I guess I need to get out more…or I have too much time on my hands. Here I am, going through my image library, wondering what happened to my good intentions about using the DNG format for my stored RAW files.
Back in the summer of 2007 I jumped on the Lightroom train and made some significant improvements to the way I managed my image libraries. Nearly three years later I am working pretty much the same way…with a couple of exceptions.
The biggest thing I haven’t followed through with is the use of the DNG file format. On paper it really seems like a good idea. Especially for an information/data/asset management geek like myself. The three big positive features for me are:
1. Open file format – it doesn’t rely on any single company to ensure I will still be able to read my files in 20 years (anyone remember Kodak photocd format?)
2. No sidecar files – metadata is stored inside the DNG rather than in a separate file. Personally I think this is a good thing – one less file to delete by accident and a lot less files to backup.
3. File size – in general DNG files are smaller than the manufacturer’s proprietary formats (e.g. CR2 or NEF) due to a better compression algorithm. This is now becoming more important to me due to higher pixel counts and ever larger RAW files (my trusty old Canon 1D mkIIN RAW files are about 8mb, whereas my new Canon 7D files are about 24mb…).
So it seems that I really should make the change and start converting those files to DNG…