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Author Topic: DNG incompatibility? Panasonic LX3 camera  (Read 3185 times)
raka
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« on: July 10, 2010, 11:24:02 AM »

to future proof my images, i'm thinking of converting to DNG & doing some tests.

Problem:
OS-X 10.5.8 (Finder, Apple Preview app) can't read DNG files, or even the embedded previews, taken by my Panasonic LX3, and just show a generic icon. Only LX3 files have this problem. DNG images taken by my Nikons works fine.

i tried 'backwards compatibility' option in ADC 6.1, going back all the way to DNG 1.1 (trying both linear & mosaic) with no luck. also tried ACR 2.4 compatibility setting with no luck.

EM2 is able to show the embedded previews at least.

added irony:
OS-X CAN show and open the actual RAW LX3 .RW2 files, but EM2 doen't recognize them at all. arrgh!

i'm i doing something wrong? or is my understanding of DNG flawed - i assumed (provided i save DNG with a certain compatibility level) ALL DNGs will be recognizable consistently by a given app or OS - instead it seems to be dependent on the camera originally used (exactly what DNG was supposed to solve?)

thks,
pieter

ps: this is separate from the issue where prior to ACR 5.4 the LX3 DNG files were tripled in size. this camera is the source of many RAW headaches  :-(
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 08:21:49 PM »

Pieter,
The problem here stems from some new tricks that Panasonic is doing here.  The raw file has a lot of barrel distortion, and it is corrected in-camera (so that the version on the camera's LCD looks right) and in software (ACR, or the MAc OS) using, at first, libraries supplied by Panasonic.  The Apple OS must not have been updated to understand the backwards compatibility settings. WHen it reads that the file came from an LX3, it is expecting a file that needs to be de-warped. But it is not seeing that, and therefore fails to parse. I would expect this to change as Apple updates its core image software.

Does that help you understand what is going on?

Peter

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raka
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 11:17:14 PM »

i do understand that the LX3 uses software tricks as an integral part of its lens design.

my confusion? disappointment? came from the fact that even saving these files in several years old backwards compatible forms (DNG 1.1 and ACR 2.4) renders them incompatible to software otherwise able to read these formats.

i guess 'backwards compatible' is meaningless in the DNG world? (i would be ok if  ACR instead displayed a message saying the files are impossible to save in these older formats)

- pieter
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 10:40:49 AM »

Pieter,
I would bet that the files are backwards compatible, but that the code in Apple's Core Image does not realize that.
Apple is definitely looking at the camera model when it renders a DNG, and I suspect that it is simply rejecting this one.

Backwards compatible is not meaningless, but maybe it does not mean what you think it means. It means that the file can be opened with a DNG 1.x-compliant piece of software,  It does *not* mean that every company that has built 1.x-compliant software has built their software to support that. for instance, Apple simply ignores the embedded previews. While I would not design the software to do that, there are valid reasons to want to make it that way.

Many think it's too confusing to let the viewer see a rendering that their software can't match.  (This is why Adobe was so reluctant to let you make a any real use of embedded previews in Raw files for so ling, for instance).

What DNG does do is to lay out a set of tools that can be used to create behaviors. Without that, we're in even much worse shape.

I'd expect Apple to get this figured out eventually.  Doesn't help you now, but that's the price you pay for a cutting edge camera. And that's what the LX3 is - it offered a new kind of raw - a consumer camera that saves such distorted images in raw. Once again, there are great reasons to do this, but it comes at a price.

Peter
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george
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 08:36:38 AM »

Thanks for the clear explanation Peter.  Similar remarks apply to the raw files in the Canon S90, for example.

--George
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raka
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 04:42:24 PM »

Quick Update now that the LX3 has now been out for almost 3 years:

My LX3 DNG files are still unsupported and unreadable by my OS X system (Finder, Preview App, iPhoto, etc.). I even tried the latest 6.5 DNG Converter, so i don't think support is ever coming at this point.

The original LX3 RAW files (.RW2) are fully supported and readable by Apple Finder, Preview app, iPhoto, etc.

The irony is that i converted all my RW2 files to DNG for future proofing and broader compatibility. It appears that (at least for some cameras) these DNG advantages may not apply, since only my Adobe products can read these DNG files.

- pieter
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