“I would like my images to be available in the future”, “My picture is my personal property. When a manufacturer decides to lock me out of free usage (by encrypting, or so), I recommend to boycott this manufacturer” and “If i'm gonna use raw i want to make sure i can read those files forever”, the last entered, I suspect, by a camera phone user. These Quaker-style outbursts at OpenRAW remind me of Catch 22's description of Appleby as a “fair-haired boy from Iowa who believed in God, Motherhood and the American Way of Life”. Now, what did Yossarian say to that, I wonder?

Stuart Nixon's OpenRAW article DNG is not the answer made me end up wondering what his question may be, and if it merits any answer, yet it provoked a fascinating debate and drew comments from Thomas Knoll, Adobe, and Peter Krogh.

It seems such a pointless dialogue - like the religious nuts at Speakers Corner shouting so loud about their deities and prophets that they deafen themselves to their own doubts. If you think the solution to the ultimate raw file question is openly-documenting raw files, DNG isn't the answer, but it doesn't prevent you finding it. I think Barry Pearson's right (he also continues the good fight at dpReview and in Adobe's forum) in seeing OpenRaw's single issue, the open documentation of raw image formats, as laudable but naively unrealistic. Apparently Nikon and Canon will open up, include discontinued cameras, be joined by new DSLR makers like Sony and Samsung, and those manufacturers who've already withdrawn from the DSLR market. Really? And then what? Will the imaging program that you decide to use, routinely or simply one day as a promising trial, fully utilize your particular camera's raw format secrets? Really?

DNG doesn't answer the ulitmate question, but it renders it unnecessary. As usual, Peter Krogh makes the most sense:

I actually think that the metadata people create once they start working with images will be of significantly more value that the relatively small amount of information hidden in the private maker notes. You will have a lot more vested in your ACR, (or Aperture, or C1 or Bibble, or Silkypix, RSP, Lightroom) settings than you will in knowing how the camera remapped dark pixels…. If this stuff [the small amount of metadata that is contained in Private Makernotes] was absolutely necessary for a great (or even good) conversion, then C1 Pro would not be able to beat manufacturer's software.