> Is Tiff better than DNG?
This is how I understand it. It might not be 100% correct but this
explanation makes more sense to me that the container thread that is going
on here, at the moment... Maybe it will help others, too.
A DNG is Adobe's attempt to unify the RAW format. Since digital cameras
started using RAW there have been over 160 variants and only about 40 are
still supported. Imagine only two years ago you bought one of the new
whiz-bang Contax cameras thinking you were buying into some sort of
longevity then you will already know that's not the case and be very
It seems that camera designers make cameras and then have their software
guys sort out the format, which means that every new Canon, Nikon, Fuji,
etc. has a new variant of the NEF, CR2 or RAF. Even though the file
extension doesn't change, the RAW file behind it most definitely does. As a
result, Adobe has had to regularly bring out a new CameraRAW engine to
incorporate each new camera format. Also, each time there is a new format,
CameraRAW drops some of the older formats off the end of its conveyor belt.
If it didn't do this, the CameraRAW engine would be huge by now and would
have to continue to grow.
Anyway, the data contained within all of the RAW file formats also contains
proprietary information from the manufacturer as well as camera specific
information that is not required to produce the actual image. The DNG
converter strips away this 'extra' information and reduces the data in the
Adobe DNG format to just that required to export a final result, after
completion of any and all processing in whatever converter you choose to
Pentax, in their infinite wisdom, have deliberately chosen to use for their
camera RAW format the DNG, which makes absolute common sense really, when
you think about it because Adobe will always support their own file system,
even while they no longer feel any obligation to support the older ones.
So, the remaining data information within the new DNG is essentially only
the old data information from the NEF, CR2, RAF, etc. that is needed for the
production of the image, and nothing more. That said, it is still a RAW file
format made of DATA, NOT based on a TIFF because that is PIXEL information.
There are NO pixels in a RAW/DNG, not until an image has been exported or
'saved-as', once opened into Photoshop.
The 'image' you see in your chosen RAW filer converter is not really an
image at all. You are not making changes to any pixels, you are not even
making changes to the RAW file either, these are read only. When you see an
'image' in your chosen converter, whether ACR, Lightroom or whatever, you
are merely looking at a PREVIEW of the image that WILL be produced ONLY when
you export one, or perform a save-as.
>They contain totally different things. DNG is a container for raw image
data >and TIFF is a container for developed images. DNG is good to archive
your >images. TIFF is good to process them.
So is it better to archive a DNG and do your processing on a TIFF, the
answer has to be NO.
NO pixelated image is better than a chunk of infinitely malleable RAW data.
Any adjustments you make to that TIFF are destructive. You cannot create
information except at the time you press the shutter button. Any changes you
make to a TIFF thereafter can only be destructive. The changes you make to
your TIFF may well achieve the visual effect you are after but pixel
information would have to have been sacrificed in the process. Think about
it, you are not creating information, you can't, therefore, if you make any
changes to a TIFF, you must be destroying some in the process of that
Are you destroying information with a RAW/DNG process? No, never, the file
is read only. You make the changes you wish to make in your converter and
then, ONLY then produce pixels in a brand new file that, should you make any
further changes, are then only destructible. That's why you can delete the
XMP file and your RAW would have reverted to its original form.
Frankly, and I am not a Luddite here but while I see that some people will
prefer to have all of their work done by a single piece of software, there
are better RAW file processors out there as well as better HDR software. If
you really are concerned about quality, batch process your raw images in
your converter to the maximum extent that you can. Then batch produce a
series of HDR images in your HDR processor. Only then, when perfectly happy
with these, create your new pano. Is this a more long winded process, for
sure it is. Does it produce a better result, only you can really decide. Is
your work important to you? Only you can decide that as well.
Is this any help?