DNG files, RAW files and more - importing into Lightroom 3

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by BBW, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Since I've been using the Leica X1, I have been using DNG and also importing the jpeg files, as well. This particular camera cannot be set to record only DNG. I find that these DNG files are wonderful, and often so are the jpegs... It's all pretty much a no brainer.

    Meanwhile, I've got my E-PL1 which uses ORF the Olympus RAW file...now with Lightroom I'm wondering about the best way to import files. Should I import as DNG, can I, can you explain to me what sidecar files are, etc., or point me to a nice, not too technical place to get a better understanding? Or perhaps, I should just choose the option to convert on import to DNG and not worry about it?
     
  2. duffer49

    duffer49 SC Rookie S.C. Charter Member

    19
    Jul 9, 2010
    UK
    If you are using Lightroom as your main Raw converter (and if not, why not!) then I would import all files to DNG, you will not lose any info/quality and the DNG format is likely to be around longer than some proprietary camera formats. Your jpeg files will remain as they are.
    Sidecar files are just small files containing the metadata linked to the image file. DNG and no worries!
     
  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Thanks! You know, since I have started using LR I have only been using my X1 so I just hadn't thought about it. Appreciate your quick response!
     
  4. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    Is there not an option in LR that lets you only import the DNG OR Jpg files and not both? I'm thinking about your X1 here.
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    I can uncheck the jpegs - that's not too big a deal for me. Sometimes those little fellows are quite handy and very good, too. I like using them for the in camera black and white, often. I find that seeing the image in black and white on the LCD is quite helpful and rather nice, too.
     
  6. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 14, 2010
    This is simply not true. A lossless conversion cannot exist because there is some information saved in the raw files by the camera which can only be read by the manufacturer's software. It is a fact that manufacturers encrypt informations like picture controls (level of sharpening, contrast, film mode and so on), such that other software is unable to read these data. Until only few years ago Nikon even encrypted the white balance. It is obvious that there cannot be any conversion of data which cannot be read by the DNG converter. The kind of data which is not supported by the DNG specification cannot be converted either.
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    Hmm, more to ponder. Fortunately with my Leica X1 I don't have to think about this.
     
  8. duffer49

    duffer49 SC Rookie S.C. Charter Member

    19
    Jul 9, 2010
    UK
    I did state that this is the case if you are using Lightroom as your default converter. Manufacturers software should be optimised for their own raw files but in practice it is not likely to make much difference. You can always keep a proprietary raw backup in case you want to use the Manufacturers software in the future but since Lightroom is such a complete package I can't see the point.
     
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
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    BB
    I see what you're saying, duffer, and it's true that I am not going to use the manufacturer's software.
     
  10. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    Larry
    I'm OK with that, I shoot raw because I want a file that does not apply the dialed in jpeg settings. As long as it gives me everything the sensor saw before any dialed in settings were applied, I'm good with it. I read in the Leica forum that the M8 raw files throw away a good bit of image information (not processing information) and that would defeat the purpose of shooting raw. One reason I don't use Olympus software - other than the fact that I find it generally awful - is that it only gives you options that you could have applied to a jpeg file in camera. I want more than that from a raw converter.

    I know this is an old thread, but I'm pondering the same question: whether to convert all my proprietary raw files to dng on importing them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  11. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 14, 2010
    My opinion is, that one should not do that, unless one really needs to do that. I converted my files for about two years and I would not do that ever again without need, because there is no single advantage in converting your files to DNG as long as your version of Lightroom or Photoshop supports your camera. And in the case need comes up to have your old raw files in DNG, it is easy to convert them afterwards. So if you have to ask, it may be best not to do that.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. lenshacker

    lenshacker SC Regular

    171
    Nov 21, 2014
    DNG, NEF, Sony, all have options for storing compressed/lossy files. None of them are really "Raw", all do some processing to some degree or another.

    The Compressed/Lossless offered by Nikon NEF is NOT lossless, it is "Visually Lossless"... So if you do a lot of post-processing, or photograph in adverse light- choosing Uncompressed is the safest option. Sony does not offer uncompressed/lossless for the A7 series.

    With the M8, Leica only offers compressed DNG. Placing the M8 in "service mode" offers RAW files. These must be converted to DNG, but are truly lossless- 14bit per pixel data. If anyone has an M8, it is well worth the effort.

    http://www.leicaplace.com/threads/1124/#post-8451

    Of course the nice thing about DNG- it is an open-format, well documented, and anyone can write their own code to process it. I use FORTRAN.