August 24, 2005
DNG Update, Part II
Thomas Knoll, co-creator of Photoshop and author of Camera Raw, arrived in Japan today with a small team from Adobe. They’ll be talking more with camera manufacturers about how we can work together to improve digital workflow. So, there’s no additional news to report yet, but talks are ongoing.
The DNG standard is a relative newborn, having been announced less than a year ago, but we’ve already made more progress than we expected. Support has been widely and quickly implemented on the software side (Capture One, iView MediaPro, Extensis Portfolio, Mac OS X 10.4, etc.). Adding support in hardware takes more time, given that manufacturers were already on established paths with proprietary formats. It’s exciting to see the Hasselblad announcement today. We’ll post more news as it becomes available.
[See also: Jeff Schewe is keeping a list of good articles on DNG, including his own guides to building a DNG workflow.]
Hasselblad adds new cameras, DNG support
Hasselblad has announced new cameras, the H2 and H2D, as well as new camera backs. The press release included the following info of interest to those eager to see a common standard adopted for digital raw capture:
Open standards – redefining the way professional photographers work
Hasselblad has partnered closely with Adobe to make its new products fully compatible with Adobe’s raw image format DNG (‘Digital Negative’), bringing this new technology standard to the professional photographer for the first time. The DNG file format enables raw, compressed image files to be opened directly in Adobe Photoshop CS. This allows photographers to operate quickly and efficiently, reducing the “downtime” taken to process image data and enabling final images to reach the customer more quickly. Hasselblad image files now carry a full set of metadata, including capture conditions, keywords and copyright, facilitating work with image asset management solutions. For specialist commercial photographers the full productivity and creative freedom offered by Hasselblad’s FlexColor workflow software is also available via importing the DNG file. The new FlexColor now allows the photographer to manipulate color temperature and compare image details across multiple images for precise image selection.
The Killing’s Gotta Stop
Has anyone else had enough of these “Microsoft Acrylic is the [Photoshop/Flash/Illustrator/FreeHand/Fireworks/etc.] Killer!” articles? Is the technology press so bored that they have to invent conflicts?
If I were Microsoft, I’d be deflecting these assertions like crazy. Why? Because they set unrealistic, misleading expectations that end up reflecting poorly on new products.
Background: When InDesign 1.0 was in development, it got dubbed by some Adobe’s “Quark Killer.” (This was before my time here, so I don’t know the origin of the phrase, but I do know that I’ve never heard anyone here use it.) When the 1.0 product shipped and didn’t “kill” an app that had been established for more than a decade, it was assumed to be a failure. Well, 5+ years later, InDesign is doing just fine, thanks.
It’s also false to assume that new apps need or want to kill others. I was a Flash developer in the late ’90s, so when Adobe offered me the chance to work on LiveMotion, I jumped at the chance. Did I want to “kill” Flash? Of course not! I enjoyed working with the format enough that I wanted to make the ecosystem of authoring tools bigger and better. But hey, sure enough, LiveMotion got dubbed the “Flash Killer,” setting up conflict and disappointment. (And now, that unfortunate moniker has now passed to another unreleased product.)
So, back to the subject at hand. I think Macromedia’s John Dowdell said it well: of course Microsoft will create tools to target its next-gen OS; it’s not a zero-sum game; and different strokes serve different folks.
As Max Fischer would say, “The killin’s gotta stop, ese.”