The public archival format for digital camera raw data
Raw file formats are becoming extremely popular in digital photography workflows because they offer creative professionals greater creative control. However, cameras can use many different raw formats ?? the specifications for which are not publicly available ?? which means that not every raw file can be read by a variety of software applications. As a result, the use of these proprietary raw files as a long-term archival solution carries risk, and sharing these files across complex workflows is even more challenging.
The solution to this growing problem is Digital Negative (DNG), a publicly available archival format for the raw files generated by digital cameras. By addressing the lack of an open standard for the raw files created by individual camera models, DNG helps ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future.
Within a year of its introduction, several dozen software manufacturers such as Extensis, Canto, Apple, and iView developed support for DNG. And respected camera manufacturers such as Hasselblad, Leica, Casio, Ricoh, and Samsung have introduced cameras that provide direct DNG support. Learn more
In addition to the Digital Negative Specification, Adobe provides the free Adobe DNG Converter (Windows® | Mac OS), which easily translates raw files from many of today's popular cameras. Software developers and manufacturers can download the complete DNG Specification (PDF, 486K). DNG is supported by Adobe® Photoshop® CS5, CS4, CS3, CS2, and CS, as well as Photoshop Elements 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, and all versions of Photoshop Lightroom.
Key benefits for photographers:
- DNG format helps promote archival confidence, since digital-imaging software solutions will be able to open raw files more easily in the future.
- A single raw processing solution enables a more efficient workflow when handling raw files from multiple camera models and manufacturers.
- A publicly documented and readily available specification can be easily adopted by camera manufacturers and updated to accommodate technology changes.
Key benefits for hardware and software manufacturers:
- DNG removes a potential barrier to new camera adoption, since raw files from new models will be immediately supported by Photoshop and other applications.
- The DNG format allows R&D savings by reducing the need to develop new formats and by simplifying camera testing.
- A common format allows greater control over the quality of conversions by third-party applications.
- The specification allows the addition of private metadata to DNG files, enabling differentiation.
DNG Profile Editor (November 2008)
The DNG Profile Editor is a free software utility for creating or editing camera profiles. The current version is available on Adobe Labs.
DNG 18.104.22.168 Specification (June 2009)
Download the specification, which describes a nonproprietary file format for storing camera raw files that can be used by a wide range of hardware and software vendors.
The DNG SDK provides support for reading and writing DNG files as well as for converting DNG data to a format that is easily displayed or processed by imaging applications. This SDK can serve as a starting point for the addition of DNG support to existing applications that use and manipulate images or as an aid to the inclusion of DNG support within cameras. Learn more
Introducing the Digital Negative Specification: Information for manufacturers
DNG command-line interface specification
(Valid for Adobe DNG Converter 5.4 and later)
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® 3 software is essential for today's digital photography workflow. Now you can quickly import, process, manage, and showcase your images ??? from one shot to an entire shoot. World-class correction tools, powerful organizing features, and flexible printing options help speed you along. With Lightroom 3, you spend less time in front of the computer and more time behind the lens.
Find out about the growing list of software and camera manufacturers that support DNG ??? the open standard for raw files.
Get the Camera Raw Update (December 2010)
Photoshop CS5 camera raw support has been improved with many new tools and includes support for more than 290 cameras.
Manage, edit, and showcase your images in Lightroom and roundtrip back to Photoshop for pixel-level editing and compositing. Together, Lightroom and Photoshop offer the most complete digital photography solution.