Why did Nikon re-introduce TIFF file storage?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by RichA, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

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  2. RichA

    TRoss Guest

    IINM, Nikon has always offered the TIFF file format on its Pro bodies.
    This is the first time it's offered it on a Prosumer DSLR.

    While I would never recommend shooting anything other than RAW, having
    another lossless format available might have some short-term appeal
    for a folks who buy a new model of camera - the RAW converter they use
    might not support the camera. For example, the Canon 40D flavor of
    ..CR2 file is not supported by current versions of Lightroom and ACR.

    I just checked the list of supported cameras for ACR and the D300 is
    not listed. ACR is updated quarterly, and the next version should be
    released any day now. If the D300 isn't supported on this release,
    folks will have to wait until January ... or find an alternative.

    TIFF would be a good short-term alternative.

    Now if Nikon and Canon would offer DNG support, either instead of or
    in addition to the proprietary RAW formats....

    TRoss, Sep 10, 2007
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  3. Thankfully Nikon is smart enough to not offer DNG support since its just
    another dead-ended street taking valuable bits in the firmware coding. At
    least TIFF, like you say, offers a short-term alternative that is 100%
    compatible with all photo editing programs and viewers. I know we covered
    this in the past and have determined DNG is a dieing wannabe format that
    won't be around in 5-years. Simply put, no professional photographer would
    ever use it.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Sep 10, 2007
  4. RichA

    Andrew Haley Guest

    I use TIFF a lot for prepress copying work. It does save a fair bit
    of time, because you can simply send the TIFFs to the customer.

    Andrew Haley, Sep 10, 2007
  5. RichA

    Tony Polson Guest

    Perhaps because DNG is yet another proprietary RAW format?
    Tony Polson, Sep 10, 2007
  6. RichA

    TRoss Guest

    But it isn't yet another proprietary RAW forma. Adobe describes it as
    non-proprietary in the specification. The format specifications are
    publically documented, and it is provided without any royalties or
    legal restrictions. It was Adobe's attempt to a common RAW format.

    A common format makes a lot of sense and adresses a very serious
    problem with long-term Digital Asset Management. DNG provides a
    solution to this problem.

    TRoss, Sep 10, 2007
  7. RichA

    Tony Polson Guest

    That sounds like marketing blurb from Adobe!

    One problem is that Adobe can change their mind at any time and make
    DNG proprietary. Another problem is that it doesn't have the facility
    for manufacturer-specific additions to the basic DNG format to
    accommodate, for example, Nikon's white balance data which is embedded
    in Nikon's RAW file (.NEF).

    I'm pleased that Leica adopted DNG for the M8 and the now-discontinued
    R9/Digital Modul-R. But that's because Leica isn't big enough as a
    company to justify the cost of developing its own proprietary RAW
    format. The Leica-badged Panasonic digital compact cameras use
    Panasonic RAW for the same reason.

    For Nikon, I think the ability to save as a TIFF is a good feature.
    Otherwise, you just need to use Nikon's own RAW converter to save your
    ..NEF files as a TIFF for editing. If you are using Photoshop you can
    save the finished article in whatever format you want, including DNG.
    I just don't think DNG is necessary in the camera for the reasons I
    gave above. It might be desirable for the sake of standardisation but
    I don't think that is an end in itself. Is it really so difficult to
    use the manufacturer's own RAW converter? I don't think so.
    Tony Polson, Sep 10, 2007
  8. RichA

    Paul Furman Guest

    It's not acceptable for me to be stuck with the camera manufacturer's
    raw converter. What happens when I upgrade to Windows version 256 or
    linux and Nikon decides not to update their software for my old D70
    files? They should concentrate on making cameras, not trying to be
    software engineers. DNG is open source and I believe it has the ability
    to include custom data. I centainly have no problem with my D200
    'as-shot' WB, there was I think one model where they tried to hide that
    data but that's not Adobe's fault it was Nikon's fault.
    Paul Furman, Sep 11, 2007
  9. RichA

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    This is only a problem to the same extent as it is with TIFF itself, which
    is also owned by Adobe. If you don't trust them with DNG you should also
    avoid TIFF for the same reason. (DNG is simply an application/extension
    of TIFF.)
    That is simply not true. In fact, one of the very controversies about
    DNG was that it *does* specifically support undocumented manufacturer-
    specific data, and many people thought it shouldn't do so in order to
    discourage the use of such data, feeling that it would defeat the very
    purpose of an "open" format.
    Jeremy Nixon, Sep 11, 2007
  10. RichA

    G.T. Guest

    There you again with your completely lameass opinion.

    G.T., Sep 11, 2007
  11. RichA

    Tony Polson Guest

    I didn't know that was true of DNG. I did know it was true of NEF
    because there was a lot of discussion about it around the time of
    introduction of one new Nikon model. Perhaps the D2X?

    But if true of DNG, that's just another reason to stay with the
    manufacturer's RAW file format.
    Tony Polson, Sep 11, 2007
  12. RichA

    Tony Polson Guest

    I think that's a strong reaction to a problem that hasn't actually
    occurred. In any case, there will always be workarounds if the
    slightly unlikely situation you described were to happen.

    Anyways, it is yet another reason to cherish 35mm film! ;-)
    Tony Polson, Sep 11, 2007
  13. RichA

    Paul Furman Guest

    What actually happened is I didn't feel like upgrading photoshop when I
    upgraded cameras, so really it's working against Adobe. One reason not
    to upgrade is I would also need to upgrade my computer to run CS3 at a
    reasonable speed.
    Paul Furman, Sep 11, 2007
  14. RichA

    frederick Guest

    Only if you buy up a lifetime supply of chemicals and film
    now, figure out how to keep it fresh, and have the gear to
    process it yourself.
    frederick, Sep 11, 2007
  15. RichA

    TRoss Guest


    Adobe really doesn't have a history of doing this. Also, it would not
    be in Adobe's best interest to change the license for DNG because it
    would stifle, if not kill, support for the format. Adobe does have a
    vested interest in its acceptance and use - if nothing else DNG makes
    it easier for Adobe to develop its products.

    Also, DNG has the best chance of making it to a standards body.

    What is a bigger threat is for a legacy proprietary RAW format to lose
    support because the camera is no longer in use or camera manufacturer
    to change the way its software converts RAW images.

    That simply is not true. Unless I'm mistaken, there is nothing to
    prevent Nikon from storing white balance metadata in EXIF.

    This is from the DNG Format Overview:

    Proprietary Data
    Camera manufacturers often want to include proprietary data in a raw
    file for use by their own raw converter. DNG allows proprietary data
    to be stored using private tags, private IFDs, and/or a private

    TRoss, Sep 11, 2007
  16. No they couldn't. Having published the license to allow anyone to
    exploit it, no court would take them seriously.

    And they want it to openly used, just as they want TIFF (which they
    also own) to be widely used.

    Yes, they do have a facility for manufacturer-specific additions.

    (The openly-specified parts enable raw converters to render the
    images, then manufacturers can add "secret sauce" as Adobe call it).
    Barry Pearson, Sep 11, 2007
  17. [snip]

    DNG adds extra metadata (openly-specified) to enable raw converters to
    render images without the need for additional data. Then the
    manufacturers' "secret sauce" is in addition to that. For example,
    Adobe products use just the openly-specified data in a DNG file, and I
    think that is quite common with products that support DNG.

    Here is a comparison between the contents of a Nikon D70 NEF and a DNG
    converted from it.

    Note the conclusion: "As far as these analysis tools are concerned,
    the DNG file is a superset of this NEF it was created from! They say
    that data is not lost by conversion to DNG - data is gained. (Except
    possibly for JPEGs embedded in the NEF by the camera)."
    Barry Pearson, Sep 11, 2007
  18. [snip]

    This is from an email from ISO's TC42 WG18, the group responsible for
    ISO 12234-2 (TIFF/EP), which is currently under revision:

    "The Adobe DNG format was derived from this standard and the group has
    Adobe's permission to incorporate modifications and developments made
    for DNG in the new standard".
    Barry Pearson, Sep 11, 2007
  19. The idea that Adobe owns tiff sounded odd, but, strange as it sounds, it
    appears to be correct.


    "TIFF was developed by the Aldus and Microsoft Corporations, and the
    specification is owned by Aldus (now absorbed into the Adobe Corporation)."

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 11, 2007
  20. RichA

    Tony Polson Guest

    OK, understood.
    Tony Polson, Sep 11, 2007
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