Still no mobile DNG support?

And how do they work with DNG files, exactly?

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These are still high bit depth files that would benefit from color tools and contrast tools like clear view, curves, white balance, etc…. Even if they can’t be DeepPRIME’d.

What do you mean?
They open the files and you can edit them… adjust whatever you like… and export edited JPG…. how do you think?!?


Its not really that simple, Mike.

In order for DXO to do its thing, for which its know to be better than competition, it needs access to a specific data and it needs to be manually calibrated. Optical corrections.

DeepPrime and DeepPrime XD also need access to raw data that is unchanged.

DNG file format does not always have this data. And without that data DXO can’t do its thing. To compare it to tools like " IrfanView" shows lack of understanding how this work.

I’ve tried to explain this in more detail in my previous posts in this threat.

Lets say you just want to change the basic parameters. Assuming DNG has some raw data, and it is not always the case… DXO will not open unsupported DNG files that do not have proper optical modules. This is the case for RAW files as well. Makes sense.

If you wanted to just change basic parameters with no access to EXIF or RAW data, you can load up TIFF or JPEG files and DXO will allow you to do that. Than it might work closer to the way "IrfanView " works but it will not work as it was intended to do.

What seems to be the problem is that people as for DNG support, but have very little if any understanding what DNG is and how DXO works. Hence their expectations do not match reality. Leading to frustration. One can adjust expectation but one cannot adjust reality.

If you want DXO to be able to perform all the things its meant to do on a smartphone file, there must be some preconditions. It need to be able to access raw data, and metadata (EXIF) information and for some functionality it needs to be manually calibrated with appropriate lens module available. That’s just how DXO works and has always worked. The reasons for this and pros and cons of this approach I’ve covered in my previous reply that provided the link for if you are interested. Either way, if you want to be able to work with basic color and tone information like a JPEG than open the file as JPEG in DXO and it will work with any smartphone JPEG’s. If you want to take the advantage of all the abilities that DXO offers, you need to understand what the program needs to be able to do its thing. Comparing other programs to DXO is problematic, because they don’t approach the challenge of developing RAW data the same way, and because of that they do not deliver same results.

As DXO tried to explain: "As mentioned, pivotal parts of RAW conversion are demosaicing and denoising, but being automatic, they tend to go unnoticed.

Demosaicing is the process by which the raw sensor data and its pixel values for red, green, and blue, are interpreted into what we perceive as natural and lifelike colors on screen. Denoising is the removal of inaccurate pixels created as a result of interference and heat inside your camera during an exposure, which can be amplified in photos made at higher ISOs.

Together, these processes produce the best possible version of an image in terms of technical quality. In that way, they are separate from any creative changes you might make, such as exposure or color.

Demosaicing and denoising have to be completed during a RAW conversion before any other editing takes place — but what’s surprising to many photographers is that the quality of those processes is not standardized, and some software performs them better than others."

To compare something like IrfanView to DXO shows you are not really understanding the way this works. So I asked a simple question, giving you a benefit of doubt. I asked: “And how do they work with DNG files, exactly?”

Files opened by DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab handles the following file formats:

  • RAW files from cameras supported by the program.
  • Native DNG files from supported cameras.
  • Linear DNG files created by DxO PhotoLab.
  • DNG files created by Adobe Lightroom, Camera Raw and DNG Converter, excluding compressed lossy DNG format. DNG files output by merge HDR, Panorama, or Panorama HDR from Lightroom or Camera Raw.
  • 8 and 16-bit TIFF files.
  • JPEG files.
  • JPEG and PNG files for watermark graphics, imported using the Watermark palette.

The following DxO ONE files are also supported:

  • JPEG files.
  • DNG files.
  • SuperRAW files (.dxo extension).

DNG files created with Adobe Lightroom, Camera Raw or DNG Converter are supported as long as the native Raw files of the shooting camera are compatible with DxO PhotoLab. In DxO PhotoLab, DNG files created with Adobe software are considered Raw files. Therefore, all the tools and corrections specific to Raw files, as described in this user guide, also apply to DNGs.

Files exported by DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab lets you export in the following formats:

  • 8 and 16 bit TIFF files.
  • JPEG.
  • Linear DNG, with all corrections, or just with lens and denoising corrections.

DxO Optics Modules

DxO PhotoLab provides automatic installation of the DxO Optics Modules that correspond with the equipment you use. Two dialogue windows also let you manually manage your DxO Optics Modules.

You must have an active Internet connection to look for and install DxO Optics Modules.

Freudian slip, perhaps? Just kidding. Cheers.

Why do you say that?

Just kidding - should have added that. Cheers.

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Hello Milan,

Thanks for the explanations and the summary.
I think most of us are aware of the advantages of DXO, especially with the optical modules, and they have led us to work with DXO since DXO Optics Pro until today.
But the world is moving on, and with today’s smartphones, images are possible with certain motifs and light situations that can be used very well, at least for a photo book.
And there are probably two camps in the DXO user world. For my part, I would simply appreciate being able to edit all my photos with one software. I may lose quality with DNG smartphone photos that are not supported by DXO with optical modules, but the usual things like tone curves, highlight/shadow corrections etc. are really not witchcraft.
If we leave out tools like Irfanview, we can see that Affinity, for example, does a good job with its DNGs developed through GitHub profiles.
And as I had already suggested several times, there would still be the possibility of displaying a warning notice similar to "Not an official format supported by DXO…process at your own risk :boom: " for all “unsupported DNG’s” for editing in DXO when opening them.
For example, I’m going on 2 LostPlaces tours in 2 weeks, will be shooting there with my MFT, but also shooting smartphone RAW from time to time. And back home I would like to view everything in a software and then edit it. This would also include, to digress from the topic, the possibility to see 3 or 4 pictures next to each other, to zoom, to move sections etc. in order to do sensible curling. But today I have to do curling with FRV, ORF processing with DXO, and DNG processing with Affinty Photo. I think that’s just stupid.
And we see that by simply changing the Exif data, even unsupported DNG’s can be opened and edited…here DXO could really make our lives easier.
Just an Example from Samsung s20 FE20220911_161008.dng (23.4 MB)

I won’t write anything more about this topic now, but I think DXO is scaring away many potential new customers with this policy, and also getting old customers to look elsewhere. Oh yes, the topic of DNG from Vuescan, i.e. scanned negatives and slides, which Stenis described, is also an item on the list.

Have fun with the discussion


What about Topaz Photo AI offers or something like that? Most small sensors on smartphones suffer from the physical limitations and smartphone companies have tried to use computational photography to compensate for that. Why not use that in post production with software that is more specialized in that area.

Clearly DXO was never intended to be Topaz Photo AI competitor, nor should it. It was mean to allow users who use dedicated interchangeable lens cameras to develop best possible RAW files. And it does that very well.

At what point do you abandon the niche you are best at to go for something that you can only be third or whatever in the market? And if you are the kind of user who needs something other than what DXO specializes, why not use a program that does what you need? A jack of all trades, ends up being a master of none.

I keep seeing the same idea pop up. DXO support the raw files of the smartphones. Fine. I post legit reasons why there are probably chose not to support it and ask for some data to back up investment in such market, and usually people only reply with “because I want to do that”. Hmmm. Is that the best argument?

And as I’ve already suggested several times. Why not just use JPEG and you can do that? DXO won’t give you the full benefits of proper raw file because it lacks data for it. It would be like working with TIff and JPEG. So other than extension being DNG why not use JPEG or TIFF and it works?

That already works. Just check DNG to JPEG or TIFF and work in DXO PhotoLab.

I suppose treating DNG as anything but supported RAW file might make you feel better, but it would not change the fact of what it is. Also, there are unsupported RAW files for various cameras and lenses in DXO. For the same reasons. And yet people still use DXO. I don’t see why DNG for smartphones is differnt than unsupported lens or camera body. But most of the complaints are about DNG for smartphones… .even when that means bearly anything than .dng extension.

The more arguments like that I hear the more I am supporting DXO decision, if nothing else on general principles. Because people really have become detached from photography, and many seems to be point and shoot enthusiasts. Like trying to drive Lambo on a dirt track and complaining why it does not work as expected. Off, course it must be Lambo fault, not the driver.

Maybe. But that is like reading forums about Nikon, Sony, Canon cameras. New model comes out and has 60 instead of 50 MP. OMG all the forum people are “switching” and bashing the brand because apparently , all of a sudden the camera they used to use cannot take any pictures. It has just stop working, mysteriously.

It has gotten so bad that every “influencer” online is busy making a new video of the week about why “they are switching to brand X”. While there are some legit criticism, there is also way too much drama and attention seeking as well. Wouldn’t you agree?

That is perhaps a bit of a different topic. But suffers from some of the same problems.

"The image pixel data contained in raw TIFF and DNG files produced by VueScan is identical. This can be proved by extracting and comparing that data. This can be done using Linux dcraw and imagemagick command-line tools:

$ diff -s
<(stream -map rgb -storage-type short raw.tif - | sha256sum)
<(dcraw -E -4 -c raw.dng | tail -n +4 | dd conv=swab 2> /dev/null | sha256sum)
Files /dev/fd/63 and /dev/fd/62 are identical

(I won’t muddy this answer with a technical explanation - add a comment if that would be of interest here.)

The overall file content, however, is different. A DNG file is a TIFF file with a specific structure that includes a low-resolution preview and special metadata. Of particular note are the following tags:

As Shot White XY
Baseline Noise

These three tags are set by VueScan and used by a developer application (such as DarkTable) as an input colour profile (which DarkTable lists as embedded matrix). There are some other tags but they don’t affect how the image is processed.

You can take a VueScan DNG and “re-scan” it into a raw TIFF and the pixel data in both files will be the same. You could alternatively use dcraw to do the same thing:
$ dcraw -E -4 -T raw.dng

So the issues raised in the question are not so much due to the differences between the file contents but how Darktable (or whatever) processes the different files. You can make a DNG look like a TIFF by removing the abovementioned tags and selecting the sRGB colour space.

With regard to file sizes - I haven’t looked at the effectiveness of compression algorithms because it would appear to be, as others have suggested, dependent on the distribution of the input data. But, comparing like-for-like, the image bitmap data content is identical.

What remains unclear is how VueScan computes ColorMatrix1, AsShotWhiteXY and BaselineNoise."

What’s the Difference Between DNG and TIFF?

"The main difference between DNG and TIFF is that TIFF supports layers, while DNG does not.

Both DNG and TIFF are file formats that you might convert a RAW file to, although DNG preserves the editing capabilities of the RAW image, allowing you to essentially go back in time and modify your camera settings to see how that affects the image.

Once you convert a RAW file to TIFF, you do lose some of the information as recorded by the camera, although it is lossless thereafter. TIFFs do allow a much wider range of editing possbilities than DNGs, and you will likely want to eventually save you DNG in this format eventually."

DNG was meant to be a container that supports RAW editing and it was meant to be archival format, a digital negative, meant to store RAW files for future proofing them, in case property code that is legally protected cannot be used to open and edit RAW files at some point in the future. DNG is open source.

But what people confuse is RAW and DNG. RAW can be stored in DNG format, but DNG is not same as RAW, it is primerally a way to store either RAW or other TIFF like data, minus the support for layers.

“DNGs are based upon the TIFF/EP6 Standard. So, DNGs are all TIFFs, but not all TIFFs are DNGs. TIFFs are always storing the image data as RGB elements. DNG has a little more flexibility in how it treats the image data block. RAW image data recored by the camera sensor is not RGB and needs to be de-mosaic’d and converted to RGB before processing engines like LR can work with the data. DNGs holding RAW data can keep the data as mosaic’d and non-linear. Or it be converted to RGB and stored as RGB. RGB data is not a RAW data structure. TIFFs on the other hand, Always store image data as RGB data.
Now, if you are scanning analog slides, the scanning software will most likely create RGB data. So in that case, it matters little whether your data has a TIFF wrapper or a DNG wrapper. All (almost all?) image processing software can handle the TIFF format. Some image processing software apps do not support DNG format or all flavors of DNG. For this reason it is better to save your scans as 16 bit compressed TIFFs.”

In other words, people demanding DNG wrapper support mistakenly think DNG is RAW data by default. It is not. They just have no clue what they are talking about, that is the problem.

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I’ve no idea which algorithms they use, as I am user and not programmer of these tools, but it cannot be so difficult, as more ore less everyone but DxO does it :thinking:

For the user it’s just like working with every RAW file. Example Snapseed: open ist, adjust it, export it as JPG … so easy

They don’t, that is the point I was trying to make. If you look past the .dng wrapper you will see what I mean, and I’ve posted about that multiple times. People have a misconception that they are getting something they are not.

Except most are not RAW files. And few that are, are not made by Ferrari.


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But the *.dng definetely contains more information than the *.jpg. And why shouldn`t we use that ?


Have you read the posts I made earlier?

I did, but my opinion regarding the missing smartphone dng support is unchanged as it would be definetely better than the jpg.


If you read the things I wrote and you understand well what .dng is and what is not and what it can be, other than personal conviction or preference, I fail to see why you persist in asking for it. But I guess people want what they want, even when it makes very little sense. Lets see if DXO thinks like you do as well. In the meantime I don’t think I will lose sleep over weather they support what you ask or not, because I don’t see it the way you do. Fair enough?

If you read and understand your own explanation, you must admit that a dng has definetely more image information inside than a (compressed) jpg.

As I never asked for your comments, that’s totally fine for me.


This is conditional. As I’ve written before DNG is essentially a wrapper, that can contain a lot of different ways of compressed and uncompressed information. You can take a JPEG and save it out as DNG. You won’t get more information, you will only get less compatibility. But you can also use DNG to store RAW information. But unless you specific what is in the wrapper, dng is a lot like .mp4. Just a wrapper. .mp4 in the video world, can have all kinds of codecs for audio and video inside with all kind of bit rate and it will still be .mp4. So without specifying what is inside a .dng file your argument is a moot point. This is confirmed by DXO manual when they list supported formats. But somehow and for some strange reason people who do not understand any of this, insist that all dng files are the same and cannot wrap their head around the fact that dng serves as a wrapper. Pun intended. And until its clear what is inside that wrapper any discussion about .dng becomes and is a moot point. DXO does in fact support import and export of .dng but its particular and with good and valid reason what is inside the dng. Something continually lost in discussions on this forum about the dng. I have tried to explain that situation, but to no avail.

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As written above … I do not insist on supporting every dng from every phone of the world, but there are several phones on the market that have a strong focus on photography (Sony XPERIA, some Samsung Galaxy S-Series, Google Pixel and of course the high-end iPhones).

And their dngs have definetely more information inside than their jpgs.

Discussion ends here.


…and wraps back around to…

You really want DxO to support the phones. Not DNG, as such.

I get the feeling that DxO is caught in their own either-or trap. But DxO could get out of it without losing face and finally make DPL an application that can serve a bigger audience.

Meanwhile, we must fill the gaps with other apps -
and they have the potential to drive DPL out of our computers :man_shrugging:


Right, that’s the primary intention.

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