Author Topic: Converting RAW to DNG in DXO  (Read 4786 times)

richsfusa

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« on: November 12, 2009, 05:55:37 am »
I\'m a little confused about the advantages of the DNG output in DXO.  I\'ve been using that option lately and the resulting image seems to be better (and different) than the JPG output for the same image.  I don\'t really understand how DNG works with DXO, so I have a few questions.

1.  Is DXO working as a RAW converter when the output is DNG?  The DNG output reflects all the corrections made in DXO, so it is obviously not the same as the RAW file I started with.  Do we still get the advantages of DXO as a RAW converter (less digital noise, etc.) when we convert to DNG?

2.  Is the resulting DNG file still a RAW file?  

3.  When I process the DNG file in Photoshop, it acts like it is a RAW file, so I am able to process it in a different way than if it were a JPG file.  It seems to give better results.  After I make adjustments to the DNG file in Photoshop, then I have to save it in some other format like JPG.  Is Photoshop then the RAW converter and not DXO?

Anyway, I don\'t know anything about DNG, much less about the DNG files that DXO produces.  But I seem to be getting good results.

I\'m not interested in the traditional benefits of DNG (archival, open format, etc.), just about the benefits of the DNG files that DXO produces.

Thanks,

ra

Socrates

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 06:12:38 am »
DNG is never RAW (except for Pentax, AFAIK - and even then I am not so sure), only RAW is RAW. DOP converts to a linear DNG that is demosaiced already but has a higher DR, and linear encoding. There is a way to leave the color rendering for LR/ACR, if you do not touch the color controls in DOP.
 
I never tred to read the Adobe specifications, I am telling you what my experience is.

txrpls

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 03:48:42 pm »
I use DNG almost exclusively.  The linear DNG produced by DxO is what I like to call pseudo RAW.  You cannot get back to the original RAW file like you can with the compressed DNG with the embedded RAW that is possible with the Lightroom conversion. The file is considerably bigger than what you produce from the other output options. The main advantages (IMO) is that your edit are not destructive after the initial conversion and you do not have to worry about sidecar files.  IMO DNG files are a lot like vector files vs raster files.  When I have a DNG, after initial conversion with OP, I can always return to the orignal converted file after making edits (at least you can in Lightroom) that is why you have all of the additional options in ACR that you do not get with the other formats.

doc Rhod

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 06:51:11 pm »
Maybe worth bearing in mind also that DNGs are smaller than 16bit tiffs for archiving.....

atvinnys

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 07:19:17 pm »
Quote from: doc Rhod;19988
Maybe worth bearing in mind also that DNGs are smaller than 16bit tiffs for archiving.....
just curious: why would you archive DNGs instead of the Raw file?

doc Rhod

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 07:38:18 pm »
Quote from: atvinnys;19989
just curious: why would you archive DNGs instead of the Raw file?

I archive everything ;).... not being a LR user i don\'t generally bother with DNGs - i output jpegs & 16 bit tiffs from my nefs, but, for size conscious people, DNGs are smaller than 16bit tiffs....

txrpls

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 12:21:24 am »
Quote from: atvinnys;19989
just curious: why would you archive DNGs instead of the Raw file?

I archive both, but DNGs become my working files. Disk drives are cheap now days.

Socrates

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 04:31:41 am »
Quote from: atvinnys;19989
just curious: why would you archive DNGs instead of the Raw file?

No. Larger files with less info that can be always recreated - what is the point?

richsfusa

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 02:00:40 am »
Thank you all for pointing me in the right direction and noting that DxO produces LINEAR DNG files.

I have researched this a little now and have found the following useful information:

from  http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00Mfm3 :

Robert Goldstein , Jun 03, 2009; 01:09 p.m.
 "Late, late response for those who may find this thread in a search about linear DNG or DxO.
 DxO Optics Pro is currently up to version 5.3.3. It can still produce linear DNGs which are most definitely readable by Lightroom/ACR. It is important to understand that these are not RAW files, and some information may not be carried over into the DNG. For instance, if Dxo clips highlights, the highlights will remain forever clipped in LR or any other digital editor. Clipped shadows, in contrast, are virtually completely recoverable, a disparity that I do not understand. On the other hand, DxO can do a superb job at highlight recovery, far superior to LR/ACR in my experience. So, the trick is to set DxO\'s "Exposure Compensation" control to "slight" so that it will automatically recover highlights. On some images, you may need to go to a stronger level to accomplish this, but the software is very good at pulling detail out extreme highlights.
 So is it worth the effort to use Dxo as a prelude to LR/ACR rather than just processing directly in the latter? My answer is a very strong "yes." The RAW conversions from DxO are far superior to what I can get in LR, no matter how hard I try. I have done a great many comparisons, and believe me, the DxO processed images are much sharper, cleaner and more detailed, and they have a level of 3D modeling that I have not seen with any of the RAW processing programs that I have tried."


Also a lot of good info at  http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/dng/linear.htm :


"When ACR handles a Linear DNG file, it doesn\'t demosaic raw image data, because there isn\'t any. Perhaps there once was, but this was done earlier, for example by DxO or by the DNG Converter.


"When ACR handles a Linear DNG file, all of the tabs, sliders, and drop-down boxes still work, and do the sort of things expected of them. It is a digital image processor without any demosaicing to do, yet it is still useful. It can be used to set the white balance, correct for chromatic abberation, reduce noise, sharpen, apply a curve, etc.


"If an image starts as a raw image from a digital camera, to become Linear DNG it must be "converted", typically "demosaiced". This may be done in Adobe\'s DNG Converter, or elsewhere, such as DxO. But once this conversion has been done, it is committed - whatever product processes the Linear DNG can\'t exploit its own, potentially unique, conversion(s)."

atvinnys

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 03:53:33 am »
Quote from: Socrates;20001
No. Larger files with less info that can be always recreated - what is the point?
that\'s my point of view too...that\'s why I asked...:D
granted, you need to keep the sidecar files, but that\'s not a whole lot...

txrpls

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 02:38:16 pm »
@richdfusa

Those have been my points all along. While you loose some data (minimal if your settings are right) you still have full control of the image and everything can be returned back to the original state. My flow is that JPEGs and TIFFS are final products, not files that I will work on anymore. I can produce different files from the DNGs that stay in my "working" files. All my NEFs are archived and eventually the DNGs are also. I have very few archived JPEGs or TIFFs as thes can be recreated almost on demand.

Best Regards,
Mark

Tim

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2009, 10:16:32 pm »
I\'m a little confused - and a newbie.  If I use DOP to do the conversion and output a DNG, to get the image into Photoshop the DNG has to go through ACR.  What are the appropriate "neutral" settings in ACR to get the image in PS as it was prior to conversion in DOP?
 
Tim

txrpls

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 10:50:05 pm »
Quote from: Tim;20623
I\'m a little confused - and a newbie.  If I use DOP to do the conversion and output a DNG, to get the image into Photoshop the DNG has to go through ACR.  What are the appropriate "neutral" settings in ACR to get the image in PS as it was prior to conversion in DOP?
 
Tim

It really doesn\'t matter since when you go into PS as you are creating a final image that cannot revert back to the original DNG setting. Now you can always read the DNG back in to photoshop again and create a new image.  The following may help:

Quote
Ovid,

It is a little convoluted. There are at least 3 flavors of DNG, linear, compressed and compressed with embedded RAW. Now let\'s imagine that the RAW is a banana. A compressed DNG is the banana with the peel on it. A DNG is the entire banana,  linear DNG is the banana with the peel taken off, and a compressed DNG is the complete banana and the tree. Now when the conversion from RAW to DNG takes place the following happens. You can get a peeled banana (linear DNG and the some RAW data is lost), A complete banana (compressed DNG all RAW data is intact, just in different format) or the banana and the tree ( embedded DNG with original RAW file included).

Now the peeled banana cannot go back in the peel (linear DNG). RAW to DxO DNG conversion.
The entire banana cannot go back on the tree (compressed DNG). RAW to Adobe DNG default conversion.
The banana can be re-attached to the tree (embedded DNG). RAW to Adobe embedded DNG conversion

Now the one thing that all three of these different stages of bananas have in common is if they over ripen. they can always be reverted to their previous state. DNG to entire banana, linear DNG to peeled banana and compressed DNG to banana on the tree.

Now the JPEGs, TIFFs and other formats are like making banana pudding. They can never go back to being a banana. Simplistic, but I hope it illustrates the point.

Have fun,
Mark

Tim

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2009, 01:19:23 pm »
Quote from: txrpls;20626
It really doesn\'t matter since when you go into PS as you are creating a final image that cannot revert back to the original DNG setting. Now you can always read the DNG back in to photoshop again and create a new image. The following may help:

Thanks for the reply.  I guess I didn\'t really convey what I was trying to convey - I\'m not so concerned about going back.  Let me see if I can put this another way.
 
Let\'s say you start with a RAW file.  You go through the process in DOP and get the image looking just the way you want it.  At "Export" in DOP you can select jpeg or DNG.  Let\'s say you export both files then import the DNG into Photoshop via ACR.  My intent is to have the image appear in Photoshop the same as the jpeg.  To be clear - I don\'t want to import the jpeg into Photoshop because I want the "better" DNG file but I\'m not sure what settings to use in ACR so that the image in Photoshop is "unchanged" by ACR.  For example, moving the color temp slider or the exposure slider in ACR will change the look of the image in Photoshop.
 
Tim

doc Rhod

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Converting RAW to DNG in DXO
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2009, 02:05:57 pm »
@ Tim
 
What about using 16bit tiff output from DOP to take directly into PS?
 
Cheers,
 
Rhod