Raw Format Is a Lifesaver

Opinion: Adobe's DNG specification is a boon to software writers and smaller camera manufacturers, but the big players might resist it.

Will Adobes DNG (Digital Negative ) displace the current multitude of raw camera formats? I dont really have an opinion, but I can provide some explanatory material to inform the debate.

In a previous column, I said that exposure is easy in digital photography. True, but only true because of the miracle of "Raw."

Raw is an invisible wonder. Photographers rave about the Raw format of their cameras and the exploits of their favorite Raw converters, but prepress never sees a raw image. Adobes announcement of DNG makes a lot of noise—but no one seems to be writing DNG files—whats going on here?

For now, Raw is a format for photographers only. To simplify matters, Raw is the digital equivalent of a negative. Equivalent? No, its really, really better! If you have a raw file, you can change the exposure and white balance of a shot considerably, long after youve taken it. This is a lifesaver. Its a miracle. Its real technological progress. Its a genuine innovation that can pay for utility bills and food!

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