Camera Raw 4.6 and the DNG Converter 4.6 has been posted to Adobe.com for Mac and Windows. This release adds support for raw formats from the following 15 camera models:
- Canon 1000D (Digital Rebel XS/EOS Kiss F)
- Canon 50D
- Fuji FinePix IS Pro
- Kodak EasyShare Kodak Z1015 IS
- Leaf AFi II 6
- Leaf AFi II 7
- Leaf Aptus II 6
- Leaf Aptus II 7
- Nikon D700
- Nikon D90
- Nikon Coolpix P6000
- Olympus SP-565 UZ
- Pentax K2000 (K-m)
- Sigma DP1
- Sony A900
Lightroom/Camera Raw PM Tom Hogarty notes, "You won’t find this update listed on our traditional Camera Raw page as we are moving quickly towards updates specific to the Camera Raw 5 and the CS4 release. For our Lightroom customers, similar camera support can also be found in Lightroom 2.1 currently available on Adobe Labs as a Release Candidate."
Note that if you’re not using CS3, the free DNG Converter can make your files compatible with other DNG-savvy software (not to mention smaller and more portable as well).
Michael Tapes from RawWorkflow.com has teamed up with the guys from Imagenomic (known for Noiseware) to create the very cool–and free–Instant JPEG From Raw utility. It doesn’t interpret or convert your raw image data; rather, it just pulls out the JPEG preview embedded by your camera*. It can optionally downsample these JPEGs to a lower resolution as well. Check out a quick video demo of the tool in action.
I think there are some especially interesting possibilities here with DNG. As you may know, when you edit the settings of a DNG file using Camera Raw or Lightroom, you can opt to update the embedded JPEG data as well as the settings themselves. This means, as photographer Peter Krogh likes to say, that a DNG file can serve as a “job jacket”: a container that holds your negative, your development instructions, and your print. The IJFR utility provides an immediate way to extract not just the data your camera captured, but the data as processed per your instructions.
*Worth another mention: Bridge CS4 now offers the ability to browse just embedded JPEG data, bypassing the raw processing stage to enable quick initial passes through a shoot.
The Camera Raw 4.6 and DNG Converter Release Candidates (RC) are now available on Adobe Labs. As Lightroom/Camera Raw PM Tom Hogarty explains,
The “release candidate” label indicates that the plug-in is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all of our customers. The Camera Raw team would like the community to help verify the quality of the plug-in through normal usage as this will ensure that the plug-in is tested on a diversity of hardware and software configurations not available internally at Adobe.
This release includes official camera support for the following cameras:
Fuji Finepix IS Pro
Nikon Coolpix P6000
It also adds preliminary (unofficial) support for these new camera models:
Canon Rebel XS
Olympus SP-565 UZ
Tom explains a bit about what unofficial support means later in his post.
When we look back at how things changed with the arrival of Lightroom 2, I think the new DNG Profile Editor (presently kind of a sleeper technology) will stand out as transformative. The technology was largely developed by Eric Chan, a bright young guy on the Camera Raw team (and aspiring photographer). I’ve always found his explanations lucid and highly readable, so I’m delighted that he’s written a guest blog post on the subject. Enjoy. –J.
Hi everyone. My name is Eric Chan and I’ve been a Computer Scientist at Adobe since February, which doesn’t exactly explain how I ended up on John Nack’s blog. [People often wonder how they ended up here… –J.] Well, John kindly invited me to share some thoughts on the new color profiles for Lightroom 2 and Camera Raw 4.5… "Whoa, hold on there!" you say, "New profiles? What new profiles? I didn’t see any new profiles!" Ahh, that’s because the new profiles are currently undergoing a public beta and aren’t shipping directly with LR 2 and CR 4.5. Instead, they’re available as a separate download from the Adobe Labs web site. Why a public beta? Simply because there have been many changes under the hood, and we want to give folks a chance to try the new profiles and provide feedback before we bake them for final release.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me backtrack and give you the big picture first. As it turns out, there’s quite a bit more going on here than just a new set of color profiles.
A number of people have written in to ask when Lightroom and Camera Raw will support the brand-new Nikon D700. Good news: they already do–unofficially–in Lightroom 2.0/Camera Raw 4.5. Unofficial support simply means that you can view and edit D700-generated NEF files normally, but because the camera is so new, Adobe QE folks haven’t tested it to the point that they feel comfortable declaring official support. The DNG Converter can convert D700 NEFs so that they can be used in LR 1.4, Photoshop CS2, and other DNG-enabled tools.
Note: LR2/ACR 4.5 add official support for the Olympus E 420 and E 520.
Lightroom/Camera Raw PM Tom Hogarty has announced that the Camera Raw 4.5 and DNG Converter Release Candidates (RC) are now available on Adobe Labs. He writes,
The ‘release candidate’ label indicates that the plug-in is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all of our customers. The Camera Raw team would like the community to help verify the quality of the plug-in through normal usage as this will ensure that the plug-in is tested on a diversity of hardware and software configurations not available internally at Adobe.
This release includes new camera support for the Olympus E 420 and E 520 camera models.
Please provide feedback on your experience with the Camera Raw 4.5 plug-in and the DNG Converter on the Camera Raw User to User forum. Lightroom customers who would like to use the new support provided for the Olympus cameras can download the DNG Converter release candidate and convert your raw files to DNG before importing them into Lightroom 1.4.1.
Adobe has posted release candidate (i.e. feature-complete beta) of the Adobe DNG Codec for Microsoft Vista. This free download enables Vista users to view DNG files in the Windows Explorer and Photo Gallery.
The posting coincides with the DNG Specification being updated to version 1.2. Tom Hogarty writes,
This update addresses several industry requirements for the DNG format including the formalization of the concept of a "camera profile" and a metadata tag to validate your image data. The definition of a camera profile for the DNG format as well as the allowance for multiple camera profiles to be embedded in a single DNG file will provide the industry with the ability to characterize raw data in an efficient and standardized format. (Think ICC profiles, but for raw data.)
Check out the rest of Tom’s post for more details on the changes. Developers can grab the updated DNG SDK here.
"The DNG format was supposed to be the future, an open standard for RAW files that every manufacturer could use," writes Digital Photo Pro’s Dave Willis. "Here’s a look at how the revolution has panned out." Dave talks with my boss Kevin Connor about the problem that gave rise to DNG:
"Our philosophy on this from the beginning, sort of my personal belief," continues Connor, "is that eventually the proprietary system is just going to break. When we came out with the first camera RAW plug-in, we were supporting around 25 cameras. We’re now supporting more than 175 cameras—in other words, more than 175 different file formats. And when you’re talking about images, people don’t want to keep those images for just five or 10 years. Professional photographers want to know those images will be fine for 50 years—100 years—from now. If you think about the rate of new-camera introductions, how many new file formats will there be? A hundred thousand? It just seems that it’s going to reach a point when it becomes unmanageable."
It’s true that we haven’t yet seen big camera vendors like Canon and Nikon adopt DNG, though maybe we’ll see more progress now that DNG has been submitted to the ISO as a vendor-independent standard. In any case, the format is providing real-world benefits today:
- Converting to DNG saves disk space and eliminates the need to use separate sidecar files for raw settings. (I knocked 1.5GB off the 7GB of photos from our wedding photographer.)
- Because of these benefits, customer feedback indicates that 40% of Lightroom users are converting to DNG on import. (It’s a one-click set-and-forget option that’s also available in Adobe Bridge CS3.)
- DNG lets Adobe support new cameras in older versions of Camera Raw without having to constantly revise and test those versions. Photographers and use the free DNG Converter (Win | Mac) to process their proprietary raw images to DNG. The upshot is that we can spend our time building good new functionality instead of updating old software.
[Update: I neglected to mention that yes, Adobe will be providing a DNG-viewing codec for Windows Vista, making it possible to view DNG files right within the operating system. Expect this free download to be posted soon. –J.]