Archive for January, 2008

DNG in the News

Recent weeks have seen a number of DNG related announcements:

  • Casio EX-F1: A 6 megapixel camera that captures 60 full resolution DNG files per second!(John Nack scooped me on this one)
  • Pentax K20D and K200D: These new 14.6 and 10.2 megapixel cameras from Pentax can capture directly to the DNG raw format.
  • Samsung GX-20:  The new DNG-capable Samsung 14.6 megapixel model is similar to the Pentax K20D but DPreview also looks at how it is different.
  • Noritsu Koki has announced their intention to support raw workflows at the photo retail level by utilizing the DNG format. 

For those not familiar with DNG, it’s the archival raw format that Adobe created to address the proliferation of proprietary raw formats.  With hundreds of undocumented formats introduced since the advent of raw capture, it’s no wonder that the concept of a raw standard has elicited quite a bit of discussion.   Much of the discussion revolves around the topic of file format obsolescence: Will I be able to open my raw files in 50 to 75 years from now?  This is a good question and a valid reason why photographers choose to use the openly documented DNG format but there are other more immediate benefits to using a DNG workflow:

  • Lossless compression of the raw data can reduce file size anywhere from 10 to 40% or more.  In a completely unscientific test I converted a small folder of Nikon D300 raw files to DNG and the folder went from 243MB to 125MB!  You could almost double the number of photos stored on a single drive.  I know ‘storage is cheap’ these days but it’s not free!  
  • It provides a documented file structure that can support writing metadata back to the file.  (No need for XMP sidecar files)
  • You can store an updated preview of the image in the DNG file that accurately represents your latest non-destructive rendering settings.  I think of it as a job jacket for my images.  I have the negative, the processing instructions and a ‘work print’ of how I last processed the image all within a single file.

With all of those benefits it’s no surprise that 40% of Lightroom users who aren’t shooting with a DNG-native camera have already decided to utilize the Convert To DNG option while importing their photos.

New Lightroom community help system

On behalf of Anita and the rest of the Adobe Documentation team, I’m pleased to announce the new Lightroom community help system, which provides core Adobe documentation for Lightroom as well as links to additional learning content from around the web. The URL for the Lightroom community help system is http://learn.adobe.com/wiki/display/LR/Home.

The new site takes the current online help—LiveDocs—and makes it more useful and interactive. You can still navigate to topics using links the left side of the browser. But now, when you click a topic to read about it, you’ll find a Basics panel with Adobe documentation as well as a Learn More panel that offers links to tutorials, white papers, technical articles, and other instructional content.

This site is administered by Adobe, moderated by experts from the community, and developed with the assistance of a panel of Lightroom Learning Advisors. So you’ll also find links to the moderators’ and advisors’ favorite Lightroom sites, plus links to troubleshooting sites and a page that lists third-party presets, galleries, and extensions.

We invite you to visit, comment on our documentation, add links to your favorite tutorials and articles, and share your opinions by commenting on the links that others have posted. And feel free to send feedback on the site to us at lightroom-help-feedback@adobe.com.

Scott Kelby’s Lightroom Wishlist

Scott Kelby posted a very articulate feature wishlist on his blog last Friday.  It really echoes all of the feedback that I’ve received from customer visits, tradeshows, seminars, user forums and of course our feature request form.  The best part however is the subsequent dialog in the comments section.  The tone and content of the discussion is overwhelmingly positive and reminded me of how enjoyable it was to work through various iterations of the Lightroom public beta in 2006.(Was it really that long ago?)

To be honest, the scope of Scott’s list and the subsequent comments could easily require 5 years or 5 more versions of Lightroom to
accommodate
but you’ll be happy to know that we’re listening and anxious to deliver new and improved versions of Lightroom. (Some requests like the ‘cold beer delivery’ comment could require special hardware modifications)  A big thanks to Scott for pulling his list together and sparking the discussion!