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View Full Version : Creation of a standard RAW file format for all camera manufacturers.


dennisg
8th October 2008, 12:17 AM
To all,

I use a photo editing software package ( the brand is not an important issue here) and at this time I cannot open RAW files from my E520 but can from my E500. I called technical services at the software company three or four times within the last three months and they have not addressed this issue and since I was the only one with an Olympus camera asking for this, they don't have this on their priority list. Thus only JPEGS can be edited from my E520. The issue here is NOT the camera or software brand. The issue is ALL of the non standard RAW file formats.

To this end, I would suggest that a standard like JPEG be establihed and agreed to by all of the major camera manufacturers and thus the updates for this can be laid to rest for RAW FILE Formats. When used film, if you used Agfa, Fuji, and Kodak the C41 process would develop all of these film brands. Or you could use the brand name's process. Thus when you brought film into a lab, they could do it no matter what the film or processing. It may be better to use the respective process, but you got great results anyway.

So with this said, why can we NOT do this with Digital RAW Film Formats? It would probably cut down on the cost at the manufacturer of each camera brand and standardize the file format. This way when it changes, everyone changes to the new standard. Like DIN or ASA standard. And last, everyone no matter what brand would be addressed.

What do ya all think about this and how can we as forum push this through this forum?

Dennis G:rolleyes:

StephenL
8th October 2008, 06:38 AM
Adobe has already tried this with the DNG standard, which so far has only been adapted by a couple of manufacturers. The next probable candidate for developing a standard would be Microsoft.
I agree with your concerns. Why should RAW for an E-520 be different from RAW for an E-510, for instance?

Dick Bowman
8th October 2008, 06:45 AM
There's also the interim route of using the (free) Adobe converter - forgotten its name - to read your RAW files and convert to DNG and on-process from there. I expect the converter is based on ACR - but I think they keep it updated as new camera models appear.

Not sure whether DNG will prove stable as a long-term storage format.

ndl0071
8th October 2008, 07:11 AM
Not sure whether DNG will prove stable as a long-term storage format.

Gulp!:eek: I hope so, as part of my workflow I always convert to DNG, I remember reading earlier this year that this format was likely to be the one that most if not all manufacturers would follow, I suppose you never know though whats going to be the next 'in thing'.

Neil

StephenL
8th October 2008, 07:57 AM
A good point, but you still have to rely on the DNG converter to be able to read all RAW formats, which it cannot at the moment. For instance, it cannot read my Panny LX3 files.

geirsan
8th October 2008, 09:09 AM
I have the same problem, but they're working at it at iView. It really was a frustration, since my five year work with cataloguing my images quickly became useless with my E3.
I tried converting to DNG for a while, but found it a silly solution. I ended up with cagaloguing in Lightroom 1.4 and image processing in Aperture 2.1. It works, but isn't an ideal solution.

Makonde
8th October 2008, 09:26 AM
It's a worry. Once I have a finalised keeper I tend to save a copy as a regular tiff. I reckon that's as likely to survive as .txt and .rtf for documents.

I don't think Adobe's DNG is catching on. Neither are jpeg 2000 or 16-bit tiffs as truly widespread and application-independent formats.

dennisg
8th October 2008, 11:18 AM
My belief on this is that the standard should NOT be per a software company's standard. If that company no longer exists, then we are all up the river. It is a stndard like DIN, ASA, ISO 9000 that sets the standard and that is where it should be. The camera manufacturers have to take this on and then agree on a "Common" standard that all of the players can agree on. We, as the ultimate customer, get caught up in this mess and then we buy all kinds of work-arounds to beat the system. Photography should be a pleasurable hobby and these issues should be resolved by the ones providing us with equipment.

Let's keep the volley going!

Thanks!*chr

OlyPaul
8th October 2008, 03:44 PM
Gulp!:eek: I hope so, as part of my workflow I always convert to DNG, I remember reading earlier this year that this format was likely to be the one that most if not all manufacturers would follow, I suppose you never know though whats going to be the next 'in thing'.

Neil

I think the chance of Adobe going bump is a lot slimmer than some of the camera manafactures and as long as they are in business they will support it .;)

I also convert all my raw files to DNG for many reasons as well. By the way if you did not already know Adobe also owns the Tiff format as well but no one worries about that :)

dennisg
8th October 2008, 04:34 PM
Yes I understand th Adobe is solid. Nevertheless, they should stick to software and let the standards take care of themselves. This way there is no coflict of interest between the product, patent rights, and keeping the industry hostage to one conglomorate.

Adobe does a fine job with editing and files, we need for all of the cameras to break away from this model and look out for their customers first, we the photography public.

DG

HughofBardfield
8th October 2008, 04:50 PM
we need for all of the cameras to break away from this model and look out for their customers first, we the photography public.

DG

*laugh Sorry, but that is so not going to happen. What possible interest would camera manufacturers have in creating, or following, a universal standard? The analogy is lens mounts, surely? It's a long, long, time since the days of M42 and even then, many manufacturers used something different. They would much rather tie us to their brand in all the ways possible. Not being a techie, I would imagine there's probably more work involved in tailoring the sensor outputs to meet a standard like DNG than simply generating a new flavour of ORF.

If they were interested, more of them would have adopted DNG. Olympus, AFAIC, are one of he worst offenders, by not only having their own proprietary RAW formats, but also forcing you to use their cr*p software to carry out firmware updates or operate the camera tethered.

I suspect the camera manufacturers would in any case argue that the overwhelming majority of camera users - even DSLR - are perfectly happy with JPEGs. RAWs are shot by a minority - including many professionals who are concerned with speed of image delivery to the client over ultimate quality... *ohwell

dennisg
8th October 2008, 04:58 PM
Well then we should be very happy with this scenrio. It's just a power game to see how one can corner the market for their own good rather than the consumer's good.

So when is the next Olympus model coming out? We will go through this file nonsense all over again everytime another model comes out. And since Olympus is a very small portion of the marketplace as far as DSLR sales, we will be told to get to the back of the bus.


Is everyone happy with this scenario? Or should we go out and by work arounds that cost more than the rig that does the work?

:confused:

HughofBardfield
8th October 2008, 05:09 PM
Well then we should be very happy with this scenrio. It's just a power game to see how one can corner the market for their own good rather than the consumer's good.

That's capitalism, I fear. One might say, particularly the Japanese variety, but it's not just them these days.

So when is the next Olympus model coming out? We will go through this file nonsense all over again everytime another model comes out. And since Olympus is a very small portion of the marketplace as far as DSLR sales, we will be told to get to the back of the bus.

Wait until mFT - then there'll be a whole new set of ORFs! :eek:

Is everyone happy with this scenario? Or should we go out and by work arounds that cost more than the rig that does the work?

:confused:

Happy? No. I agree with you about how desirable it would be to have a single standard and how much easier (and cheaper, no doubt) it would make our lives. One of my pet gripes, for example, is that DxO seem to have no interest whatever in paying Olympus whatever they would need to to get Oly cameras set up in their software. And I know there are many people who've requested it.

So, happy, no - but resigned to the inevitability. *shrug

dennisg
8th October 2008, 05:28 PM
Last year I went to the Photo Expo Show here in New York City and I went to the DxO booth and asked them the same questions, why they did not support the Olympus line? But yet they still support the Minolta line and then as soon as Sony puts out a new DSLR, DxO is right on it.

They have a very strong and excellent program and the only Olympus model that they support is one of the older pro-sumer models, but DSLRs none. You would figure with the entry of the E3, a so called professional rig, that DxO would support it. But no!

So I am going on October to the Expo here in New York City to put in my two cents again. Big deal right? It seems Digital is segnmenting the marketplace rather than making it whole and the end result is fragmentation of the user base. A great model to have!!

DG:mad:

Fluffy
8th October 2008, 06:17 PM
A good point, but you still have to rely on the DNG converter to be able to read all RAW formats, which it cannot at the moment. For instance, it cannot read my Panny LX3 files.

The same thing bedevils me. And as far as I can see they're .RW2 files. At least Silkypix SE which is included here in the US can read LX3 raw. If not I'd be angry (well more than angry) as when I got the LX3 I didn't RTM before I went out for a test run. And when I came back I was not happy to see ACR couldn't deal with them. But I do really like the LX3 as pocket camera.

Steve

Invicta
8th October 2008, 10:49 PM
What about Trellis Inc's new XDepth RAW. Promises best-of-both worlds JPEG and RAW.

See http://www.1001noisycameras.com/2008/10/jpeg-raw-how-ab.html

dennisg
8th October 2008, 11:28 PM
I spoke to the representative who will be at the Photo Expo East here in New York City and I have an appointment to see him and a demo of xDepth. So I will report back.

The way the software works, you do whatever you need to do to your RAW files, and then save it as a JPEG in xDepth. It will reduce the file size by 75%, 10 Megs=2.5 Megs when done. Then you can send the file via an email, CD-ROM to whomever and they can view it as a JPEG with no loss in quality and resolution. The only one that can open it back to the full RAW format is the party who owns xDepth. Here you can go back in a do some more file adjustments.

From what I was told, it will become a stand-alone and a plug-in and will be of no charge to the end user. Got to see that to believe it! Nevertheless, this sounds very exciting and promising. Stay tuned for more updates.

On another note, I just purchased Acdsee's Pro v2.5 software online. They will support all Olympus cameras and will be adding the E520 by the end of October. Thus the E500,510,520,420, and E3 are supported. There are a slew of others that I have not mentioned here. It cost $129 and it downloaded in thirty seconds via a cable modem. Updates are free of charge also. I installed and it cataloged my files. I will play with it over the next several days to get the feel of it. This weekend I am going out to a Dressage competition and will be taking some RAW and some fine JPEGS and then put the software through its motions. Will report back on this as well.

DG*chr

StephenL
9th October 2008, 09:09 AM
Yes, Sicklypix is included here. But, as I import everything into Lightroom, I cannot do so with my LX3 RAW files. Also I don't personally rate Slikypisc.

At least Silkypix SE which is included here in the US can read LX3 raw.

Steve

gphemy
10th October 2008, 04:37 PM
To all,

So with this said, why can we NOT do this with Digital RAW Film Formats? It would probably cut down on the cost at the manufacturer of each camera brand and standardize the file format.

Dennis G:rolleyes:

What you have described is what is provided by uncompressed (superfine) JPEG (and to a lesser extent, TIFF), which is the standard format supported by all manufacturers, and output by any digital camera using the manufacturer's own, designed-for-the-job raw-format processor. To require each camera to provide the raw output from its sensor in a standard way would surely require each manufacturer to standardise on processing, and possibly standardise on sensors. I hope this is not what you were looking for - it strikes me as akin to complaining that the "output" from a Velvia sensor is incompatible with the output from a Kodachrome "sensor", or wondering why we have to have so many B&W film developers - wouldn't it be so much easier if every film manufacturer could agree on the same chemical formulation for the developer?

In the film world, those who want simplicity simply took their exposed films to a processing shop. Others spent the time to do it themselves to get (maybe) different results, but you still can't develop Tri-X and Delta in the same process. I believe it to be the same in the digital world.

dennisg
10th October 2008, 06:26 PM
In today's world and technology, there are ways to get this done. The Digital Age in photgraphy gives the end user a broader capability to produce pictures quicker, of better qualty, and to their own liking. Nvertheless I find it very difficult to say that the digital world would have to reinvent itself to come up with a standard.

The photo finishing market when film was king, was populated by more amatuers than professional just on volume. Thus labs setup their processes to meet the masses and the Kodaks, Fujis, and Afgas made it quote simple to develop film by having similar but different processing processes. To this end, it did not matter where and what film you used. You brought it in and it got done.

Digital now with all of its strengths and flexibility needs to find a way to do this. It will be much better for both the consumer and the manufacturers as well. Just think, if I had an AMD processor versus an Intel Processor I will need a differnt Windows program to run my files. Not.

Dennis G*chr

OlyPaul
11th October 2008, 09:50 AM
On another note, I just purchased Acdsee's Pro v2.5 software online. They will support all Olympus cameras and will be adding the E520 by the end of October. Thus the E500,510,520,420, and E3 are supported. There are a slew of others that I have not mentioned here. It cost $129 and it downloaded in thirty seconds via a cable modem. Updates are free of charge also. I installed and it cataloged my files. I will play with it over the next several days to get the feel of it. This weekend I am going out to a Dressage competition and will be taking some RAW and some fine JPEGS and then put the software through its motions. Will report back on this as well.

DG*chr

I use that program as well for digital asset managment and although it does not yet support E-420 and E-520 orfs it does support any DNG raw files from them that have been converted by the currant Adobe DNG converter, now thats a close to a universal raw format supported by none camera manafacturer software companies that you are going to get. ;)

dennisg
13th October 2008, 07:18 PM
Good news, an upgrade will be available by the end of October that will include the support for RAW files from the E520 and E420. Just go to their site or if you are registered end user, you should be gtting auto update notifications to you email mailbox.

I will be setting up a gallery on SmugMug in November and then I will send a link to all on the user group to view.

Do you use and like the editing tools in Acdsee 2.5?

Dennis G:)

OlyPaul
17th October 2008, 08:16 AM
Good news, an upgrade will be available by the end of October that will include the support for RAW files from the E520 and E420. Just go to their site or if you are registered end user, you should be gtting auto update notifications to you email mailbox.

I will be setting up a gallery on SmugMug in November and then I will send a link to all on the user group to view.

Do you use and like the editing tools in Acdsee 2.5?

Dennis G:)

No not really Dennis, I only use it for managing images and prefere to use CS3 or Elements 6 for raw conversion and editing. :)