Jared Polin is an awesome photographer with a great social media presence. He’s also the father of the “I SHOOT RAW” slogan. But, as the years pass and the technology changes, sometimes the file formats you’ve gotten used to change. RAW files are no exception. Adobe has a new RAW format known as DNG, or Digital Negative File.
The biggest benefit of the .DNG format is compatibility. You can take your .DNG file and use it in a wide variety of programs, more than you could with other RAW files. Most importantly, the DNG format gives you the same image quality as traditional RAW formats, meaning everything you can do with a RAW file, you can do with a .DNG file. And it does this at a smaller file size (as much as 15% smaller). It does this by removing some metadata information that is bundled into each photograph you take on a modern, high-end DSLR. This extra data has no impact in the quality of the image and contains rarely used information like which focus point was used at the time of capture. Other, more widely used, metadata is retained.
If you’re like me and not made of money, extra costs can really impact your business. This is especially true of harddrives. I am easily capable of filling a 2TB harddrive in a year of shooting. Using the .DNG format helps me squeeze a little more space out of my drives. It also means backups are faster, file transfers are faster and again, my images don’t suffer for it.
If you’re already a .DNG convert, you can show your allegiance by wearing this super-fine t-shirt! Declare your insanity for photography and let everyone know your a dingbat, err, DNG BAT!