Oct 042011

This is one of a set of 4 articles about DNG:
DNG part 1 – Seven years of writing about Digital Negative Format
DNG part 2 – (this article)
DNG part 3 – The tragedy of OpenRAW
DNG part 4 – DNG is the ONLY archival raw file format

This provides a mixture of the dates of significant events (such as “the first X”) and various counts of usage at the anniversaries of the launch (each 27 September).

Counts of products and companies that use DNG in some way are provided primarily for illustration. They are approximate, and include products that are no longer sold. The purpose is mainly to demonstrate that such products and companies exist, and to show trends. Convertible raw image formats (camera models whose raw images can be converted to DNG) only include official support by Adobe DNG converters; not unofficial support by Adobe products (sometimes reaching about 30), nor support by other DNG converters; (Adobe is not the only company supplying a DNG converter).

(The table merges a similar table that I created in Wikipedia with A brief history of DNG. There are some small variations, for example because of uncertainty of launch dates, etc).

Key events and annual summaries

  • 2003, late: Adobe started work on the DNG specification.
  • 2004, early: Adobe started talking to other companies about DNG.
  • Launch, 2004, 27 September: Adobe launched DNG. Specification version published.  Convertible raw image formats: 60+
  • 2005, February: Specification version published.
  • 2005, June: First digital back to write DNG, the Leica DMR (Digital Modul R) back for the R8 and R9.
  • 2005, July: First camera manufacturer to provide a DNG converter for its own raw file formats – Hasselblad‘s FlexColor.
  • 2005, July: First genuine digital SLR camera to write DNG, Hasselblad H2D.
  • 1st anniversary, 2005, 27 September: Camera manufacturers: 4. Camera models: 7. Software products: 70+. Convertible raw image formats: 78.
  • 2005, October: First compact camera to write DNG, Ricoh GR Digital.
  • 2006, July: First monochrome digital back to write DNG, MegaVision E Series MonoChrome.
  • 2006, September: First rangefinder camera to write DNG, Leica M8.
  • 2006, September: First camera to offer the user a choice of proprietary raw or DNG, Pentax K10D.
  • 2nd anniversary, 2006, 27 September: Camera manufacturers: 8. Camera models: 10. Software products: 140+. Convertible raw image formats: 118.
  • 2007, May: First raw converter & photo-editor whose first raw-handling release only supported DNG, Pixelmator.
  • 2007, July: First underwater camera to write DNG, Sea&Sea DX-1G. (Based on Ricoh Caplio GX100).
  • 3rd anniversary, 2007, 27 September: Camera manufacturers: 10. Camera models: 13. Software products: 170+. Convertible raw image formats: 163.
  • 2007, October: First digital scan back system and first 360-degree panorama system to write DNG, Seitz 6×17 Digital and Seitz Roundshot D3 with D3 digital scan back.
  • 2008, February: First software on a mobile phone to write DNG, Tea Vui Huang’s “DNG Phone Camera” for Nokia.
  • 2008, April: Adobe announces CinemaDNG initiative, using DNG as the basis for the individual raw images of a movie.
  • 2008, May: Specification version published.
  • 2008, September: First movie camera to use DNG as a raw image format, Ikonoskop A-cam dII.
  • 4th anniversary, 2008, 27 September: Camera manufacturers: 13. Camera models: 29. Software products: 240+. Convertible raw image formats: 185.
  • 2008, September: First DNG converter running on Linux (among several other things), digiKam.
  • 2009, spring/summer: First digiscope with built-in camera to write DNG, Zeiss Photoscope 85 T* FL.
  • 2009, June: Specification version published.
  • 5th anniversary, 2009, 27 September: Camera manufacturers: 15. Camera models: 38. Software products: 270+. Convertible raw image formats: 235.
  • 2009, November: First “interchangeable unit” camera to write DNG, Ricoh GXR.
  • 2010, February: First 3D movie camera to write DNG, Ikonoskop A-cam3D.
  • 2010, March: First medium format camera to offer the user a choice of proprietary raw or DNG, Pentax 645D.
  • 6th anniversary, 2010, 27 September: Camera manufacturers: 15. Camera models: 44. Software products: 290+. Convertible raw image formats: 290.

Overview of DNG use in cameras

During the first 5 years when about 38 camera models were launched that wrote DNG, Adobe software added support for about 21 Canon models, about 20 Nikon models, and about 22 Olympus models. Camera models that write DNG are almost certainly launched at a higher rate than camera models that support any other individual raw image format, including NEF, CR2, and ORF.

DNG is the raw file format of choice for niche, and some minority, camera and digital back manufacturers. It supports a greater variety of types of camera than any other raw file format.

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