August 23, 2014, 04:09:56 PM

Author Topic: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG  (Read 3268 times)

alexturton

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • I shoot what i find interesting; nothing else
    • View Profile
    • My flickr
RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« on: January 23, 2013, 09:20:38 AM »
I shoot with 7d and 60d generally always in RAW.

My process generally follows:

Load RAWs into lightroom
Process with standard exposure/colour adjustments
save in lightroom and export as JPEG for web publish.

Sometimes when I need to edit further I:

Open into PS for any masking/layering.
Save as TIFF to preserve the layers.
reimport backinto lightroom and export as JPEG.

I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

also when I import RAWs into lightroom, the pictures start off punchy and vibrant (like the JPEG preview on camera), and then when it renders they go all soft, mushy, lack contrast and the colours (particularly reds) become quite weak. Am I doing something wrong? I've never really touched "camera calibration" in lightroom, should I be exploting some features in there?

Thanks for your time
Bodies: 5d mk iii, 60d
Primes: 24L 1.4, Sigma 35 1.4, 40 pancake, 50L 1.2, 85L 1.2 ii, 8mm fisheye, lensbaby, 100L macro.
Zooms: 16-35 2.8 ii, 24-70 2.8 ii, 70-200 2.8 is ii, 120-400

gjones5252

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 113
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 09:51:15 AM »
I cannot speak to all of your post but what your seeing in camera and initially on your computer are Jpeg previews. So when your nice vibrant images all go away its because the settings you have taken the raw image at(note they are setting that only effect jpeg like monochrom, sharpening etc. ) are being reverted the the raw image.
Realistically a lot of the features on the screen apply specifically to jpeg. And you initially see the jpeg preview.
Here try this simple test. Switch your camera to jpeg + raw and the turn it to a really artsy setting like monochrom or landscape  and then take a few pics. Then load it in your computer and you will see they are the same before the raw is opened fully. Even further I would encourage you to edit your raw and compare it to your jpeg. You will see its much more editable and you will be happier with the overall outcome better. 

m

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 10:31:45 AM »
I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

Well, that's what adobe has to say:
The Advantages of the DNG File Format

also when I import RAWs into lightroom, the pictures start off punchy and vibrant (like the JPEG preview on camera), and then when it renders they go all soft, mushy, lack contrast and the colours (particularly reds) become quite weak. Am I doing something wrong? I've never really touched "camera calibration" in lightroom, should I be exploting some features in there?

It's RAW. Without color boosting, added contrast, noise reduction...
You have to do all of that yourself. (half empty glass)
You have the power to do all that yourself. (half full glass)

Take a look at this video:
Scott Kelby's Photoshop for Travel Photographers
At ~7 minutes in, it becomes relevant to you, but watching from the beginning makes the point even more clear.

ilkersen

  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 12:00:16 PM »
I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

The videos are explanatory.  The advantages of DNG are minuscule, the disadvantages are huge (to me).  I don't recommend it.  Reasons: 1) Backups.  Lightroom saves metadata in the DNG file.  So with any change in LR, you actually change the file.  There is no option to save xmp sidecars next to DNGs as you can do with raw files.  This creates a back up nightmare.  2) Data.  Adobe says it's a lossless conversion.  Do you believe it?  I'd rather always have the raw data and not risk any adobe conversion artefacts to save a few megabytes.

RMC33

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 424
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 02:55:32 PM »
I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

The videos are explanatory.  The advantages of DNG are minuscule, the disadvantages are huge (to me).  I don't recommend it.  Reasons: 1) Backups.  Lightroom saves metadata in the DNG file.  So with any change in LR, you actually change the file.  There is no option to save xmp sidecars next to DNGs as you can do with raw files.  This creates a back up nightmare.  2) Data.  Adobe says it's a lossless conversion.  Do you believe it?  I'd rather always have the raw data and not risk any adobe conversion artefacts to save a few megabytes.

Lightroom is Non-destructive. Any change you make are saved separate from the file. To embed the data into the file you have to save the meta data (ctrl/Cmd+S) to the file but it is still NON destructive as you can step forwards or backwards through the changes. This goes for .DNG and .RAW. Data conversion is only lost if you select that option to save a few MB. If you do not it stays the same. Try it some time by looking at a .CR2 vs .DNG (converted without the conversion to smaller file size) they are identical.

On the .DNG note. Adobe has committed to support the format for years to come. Who knows when .CR2 or the other .RAW formats will change at the whim of the camera gods. I see zero difference between the two formats and use both.

MarkII

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 03:23:00 PM »
I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?
I don't think that there is a good reason if you shoot Canon.  Adobe's answer would be that DNG is an open standard, so you will be able to read DNGs long after proprietary formats have come and gone.

However Canon's RAW formats, while proprietary, are sufficiently reverse engineered and widespread that support for them is no more likely to disappear than support for DNG. Since there is no significant difference in file functionality or size, it is difficult to see any benefit to performing the conversion.

Indeed, converting to DNG has some obvious disadvantages - such as the extra conversion time and the risk of another layer of software that could potentially go wrong and corrupt your images.

alexturton

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • I shoot what i find interesting; nothing else
    • View Profile
    • My flickr
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 01:03:56 PM »
Ok thanks for the responses.

Is there a way in Lightroom to 'copy' what settings the camera has applied to the jpeg to my raw so I can at least start the edit with the same looking file?
Bodies: 5d mk iii, 60d
Primes: 24L 1.4, Sigma 35 1.4, 40 pancake, 50L 1.2, 85L 1.2 ii, 8mm fisheye, lensbaby, 100L macro.
Zooms: 16-35 2.8 ii, 24-70 2.8 ii, 70-200 2.8 is ii, 120-400

RMC33

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 424
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 01:44:31 PM »
Ok thanks for the responses.

Is there a way in Lightroom to 'copy' what settings the camera has applied to the jpeg to my raw so I can at least start the edit with the same looking file?

Yes. It is under camera calibration in the develop module. Scott Kelby has the presets for Canon/Nikon on his website they are quite good www.lightroomkillertips.com and in the search field type Camera Calibration. It will have instructions on how to import.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8419
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 04:05:52 PM »
I'd recommend that you take a online course or buy a book on Lightroom.  Just trying to figure it out without training is going to leave you missing some of the best features.  All of the questions you asked are pretty basic, and well covered in courses and books.  Picking up on some of the less obvious features is well worth the cost.

And-Rew

  • Guest
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 04:15:34 PM »
I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

The videos are explanatory.  The advantages of DNG are minuscule, the disadvantages are huge (to me).  I don't recommend it.  Reasons: 1) Backups.  Lightroom saves metadata in the DNG file.  So with any change in LR, you actually change the file.  There is no option to save xmp sidecars next to DNGs as you can do with raw files.  This creates a back up nightmare.  2) Data.  Adobe says it's a lossless conversion.  Do you believe it?  I'd rather always have the raw data and not risk any adobe conversion artefacts to save a few megabytes.

In respect of the above - you are failing to remember one thing. When you import your files and let LR convert them to DNG, you can also tick a box that allows you to save a copy of the unconverted RAW file in .CR2 format to another location. So, at no time cost to myself - i get to keep a copy of the unconverted RAW file in case, whilst also letting LR convert to DNG which gives me all the power of processing a file in a lossless format without touching the original.

When you export the processed file you have the options to export it in multiple formats for posterity (low res jpg, hi res jpg, tiff etc).

As said, you're really not using LR to its fullest - i can't imagine my workflow without LR.

RMC33

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 424
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 05:04:31 PM »
I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

The videos are explanatory.  The advantages of DNG are minuscule, the disadvantages are huge (to me).  I don't recommend it.  Reasons: 1) Backups.  Lightroom saves metadata in the DNG file.  So with any change in LR, you actually change the file.  There is no option to save xmp sidecars next to DNGs as you can do with raw files.  This creates a back up nightmare.  2) Data.  Adobe says it's a lossless conversion.  Do you believe it?  I'd rather always have the raw data and not risk any adobe conversion artefacts to save a few megabytes.

In respect of the above - you are failing to remember one thing. When you import your files and let LR convert them to DNG, you can also tick a box that allows you to save a copy of the unconverted RAW file in .CR2 format to another location. So, at no time cost to myself - i get to keep a copy of the unconverted RAW file in case, whilst also letting LR convert to DNG which gives me all the power of processing a file in a lossless format without touching the original.

When you export the processed file you have the options to export it in multiple formats for posterity (low res jpg, hi res jpg, tiff etc).

As said, you're really not using LR to its fullest - i can't imagine my workflow without LR.

Good catch on the RAW+DNG I had totally forgot about that since it is integrated into my workflow now.

natureshots

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 05:12:11 PM »
I shoot with 7d and 60d generally always in RAW.

My process generally follows:

Load RAWs into lightroom
Process with standard exposure/colour adjustments
save in lightroom and export as JPEG for web publish.

Sometimes when I need to edit further I:

Open into PS for any masking/layering.
Save as TIFF to preserve the layers.
reimport backinto lightroom and export as JPEG.

I've seen people converting to DNG rather than process the raw files but I don't know why?

also when I import RAWs into lightroom, the pictures start off punchy and vibrant (like the JPEG preview on camera), and then when it renders they go all soft, mushy, lack contrast and the colours (particularly reds) become quite weak. Am I doing something wrong? I've never really touched "camera calibration" in lightroom, should I be exploting some features in there?

Thanks for your time

1. I like DNGs a bit more because I would lose all my sidecars because the files are being moved and backed up all the time. DNG's are a really convenient package and allow me to reverse any changes easily and although I doubt the .CR2 files will ever become obsolete and impossible to find a converter, I never have to bother with a converter if I need to look at old pics 15 years from now... simple.

2. If you are processing the pics as they are coming into lightroom that can drop contrast and vibrance if auto-tone is selected for example. I think this is what is happening to you because canon naturally oversaturates reds because it yields nicer fleshtones although it sucks because I've blown the red channels on a bunch of red flower pics in direct sunlight (Nikon seems to oversaturate greens). The lightroom conversion will naturally correct the canon image because although it may be prettier with overdone reds its not really accurate.

3. Although your camera is taking pure sensor data to make your RAW file your camera is most likely set with a certain picture style that will affect the display on the back of the camera. Hence I always set my picture style to neutral so I know right then if one of my high ISO pics is not looking the way I want it to. If you like what you see on the camera, you can process with DPP and it will use the jpg processing settings from the camera to render your images and it should look identical to what you see on the back of your camera unless you:

4. Have an uncalibrated monitor that does not display colors properly. Most monitors are pretty crappy at accurately portraying colors and yours may not display red, contrast, gamma or any number of other image characteristics properly. In this case you can try color correcting with websites which will get you maybe a bit better or suck it up and buy a colormunki.

5. You may have incompatible color spaces on the camera, LR settings and/or the monitor. I'd check all three and make sure its consistent. Given your workflow I'd probably just shoot in sRGB, have lightroom display in sRGB because its really not going to make a difference most of the time. Using AdobeRGB gives you a tiny bit better color accuracy but a huge headache if you are not 100% confident at what you are doing. Color space issues usually show up in the jpeg export process and yield mushy pics when posted on the web but I have no idea what buttons you may or may not have pressed on the back of your camera, in lightroom and what type of monitor you have (although 99% of monitors display in the sRGB color space).

My guess you have problems 3+4 and possibly 2 and its combining to create mush images. Who knows what the people on the web are seeing though because their monitors will most likely be equally out of whack.

 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 05:20:17 PM by natureshots »

TrumpetPower!

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 951
    • View Profile
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 05:37:32 PM »
also when I import RAWs into lightroom, the pictures start off punchy and vibrant (like the JPEG preview on camera), and then when it renders they go all soft, mushy, lack contrast and the colours (particularly reds) become quite weak.

You've gotten lots of great advice already, but I don't see anybody addressing what first leapt to my mind when I read the sentence I quoted.

Specifically, it seems quite likely to me that there's an ICC profile mismatch going on. I'll bet you a cup of coffee that you're developing them in a large color space, such as AdobeRGB or ProPhoto, and then, after they've been rendered, working with them either with an application that's improperly configured or not ICC-aware.

Color management is a rabbit hole even deeper than the ones hinted at above. My recommendation would be to use sRGB for everything at every step of the way until you know better. There are lots of alternatives that will give superior results, but only if you really know what you're doing -- and sRGB is really more than adequate for most purposes. Stick with sRGB while you learn about color management.

Cheers,

b&

alexturton

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • I shoot what i find interesting; nothing else
    • View Profile
    • My flickr
Re: RAW Processing and what the hell is a DNG
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 03:32:46 AM »
Thanks every again for the great responses. There are lots of tips here for me to work on.

Kind regards
Bodies: 5d mk iii, 60d
Primes: 24L 1.4, Sigma 35 1.4, 40 pancake, 50L 1.2, 85L 1.2 ii, 8mm fisheye, lensbaby, 100L macro.
Zooms: 16-35 2.8 ii, 24-70 2.8 ii, 70-200 2.8 is ii, 120-400