard,
    disguise it as an "open" standard, and then gain an effective monopoly
    on the software that manipulates the standard.

    If you have any doubts, look at the DNG symbol in Adobe's press release.
    Notice that Adobe has put the little "TM" bug next to the
    symbol--indicating that it is asserting ownership of the symbol as a
    trademark? You can bet that Adobe will force others to meet its own
    (highly lopsided) terms before being allowed to use that symbol for this
    "open" format.
     
    Mxsmanic, Sep 28, 2004
    #11
  12. Alan Browne

    Mxsmanic Guest

    TIFF doesn't make any money for Adobe--it's too open and uncontrolled.
    But DNG will.
     
    Mxsmanic, Sep 28, 2004
    #12
  13. Alan Browne

    Mxsmanic Guest

    All proprietary formats are limiting in nature, and any format proposed
    by a for-profit corporation is a proprietary format, no matter what that
    vendor may claim to the contrary.

    Just because the company is called Adobe doesn't mean it has motivations
    any different from the company called Microsoft.
     
    Mxsmanic, Sep 28, 2004
    #13
  14. David Dyer-Bennet wrote:
    []
    TIFF doesn't "work fine" for the typical 12-bit data you need. Too many
    programs don't support it.
    DNG appears to be Adobe proprietary - what's the difference?

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Sep 28, 2004
    #14
  15. Alan Browne

    John Bean Guest

    I've no idea where that assertion comes from, certainly not from experience.
    Probably helpful to try it before making judgment. 8Mpix MRW files from a
    Minolta A2 shrink slightly when converted to DNG.
     
    John Bean, Sep 28, 2004
    #15
  16. Alan Browne

    Chris Brown Guest

    Not so. I played with Adobe's convertor last night with some of my 10D CRW
    files. It made them *smaller* by around a megabyte.
     
    Chris Brown, Sep 28, 2004
    #16
  17. Alan Browne

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Like, say, PDF?

    That standard also originated with Adobe. It's not proprietary.
     
    Ray Fischer, Sep 28, 2004
    #17
  18. Alan Browne

    Ray Fischer Guest

    "Flagging profit picture"?

    LOL! Try to educate yourself.

    [...]
    You've got too much experience with Microsoft.

    [...]
    Cynic.
     
    Ray Fischer, Sep 28, 2004
    #18
  19. Actually, it is. Reading it is free, but you have to pay to create
    those files by buying Adobe Acrobat, other Adobe programs that support
    ..pdf natively or third-party software that has licensed the technology
    from Adobe.

    Basically it's open use on one side.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Sep 28, 2004
    #19
  20. Alan Browne

    Jer Guest


    Would a camera manufacturer have to pay Adobe some license fee to offer
    this "new standard" of storing image files? Doesn't sound like it to
    me. Maybe Adobe is just trying to keep their trademarked logo in front
    of people's eyes, making them think about the brand for later. Like my
    sig below, it's just a reminder of where this post originated from, and
    it's free to look at.
     
    Jer, Sep 28, 2004
    #20
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