Non-de-mosaiced (RAW) DNG conversion

DxO Adds High Efficiency Raw

The above web URL title is not the subject of this query topic. However, in the above URL, I excerpt:

While it introduces another step in raw conversion, it does so in a unique way: basically you drag a raw file(s) to PureRaw, which applies the PRIME noise reduction on the undemosaiced data (it can also apply all the DxO lens corrections) to produce a DNG file.

Because PureRaw can run as a batch and creates DNG files, I can just stuff those back into the same folder they came from. If I want work on the original, I convert the NEF. If I want to work on a noise reduced original, I convert the DNG.

End excerpts.

In previous questions to DxO PL Elite technical support, I was informed that the DNG file produced from a NEF, even with nothing more than DeepPRIME denoising, was NOT an un-de-mosaiced DNG (“true” RAW), but a de-mosaiced (not real RAW) DNG. Not the same kind of DNG that is the raw (un-de-mosaiced) file format from a camera that uses DNG for raw files, but a de-mosaiced DNG.

Has the situation changed? Does PureRAW do what PL6E does not do in terms of raw conversion and output file formats?

Situation has not changed.
DeepPrime noise reduction and demosaicing are closely linked… The output of DeepPrime noise reduction is ALWAYS demosaiced.

That said, I still think you can do what you want. In fact I used to do this as well when I was still using capture one. (I used Photolab now, and don’t use C1 at all anymore.)

My process would be convert all ARW files (Sony’s raw format, similar to NEF) in Adobe DNG converter. This would create true raw DNG files that were not demosaiced, but were effectively the same data that was in the original ARW. I could start editing those in C1 while I ran all the ARW’s through deepprime creating a second set of DNG files. Once the Deepprime denoising was done, I would replace the adobe converted DNG files with the DeepPrime demosaiced/denoised ones and export. The edits were all still good and C1 didn’t care that the DNG files had changed. (of course the file names were all the same.)

Anyway, Long answer to a very simple question.
The short answer again is, “No, the situation hasn’t changed. DNG output files are demosaiced.”

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Does the Adobe DNG converter thus output truly raw DNG files, not de-mosaiced DNG, if so requested? If it does, is the camera body and lens information retained, and would PL6E treat such a truly raw DNG file as if it were the NEF? Does this also work for the Nikon TICO High Efficiency format? My understanding is that the maximum “magic” that PL6E can “do” requires both a truly raw file (including a truly raw DNG) as well modules for the camera (body) and lens. I still use the sliders, etc, for specific adjustments for particular imaging situations and save these as a preset for “next time”, and use a calibrator on my computer screen/monitor to assure “accurate” rendition in post. (Unfortunately, some metal print shops as well as some editors do not use calibrators, based upon my real world experience.)

Adobe DNG Converter, if left at defaults will produce a DNG file that behaves in PhotoLab like the original RAW file. Same (un-de-mosaicked) image data, same metadata, same recognisable camera and lens info. So yes, such a DNG file will be happily used to its full potential by PhotoLab if it would be happy with the original RAW file.

Regarding “special” format RAW, I would expect the same to hold true — if PhotoLab could handle the original file then it will handle the Adobe-converted DNG. But the opposite is also true. For example, my Pentax camera has a “pixel shift” mode which records four images (in a single file) with the sensor offset by one pixel in x and y per shot, in theory yielding full RGB in camera. PhotoLab will not handle these whether they are in original PEF format or converted to DNG.

PureRAW demosaics no matter what you do. Given PhotoLab is the fussiest about DNG files and it can read DxO’s own output files, you should be able to open an image ex-PureRAW (or the PhotoLab equivalent export) in just about anything.

The “maximum magic” from either DxO product requires a supported camera and original RAW data, either in original file or converted to DNG (using defaults!) by Adobe DNG Converter. You can, of course, choose whether to have the magic happen in PureRAW for simplicity or PhotoLab for ultimate control.

Well said! There’s a recent thread about DPR3 dealing with some of the differences.

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It might be clearer to talk in terms bayer (true raw) and non bayer (linear dng/tif/jpg) files.

DXO dng files are the same as dng files produced from LR when you create a pano or hdr, ie non bayer dng files.

Adobe dng converter can create bayer or non bayer dng files depending on the settings.

I do not know if DxO workflow applications support non-Bayer sensors (such as Foveon). If so, then Bayer vs non-Bayer is not applicable, but sensor vs linear would be appropriate. The de-mosaic algorithm/s convert for an N pixel image N1 N2 and N3 pixels (representing 3 different basis chroma channels plus luminosity in each of those channels) where N = N1 + N2 + N3 in a single set of N linear pixels, each of which is a single point in whatever colour space is being used plus the light brightness at that pixel.

DNG ≠ RAW. DNG may contain RAW data, but may also contain other forms of data including, but not limited to, demosaicked image data. It can also contain depth maps and all sorts of other stuff.

Per my prior comment. RAW is the term that clearly describes the sensor data. The problem I see is the conflation of RAW with DNG because DNGs often contain RAW data.

In illustration of the range of DNG (which is after all a container format), one DNG can contain:

  • The full original RAW file, and
  • The DNG-converted representation of the same RAW data, and
  • Multiple (possibly enormous) JPEG compressed ‘previews’ of the RAW data, and
  • Other types of data such as a depth map.
  • There may be more than one ‘image’ represented, also, so the above could be repeated multiple times.

Or, one DNG might contain:

  • One lossy-compressed JPEG.

And of course many options in between.