Pros and cons of DNG files.
So far, so good – but why should or shouldn’t you use DNG files in your day-to-day photography?
Advantages of DNG files.
- There are more than 500 different types of raw files, with more created all the time, so DNG file is largely flexible and future-proof. You can be safe in the knowledge that archiving your raw images as DNG files means you’ll still be able to access them in the future.
- DNG files are around 20% smaller than RAW files, while maintaining the same image quality.
- They’re also faster – With DNG, you’ll benefit from a quicker performance by using Fast Load Data. This stores a standard-size preview within the file itself. That means faster loading when opening an image in Adobe Lightroom or Camera Raw.
Disadvantages of DNG files.
- You may be itching to get straight into the editing suite, but it can take time to convert other raw file formats to DNG – which isn’t always convenient for fast-paced working environments.
- While Adobe software supports the DNG format, other programs don’t always play well with it. You could embed the original RAW inside the DNG so you can continue to use other software. However, this will make the file size considerably larger, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to save on storage or make quick transfers.
How to open a DNG file.
Like other raw files, you can open DNG images using some of the most common photo viewing applications.
From your desktop or hard drive.
Use your normal photo viewing software to call up DNG files on Windows or Mac, such as Microsoft Photos, Apple Photos, and Apple Previews.
- Right-click on the image on your desktop or file explorer window. (On Mac, that’s the Command button plus click.)
- Scroll down to Open With, then move right to see the list of programs that are set up to open DNG files.
How to create and edit a DNG file.
Open a DNG file in Adobe Photoshop by selecting the File menu, then Open. To save as a DNG file once you’ve finished editing, go back to the File menu and select Save.
You can return to edit the image at any time — just open Photoshop, select the File menu, and then Open to locate the DNG file in your file explorer window.
DNG files: frequently asked questions.