Apr 24, 2005

Information about Adobe DNG

With the recent Nikon White Balance Encryption debate and the launch of the OpenRAW intiative, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the Adobe DNG Specification. For those interested, PSN has assembled some resources to help readers find out more about DNG.

Digital Negative (DNG) Home Page


The DNG Specification (300KB PDF)

Read “Introducing the Digital Negative specification” (78K PDF)

“Introducing the Digital Negative specification: Information for Manufacturers.” (129K PDF)

Digital Negative (DNG) Specification Patent License
(grant of rights highlight)
Grant of Rights
Subject to the terms below and solely to permit the reading and writing of image files that comply with the DNG Specification, Adobe hereby grants all individuals and organizations the worldwide, royalty-free, non-transferable, non-exclusive right under all Essential Claims to make, have made, use, sell, import and distribute Compliant Implementations.”

DNG Reviews and Awards

Understanding Digital Raw Capture By Bruce Fraser (1000K PDF)

Raw Capture, Linear Gamma, and Exposure
By Bruce Fraser

Adobe Digital Photography White Papers and Primers

Digital Media Designer
interview with Adobe’s Kevin Connor on the DNG Specification
(dated, September, 2004)

Adobe DNG in Japanese (via

Adobe DNG in German (via

Adobe DNG in French (via

Source: (February 2005)
Here is a list of the software that already support the non-proprietary DNG format:
Raw converters:
Adobe Photoshop CS (Win, Mac) with ACR 2.3 and 2.4
Adobe Photoshop Elements3 (Win, Mac)
Pixmantec Rawshooter 2005 (Win) -freeware-
Raw PhotoDesk : (Win) Improved support in V1.12
Programs that output to the DNG format:
Adobe DNG converter (mac, Win)
DxO Optics Pro v2.2 (Mac, Win)
Imacon Flexcolor v4.0b10 (beta version) (Mac, Win)
Image Viewers / Digital Assets Management tools:
BreezeBrowser 2.11 (Win)
BreezeBrowser Pro (Win)
CameraBits Photo Mechanic 4.3.3 (Mac, Win)
Cerious Thumbs Plus7, with the Digicam Raw Plug-in v 1.5 (Win)
dpMagic Plus since version 1.1.010
Extensis Portfolio7 (Win, Mac)
iView MediaPro 2.6.2 (Mac, Win) DNG 2.4 images in 2.6.3
Photools Imatch (Win)
Polybytes PolyView : since version 4.20 (Win)
Proshooters DigitalPro 3 : initial support in 3.1
Rawview (all OS: Java technology)
DNG support announced:
Iridient Digital Raw Developer (Mac): in the next dot release
Phase One Capture one (Mac, Win) in 2005
Qpict Media Asset Management: (Mac) in the next major release

Hasselblad and Leica adopt DNG
Press Release

Michael Reichmann essay Adobe DNG – Are Raw Files Forever?

4 Responses to “Information about Adobe DNG”

  1. oz Says:

    i distinctly recall seeing an open-source DNG library release, which
    is now gone missing, and not listed in this resource list. while DNG spec is not a massive effort to implement, i would have preferred
    that the spec is accompanied by an open-source reference implementation, as is
    often done.

  2. PSN Editorial Staff Says:

    Actually, no. Adobe is in the process of developing an SDK, but there is not one available at this time. You may have been thinking of Dave Coffin’s Dcraw.c?

  3. MItch Says:

    While I appreciate and value the benefit of a standard like DNG, the last thing anyone should call the format is “non-proprietary.” I have no idea about the legal definition of the word but don’t forget Adobe clearly expresses and interest in exclusively owning the file format. Adobe gets to decide who is “compliant” with the format. Adobe could find something extremely small wrong with someone’s implementation and sue them under that pretense – now or in the future. If someone outside Adobe has a good idea to improve the format, will Adobe will allow it if that someone is a competitor and the new product would harm Adobe’s profits?

    Nothing in the license says the spec will be free or public forever. Will the 1.1 version of the spec require developers (or users!) to pay a royalty? Will the license change so that all software using the spec after 2006 require a “Made with Adobe” splash screen? Or a requirement for the user to register with Adobe? Even with the best of current intentions, what happens when Adobe is bought out, or sells the format spec, or goes out of business?

    Under the current license, if I wanted to write a book on programming for the DNG format I’d be at Adobe’s mercy because the license doesn’t explicitly allow others to redistribute the specification.

    At a minimum, Adobe should add something to the license that clearly states this and all future versions of the spec (usage and the spec itself) are in the public domain now and in perpetuity. But the real answer is to form an industry group to oversee the format, and transfer all rights to them under similar conditions (public domain in perpetuity).

    Don’t get me wrong – the DNG format is a Good Thing and I do hope all camera makers support it. But it’s far from the idealized panacea everyone is talking about.

  4. Barry Pearson Says:

    Here is a more up to date list of products that support DNG in some form or other, at DNG’s first birthday.

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