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Raw VS Tiff processing capabilities

Participant ,
Feb 17, 2024 Feb 17, 2024

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Hello,

 

I have to convert all my RAW files to DNG for camera raw compatablility. After that, I want to save all my DNG files to TIFF after processing them in camera raw. When doing so, can I go back in camera raw and edit the TIFF files just as much as I could if they were still DNG files? I understand I will have already assigned a color space to my TIFF files. In the end, I will delete all my RAW/DNG files and have just my uncompressed TIFF files.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Feb 19, 2024 Feb 19, 2024
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The only thing I noticed in Camera Raw 9.1 is you have more white balance presets with DNG files. However, you can still customize the white balance just as much with TIFF files.

By @leosantare

 

That has never been true. Any time a raw/DNG image is rendered to a multichannel image such as RGB TIFF, the color choices are irreversibly restricted. You noticed the presets, but there’s more, as shown in the graphic below.

 

Raw profiles can no longer be used. Edits are now confined to the image da

...

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Community Expert ,
Feb 17, 2024 Feb 17, 2024

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There is an option in MENU: Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw > File Handling > JPEG and TIFF Handling,  that will 'Open' your TIF files through Adobe Camera Raw, but results may never be the same as opening the DNG raw through ACR as TIFs are already rendered RGB files.

2024-02-18 11_02_47-Camera Raw Preferences  (Version 16.1.1.1733).jpg

TBMK this would have no benefit over and above using the Camera Raw FILTER. [Shift + Ctrl +A] within Photoshop. MENU: Filter > Camera Raw Filter...

2024-02-18 11_07_31-© 19970804-M-RHC-008.tif @ 16.7% (Gray_16_).jpg

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.4, Photoshop 25.9.1, ACR 16.4, Lightroom 7.4, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.1.1, Windows-11.

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Participant ,
Feb 17, 2024 Feb 17, 2024

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Let me try to ask this in a different way. Is there any disadvantage to tiff when compared to dng/raw, other than the large file size? Again, I'm looking to save my dng files to tiff in camera raw and then delete my dng files. I can alway go back and process the tiff files later if I want, correct? I can even change the color space later if I want, correct?

 

Thank you,

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Community Expert ,
Feb 18, 2024 Feb 18, 2024

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Virtually nobody would suggest you throw out the DNG raw files! I do not recommend that workflow. It is like discarding film negatives and only keeping the paper prints.

You can always go back and process the DNG files later, and export or save any type of derivative file at any time.

A raw DNG file will always give you more creative processing flexibility by using Camera Raw (for raw) as compared to the CR Filter (for RGB rendered files).  Example: New features like DeNoise are not useable in TIF. Raw files allow better Color Balance options, etc.

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.4, Photoshop 25.9.1, ACR 16.4, Lightroom 7.4, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.1.1, Windows-11.

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Participant ,
Feb 19, 2024 Feb 19, 2024

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Can you please explain how DNG files will give me more processing capibility in Camera Raw or Photoshop than TIFF files? You mentioned new features like DeNoise and that DNG files allow for better color balance options. I use Photoshop CS6 and Camera Raw 9.1. I don't use Lightroom and never will. I will also never use a newer version of Photoshop and Camera Raw. I am not a Photographer, I just take pictures every once in a while. Hence why I would never pay a subscription for the software.

 

The only thing I noticed in Camera Raw 9.1 is you have more white balance presets with DNG files. However, you can still customize the white balance just as much with TIFF files. Other than that, I don't see any more processing options with DNG files compared to TIFF files. As I mentioned, I'm rendering the DNG files to TIFF with a 16-bit Adobe RGB color space. I understand I can always re-render the TIFF to sRGB if needed. With all that being said, and with Photoshop CS6 and Camera Raw 9.1 specifically, are there any disadvantages of keeping TIFF instead of DNG, other than file size?

 

The bottom line is I will not keep two copies of the same image. Thank you,

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Community Expert ,
Feb 19, 2024 Feb 19, 2024

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Your workflow is your decision. You do not have to change that, but you did ask the question that, in effect, is asking about the difference between 'Parametric' (Metadata) editing of a raw file, and 'Pixel' (RGB) editing of a rendered TIF file.

 

Perhaps this article might give some insights into your questions-

http://digitaldog.net/files/ThePowerofDNG.pdf

 

For explanation purposes- ACR and Lightroom-Classic are the same - they both are designed to render raw sensor data, so   ACR > Photoshop, and LrC > Photoshop, are the same. Your choice of app is up to you.

But a [TIF with a CR FIlter] applied is not the same as rendering a [RAW file in ACR]. (See the forum links below).

 

"you can still customize the white balance just as much with TIFF files."

There is a difference. With a raw file White Balance is not defined in the camera- it is the raw interpreter (ACR) that will determine the WB that you set. In a rendered TIF file the WB has been 'baked into' the RGB pixels and any WB adjustments are now altering pixel data.

 

The  advantage of a raw file for me is-  The ability to use the greater dynamic range in a raw to recover shadows and highlights. Once you convert to TIF you have lost much of that ability.

Also DNG raw files will be smaller than a TIF (16bit) derivative for storage purposes.

 

And similar topic has often been mentioned in forum threads-

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-ecosystem-discussions/adjusting-exposure-in-acr-ps/m-p/1304...

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-ecosystem-discussions/acr-to-ps-question/m-p/9978373

 

Enjoy your photography!

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.4, Photoshop 25.9.1, ACR 16.4, Lightroom 7.4, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.1.1, Windows-11.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 19, 2024 Feb 19, 2024

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quote

The only thing I noticed in Camera Raw 9.1 is you have more white balance presets with DNG files. However, you can still customize the white balance just as much with TIFF files.

By @leosantare

 

That has never been true. Any time a raw/DNG image is rendered to a multichannel image such as RGB TIFF, the color choices are irreversibly restricted. You noticed the presets, but there’s more, as shown in the graphic below.

 

Raw profiles can no longer be used. Edits are now confined to the image data remaining after conversion to non-raw.

 

The range of white balance values is converted from (raw) absolute Kelvin to (non-raw) a relative -100 to +100 scale with the value at conversion as the new zero point, and this range is smaller than it was in raw/DNG. So if you convert to TIFF at a white balance too far from what you eventually decide you need, you may not be able to get to the white balance you really want.

 

Camera-Raw-leosantare-DNG-vs-TIFF-white-balance.jpg

 

Also, the visual image quality after a large white balance shift in non-raw (such as TIFF) is lower than in raw/DNG. Colors and tones will posterize much sooner in non-raw formats, so you can’t push them as far as you can in raw.

 

These differences might not matter to you if most of your edits are minor, because a 16 bits/channel image is very high quality (although it uses much more storage than its raw original). But it means if an image needs more drastic edits to rescue it, raw does give you more room to maneuver.

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Participant ,
Feb 25, 2024 Feb 25, 2024

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Thanks everyone for the helpful information. I will process my DNG files in camera raw before saving to TIFF. Then, I can delete my DNG files.

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