While I haven’t fully figured out the answer to my previous photography related question (on the archiving, not simply backing up, of photos) I am getting closer.
I have a question about the archiving of RAW files.
One of the commenters, Damon Lynch, provided some insight to a collection of best practices (“DPBestFlow”) developed by the Library of Congress (an organization that I trust when it comes to the process of archiving materials). [He also linked to a Free Software tool he wrote to quickly download and backup photos from your digital camera, Rapid Photo Downloader.]
The DPBestFlow site introduces me to a file format that I was previously unaware of, DNG, or Digital Negative. The DNG format, created by Adobe, is a ‘universal’ RAW format with an open (ie: not patent encumbered) specification. This is in stark contrast to the slew of proprietary formats that are camera maker specific (closed formats that might include encrypted portions) such as NEF (Nikon’s) or CRW/CR2 (Canon’s).
Now, I am a huge proponent of open formats and standards (obviously?) but my question really is:
- Is it worth it?
- Should I convert all of my Nikon RAW files to DNG?
- If I do, should I save the original NEF files “just in case?”
Also, why am I not simply reading the many discussions already had on this topic? Because I want to get the uniquely free software view on the issue.