Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

by Rob Lim

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG? Yes, yes and a BIG yes and here is why.

The world of digital photography changes FAST.

It’s a fun and exciting time, with new gadgets coming out all the time.

But as a digital shooter you need to think ahead to the future, and figure out how you can protect your images from the changing times!

If you’re not planning right, you might end up with an archive of images that you can’t even open.

Uh oh. Read on to learn more about this subject, and how you can prevent that from happening to you! 

Now, if you shoot in the RAW file format you may or may not have heard of the Digital Negative (DNG) format. The DNG is an open source RAW file format that was developed by Adobe and released in 2004.

You might want to consider converting your RAW files to the DNG format as it offers some serious benefits!

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

This is where you tell Bridge to convert your RAW file into a .DNG. It will also embed all the information into the .DNG so there is no need for a side car to follow tour RAW file around.

The Benefits Of DNG



One of the problems in photography right now is that the vast majority of camera manufacturers have their own proprietary RAW formats.

If you shoot Canon you might have noticed your RAW files end with .cr2, or with Nikon it’s .nef.

These proprietary formats might be difficult to read in the distant future since the format hasn’t been openly documented and support from the manufacturer may not always be there.

It’s hard to imagine not being able to open Canon or Nikon files today, but ten or twenty years from now who knows where those companies could be!

Since the DNG format (.dng) is open source anyone can write software to read or write the format.

It’s not limited to Adobe software like Lightroom and Photoshop.

Many different software developers support the DNG format (Apple Aperture for example).

There are also no license restrictions so camera manufacturers could use DNG as their default RAW format instead of their proprietary format.

Some camera manufacturers like Leica and Hasselblad already capture in the DNG format.

If (when) other camera manufacturers adopt a universal format in the future it’s highly likely it will be the DNG.

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Lightroom will also convert your RAW file into a .DNG when you process your image so if you do not do the conversion when you down load images from your camera you can do it here instead.


DNG files are around 15-20% smaller in file size than proprietary RAWfiles without any loss of quality!

You also have the option to include the original proprietary RAW file in the DNG which effectively doubles the file size – though it’s not really necessary.

If you would like to read the rest of this article go here: Convert RAW to .DNG


Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

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