By Gayle Vehar on | No Comments
If you have ever imported photos into Lightroom, you have probably noticed the phrase “Copy as DNG” listed as an option. You probably just skipped over this option because:
A) You had no idea what it was or
B) You didn't see a need to use it.
Today I wanted to let you in on the secret of what DNG files are and why you might consider using them.
DNG stands for digital negative file and is an open-source RAW file format created by Adobe. Essentially, it's a standard RAW file that anyone can use - and some camera manufacturer’s actually do.
Currently, most camera manufacturers have their own proprietary RAW format. For example: Nikon’s is .nef, Canon’s is .cr2 or .crw, and Sony is .arw.
But because those formats are “proprietary” to each manufacturer. They don’t share the information that makes up that file or how it is processed in-camera with anyone else (Shhhh....it’s a secret!). If at some time in the future, those companies are no longer around (I know it is hard to imagine now), their proprietary files may become hard to read.
This is the main thing that got me to start using DNG a few years ago. I was tired of all the .xmp sidecar files. Lightroom (and Adobe Camera RAW) create one of these .xmp sidecar files for every photo edited. With a DNG file, all the information is embedded in the file, so there is no need for a sidecar file.
Another great reason to use DNG files is that they are slightly smaller than their proprietary RAW counterparts. Don’t panic; the DNG files retain all the same information, and a file that takes up a little less room on my hard drive is always welcome.
In Lightroom, you can convert files to DNG at any time. You can convert when you are importing files, and you can also convert when you are exporting files.
And you can convert files to DNG anytime in between. Just go to the Library module and select the photos you wish to covert. Next, click on the Library menu dropdown and select "Convert Photo to DNG."
Hopefully, this tutorial has helped shed some light on DNG files and why you may want to start using them. Happy Lightrooming!
Do you have any questions or comments about DNG Files? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Hi!! I am Gayle. I am a wife to my handsome husband and mom to 4 beautiful kids. In my spare time, I am a photographer and blogger at Mom and Camera. I have a passion for sharing my love of photography with others. I teach local photography classes and regularly share photography tips and tricks on my blog. I hang out there a lot—I’d love you to stop by and visit!