Should I keep my RAWs CR2 or should I convert to DNG?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Riggaberto, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Riggaberto

    Riggaberto TPF Noob!

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    Well? Is it safe to keep them CR2?
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No. I'm not a fan of DNG either but it is a far better choice than the original Camera RAW files. The reason is that CR2 and every RAW file are camera specific and proprietary. Microsoft Office 2007 no longer reads Office 95 files. Do you want to find in 10 years that you are no longer able to access any of your photos? I wouldn't rely on a company promising backwards compatibility regardless of how vocal they are about it. A company is nothing more than the people who run it and those people and their ideas change quite often.

    I'm not a proponent of storing original RAWs but DNG is a better option in my opinion. It's an open spec so it can be supported by anyone. But so far it is not yet a very popular file spec.

    In the end it's up to you, here's a breakdown as I see it:

    CR2: Original file, may not be supported in a few years time.
    DNG: All data retained, may fail as a standard but currently looks good.
    TIF: Lossless, full bit depth, common open standard, lose original white balance information.
    JPG: Small, common open standard, only 8bits limits re-editing, lossy compression limits re-editing.
     
  3. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    You certainly can open an Office 95 file using Office 2007. When you click open, scroll down a bit to the Word 6.0/95 for windows & macintosh option :)

    I'd keep my files as they are. If you need to convert at a later date it will not be difficult to do so but I believe you will be able to amend these for many years to come. It would not be in Canon or any other manufacturers interests to stop supporting their customers.

    Also if you have the software there to convert your images, keep it safe....... you never know! I don't think DNG is an option I'll be choosing for the moment.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually it was the same time frame but in an earlier period I was thinking off. Office 2003 Service Pack 3 disabled opening of office documents before Office 95. No real reason for it though. Worked before the update, doesn't after. After a huge uproar Microsoft posted on MSDN a somewhat complicated registry hack to allow it to access it again.

    Maybe my typo was just a few years ahead of it's time, but my point remains the same. A company for no apparent reason what so ever (can someone say forcing upgrades down people's throats) dropped support for a dated file format. And there are only 11 or so releases (formats) of office so far. How many cameras / RAW files do you think Canon will have in the next 10 years which are all undocumented?

    Thanks but no thanks I'll stay with JPG and TIFF. If people drop support for these you can always write your own
    <puts on tinfoil hat>
     
  5. neogfx

    neogfx TPF Noob!

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    Even if RAWs become unsupported, you will still have the software you have now, which can read RAWs. So if they become unsupported, then use your existing software to convert your images at that point.
    The industry standard is RAW CR2 for a reason, because it's the best out there at this point in time. I can't see the point in converting my files in case companies stop supporting them, otherwise I'd be saving everything as jpegs and my editing would suffer.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    And what makes you think DNG has any permanence? I don't see companies jumping on that bandwagon.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes but will the software you have now run in 10 years is the question? I know trying to play Commander Keen or Starcontrol is somewhat of a challenge under windows. I'm by no means saying abandon the format. That is entirely up to you to decide. I am just pointing out very real problems in digital archiving which people don't realise until they are stuck with the problem.

    How is RAW CR2 a standard? It's a file type. With raw sensor data nothing more. The the extension remains the same but the 350D file is different form the 400D file is different from the 450D and they are all very similar cameras. It contains the sensor data how is that any better than any other type of RAW file.

    Digital Matt if that was directed at me, I don't. I said in my first post that it may fail completely to become a standard. But it does have the backing of the biggest company and all of their products support it. If Adobe can push it right it may become the same success that PDF is. Otherwise it may fade silently back into the internet.

    Oh also I missed what was said before. I wouldn't rely on company's support of customers "best interests" as an arguement. Nikon proved that when they encrypted the white balance data in their RAW files much to the absolute disgust of many professional photographers.
     
  8. TCimages

    TCimages TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I would keep the RAW. At least with the RAW you'll have the software you have now to convert to whatever format you may need without degradation of your image. If Canon decides to not support CR2 down the road (highly unlikely) , convert them then.
     
  9. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    i hear what you say Garbz and maybe tat will be the case but to be onest I really think it will be a long time before the CR2s become extinct.....

    I'm not sure how different each CR2 is though. i thought it was just some embedded data regards camera type and a few other small things. Most of it is similar in all CR2s however I do accept that with so many there will become a time when these will start to be unsupported.

    Regards backwards compatibility agaion yes this may become an issue some years down the line. When it does though there will be an alternative offered by canon or adobe akin to a DNG I'm sure.

    jpg and tif files are fine though and I can't arue with your personal choice but I do see benefits in retaining the RAW files for me.
     
  10. Riggaberto

    Riggaberto TPF Noob!

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    I think that's probably pretty accurate, I'm going to go with that. I can't see something becoming totally unsupported over night, I'll have the opportunity to convert if I need to. Thanks for the discussion
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yep true. And I agree it won't die over night. I was just thinking from the perspective of an artist who has to archive digital works. Perhaps even beyond your own life.

    It's not a problem limited to photography but even professional film studios are asking now just how do you archive original digital footage. Which format and what file type to use. This was all easier for film rolls.

    I have negatives here that are over 50 years old and the scanner still "reads" them just fine. That is where I am coming from.
     
  12. domromer

    domromer TPF Noob!

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    I just converted all my NEF's to DNG's. I figure if adobe is behind it then it's bound to catch on. Plus DNG is open source, I'm sure I'll always be able to find some way to access or convert it in the future. Only took a few minutes to do in lightroom.
     

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