« on: December 12, 2013, 10:22:49 AM »
I have a (probably dumb) question. If everytime a new camera comes out and we need a new version of LR to utilize the RAW files, can we convert those files to DNG first and run the DNG file in a previous version of LR?
Is that why the Adobe DNG converter is free?? So you can do that?
Good question. I'm no expert, but what I've taken from my reading is that the DNG converter creates a DNG "wrapper" around the original RAW file, without actually changing the RAW data from the original file. If that's the case, unless one of the manufacturers migrates to a new RAW format (how many years has Canon been on CR2 now?), I don't see how it makes any difference from which model camera the RAW file originates.
I'm personally slow to migrate to new technology, so Adobe has already long since supported any model camera I buy. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has purchased a model before it is officially supported by Adobe, but that uses an existing RAW format, and what their experiences were when attempting to open those files in LR or PS.
A DNG (hopefully!) contains the same information as a RAW file (1), except in a different format. It is thus more than just a wrapper around the raw data, but the practical difference does not really matter. I believe that both .dng and most raw files are based on tiff, so there are probably some strong internal similarities.
For more information, see http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/photoshop/pdfs/dng_spec_188.8.131.52.pdf
plus the obligatory wiki page
and (for an older description of .CR2 files)
DNG has an option to keep the original raw file embedded in the dng, but that is not required.
You can use the free converter to convert raw files from an unsupported camera to .dng files and edit these in lightroom.
(1) CR2 files actually contain embedded jpegs for previews and whatnot; those probably aren't the same between raw files and dng files. But the actual raw image information should be the same.