Raw file formats are becoming extremely popular in digital photography workflows because they offer creative professionals greater creative control. However, cameras can use many different raw formats - the specifications for which are not publicly available - which means that not every raw file can be read by a variety of software applications. As a result, the use of these proprietary raw files as a long-term archival solution carries risk, and sharing these files across complex workflows is even more challenging.
The solution to this growing problem? The Digital Negative (DNG), a publicly available archival format for the raw files generated by digital cameras. By addressing the lack of an open standard for the raw files created by individual camera models, DNG helps ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future.
Within one year of introduction, several dozen software manufacturers such as Extensis, Canto, Apple, and iView have developed support for DNG. And respected camera manufacturers Hasselblad, Leica, Ricoh, and Samsung have introduced cameras that provide direct DNG support.
In addition to the Digital Negative specification, Adobe provides the free Adobe DNG Converter for Windows and Mac users which easily translates raw files from many of today's popular cameras. The current DNG Converter 4.4.1, is available as a Universal Binary for Intel-based Macintosh computers. Software developers and manufacturers can download the complete DNG specification. DNG is supported by Adobe Photoshop CS2, Photoshop CS, Photoshop Elements 3.0, Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Photoshop Elements 5.0 software.
Key benefits for photographers:
The DNG format helps promote archival confidence, since digital-imaging software solutions will be able to open your raw files more easily in the future.
A single raw processing solution enables a more efficient workflow when handling raw files from multiple camera models and manufacturers.
A publicly documented and readily available specification can be easily adopted by camera manufacturers and updated to accommodate future technological changes.
More information is available by visiting the Adobe website.