RAW versus DNG: What are the advantages and disadvantages of DNG files?


posted Monday, May 21, 2018 at 3:00 PM EDT


If you use Adobe software such as Lightroom and Photoshop, you may convert and save your RAW files as DNG files. This can improve performance, save space and offer other benefits. However, Tony Northrup argues in a new video, seen below, that it might be a mistake to rely heavily upon DNG files.

There are advantages and disadvantages to DNG files when compared to your camera's native RAW file format (note that in some cases, camera's can natively save as DNG files, but it's often the case that your camera uses a proprietary RAW file format, such as .CR2, .NEF, .RAF or something else). A DNG file contains the exact same information as a RAW file and doesn't reduce your image quality.

What are the advantages, then, of sticking with your camera's RAW file? It imports faster, as there's no DNG conversion process. It is more compatible as well. This is the primary issue with DNG files, they're an Adobe file format, which means that they may not be as widely-compatible with other software as your camera's native RAW file would be. There are other advantages and disadvantages, which you can learn about in the video below.

Readers, do you convert your RAW images to DNG, why or why not? Let us know your thoughts on file formats in the comments below.

(Via Tony & Chelsea Northrup