[Tig] A call for open formats

Bob Friesenhahn bfriesen at simple.dallas.tx.us
Mon Sep 12 21:19:16 BST 2011

On Mon, 12 Sep 2011, Owen Williams wrote:

> I wouldn't bet on a "standardized" raw format ever being invented.

That is what Adobe's DNG was supposed to do.

> My sense is that various RAW formats are very closely linked to the
> sensor design itself.  It's very easy for the camera to write the files
> since it's just dumping the (raw) sensor data into a file (with a little
> compression, perhaps).  Inventing an intermediate raw-esque format would
> require the camera to convert its proprietary sensor format, adding
> overhead.  Having a common format also reduces opportunity for
> innovation, like HDRx and other bells and whistles.

DNG basically provides a way to perform this raw "dump" along with the 
attributes necessary to decipher it all.

> I can imagine RED announcing a version of Red Cine that will no longer
> support RED ONE before some early build number.  You thought FCPx
> dropping support for FCP7 caused an uproar...

The most severe case is if the camera vendor goes bankrupt and its web 
sites and support channels suddenly shut down forever, destroying the 
ability to obtain and install the proprietary software necessary to 
decode existing files.

Apple OS X users have become accustomed to existing software suddenly 
not working correctly anymore after an OS upgrade and depending on 
software vendors to be able to provide a version which works on the 
new OS.  Likewise, Windows users sometimes find that their old 
software does not work well after a major system upgrade. Given these 
circumstances, it really does not take long before things unravel.

Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen at simple.dallas.tx.us, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/

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