What is the Adobe Digital Negative Format (DNG) and why would I want to use it?

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I hear a lot about "DNG" but what is it, and why would I want to use it?
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Posted 7 years ago

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Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Here's a short list of benefits to using the Digital Negative (DNG) File format:

  1. The metadata, keywords and raw adjustments are stored in the file – along with a processed preview of the image. This makes the file portable and keeps your metadata safe and secure.

  2. DNG files are smaller than the original raw file, which will save you disk space and time in the long run.

  3. DNG is an openly specified file format which means the file format isn’t going away. If you use another raw processor that supports DNG, you don’t have to worry about compatibility or portability of your metadata.

  4. Adobe provides backwards compatibility for the latest cameras for FREE in Photoshop CS2, CS3 and CS4, as well as Lightroom 1 and 2, through the Adobe DNG Converter.

Julieanne Kost has created a video on Adobe TV outlining the benefits of DNG in your everyday workflow.

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