Raw for­mats run­ning out of time?

Amateur Photographer - - Tech Talk - Q&A com­piled by Ian Bur­ley

QMy col­lec­tion of dig­i­tal cam­eras is as ir­ra­tionally ran­dom as my film col­lec­tion was. I shoot most on a cou­ple of Pen­tax bod­ies, which of­fer me the abil­ity to save raw files as .DNG. I have an Olym­pus E- 620 (which I am fond of) with some good lenses but my only foray into mir­ror­less was with Sam­sung, which pulled the plug just when the sys­tem was ma­tur­ing. I do ev­ery­thing in Cam­era Raw and Pho­to­shop but I con­vert the Sam­sung files into . DNG for fear that one morn­ing I might wake up and find that Cam­era Raw has ditched the .SRW for­mat. Should I be do­ing the same thing with the .ORF files since the sys­tem is also ‘dead’? Or is the old E-sys­tem .ORF the same as, or com­pat­i­ble with, the mod­ern Olym­pus mir­ror­less sys­tem files? While the Adobe . DNG con­verter works fine, it is a rather te­dious process if you have a lot of files. Hor­ton Rogers

AThere is no in­di­ca­tion that Adobe will aban­don sup­port for any older pro­pri­etary Cam­era Raw for­mats. Even if this hap­pened, you would be able to con­vert to .DNG us­ing the same .DNG con­ver­sion tools you cur­rently use. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, im­prove­ments in raw pro­cess­ing al­go­rithms over the years mean very old raw files now pro­duce bet­ter than ever im­age qual­ity, rather like vin­tage wines im­prov­ing with age.

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