Digital Negative (DNG) is a publicly available archival format for raw files which are generated by various digital cameras. This addresses the lack of an open standard for raw files created by individual camera models and ensures that photographers easily access their files.
Digital Negative (DNG)
The public archival format for digital camera raw data
Raw file formats are popular in digital photography workflows because they offer greater creative control. However, cameras can use many different raw formats, the specifications for which are not publicly available. This means that not every raw file can be read by a variety of software applications. As a result, the use of these proprietary raw files as a long-term archival solution carries risk and sharing these files across complex workflows is challenging.
Hundreds of software manufacturers such as Apple and Google have developed support for DNG. Respected camera manufacturers such as Leica, Casio, Ricoh, Samsung, and Pentax have introduced cameras that provide direct DNG support. See Camera Raw.
In addition to the Digital Negative Specification, Adobe provides the free Adobe DNG Converter - Windows | macOS, which easily translates raw files from many of today's popular cameras. Software developers and manufacturers can download the complete DNG Specification - PDF. DNG is supported by the following software: Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Lightroom Classic.
- DNG format helps promote archival confidence, since digital imaging software solutions will be able to open raw files more easily in the future.
- A single raw processing solution enables a more efficient workflow when handling raw files from multiple camera models and manufacturers.
- A publicly documented and readily available specification can be easily adopted by camera manufacturers and updated to accommodate technology changes.
For hardware and software manufacturers:
- DNG removes a potential barrier to new camera adoption, since raw files from new models will be immediately supported by Photoshop and other applications.
- The DNG format allows R&D savings by reducing the need to develop new formats and by simplifying camera testing.
- A common format allows greater control over the quality of conversions by third-party applications.
- The specification allows the addition of private metadata to DNG files, enabling differentiation.
Profiles SDK (April 2018)
The Profiles SDK provides resources for creating enhanced profiles introduced in Lightroom Classic CC 7.3, Lightroom CC 1.3, and Camera Raw 10.3.
Download - ZIP, 68 MB
DNG 22.214.171.124 Specification (June 2023)
Download the specification, which describes a nonproprietary file format for storing camera raw files that can be used by a wide range of hardware and software vendors.
Read more - PDF
The DNG SDK provides support for reading and writing DNG files as well as for converting DNG data to a format that is easily displayed or processed by imaging applications. This SDK can serve as a starting point for the addition of DNG support to existing applications that use and manipulate images or as an aid to the inclusion of DNG support within cameras.
DNG Profile Editor (September 2012)
DNG command-line interface specification
Valid for Adobe DNG Converter 5.4 and later.
Read more - PDF, 71k
Adobe Lens Profile Creator
Adobe® Lens Profile Creator is a free utility that enables the easy creation of lens profiles for use in the Photoshop family of products, such as Photoshop, the Camera Raw plug-in, and Lightroom. A lens profile describes the types of optical aberrations that exist in a particular lens and prescribes how to correct the lens distortions in an image captured from the same lens.
For more information:
Adobe Lens Profile Downloader
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Lightroom is the cloud-based service that gives you everything you need to create, edit, organize, store, and share your photos across any device.
Lightroom Classic gives you all the desktop editing tools you need to bring out the best in your photos. Punch up colors, make dull-looking shots vibrant, remove distracting objects, and straighten skewed shots. Easily organize all your photos on your desktop, and share them in a variety of ways.
Edit, manage, and showcase your images in Lightroom and roundtrip back to Photoshop for pixel-level editing and compositing. Together, Lightroom and Photoshop offer the most complete digital photography solution.
DNG Specification patent license
Digital Negative (DNG) Specification patent license
Adobe is the publisher of the Digital Negative (DNG) Specification describing an image file format for storing camera raw information used in a wide range of hardware and software. Adobe provides the DNG Specification to the public for the purpose of encouraging implementation of this file format in a compliant manner. This document is a patent license granted by Adobe to individuals and organizations that desire to develop, market, and/or distribute hardware and software that reads and/or writes image files compliant with the DNG Specification.
Grant of rights
Subject to the terms below and solely to permit the reading and writing of image files that comply with the DNG Specification, Adobe hereby grants all individuals and organizations the worldwide, royalty-free, nontransferable, nonexclusive right under all Essential Claims to make, have made, use, sell, import, and distribute Compliant Implementations.
“Compliant Implementation” means a portion of a software or hardware product that reads or writes computer files compliant with the DNG Specification.
“DNG Specification” means any version of the Adobe DNG Specification made publicly available by Adobe (for example, version 126.96.36.199 dated September 2004).
“Essential Claim” means a claim of a patent, whenever and wherever issued, that Adobe has the right to license without payment of royalty or other fee that is unavoidably infringed by implementation of the DNG Specification. A claim is unavoidably infringed by the DNG Specification only when it is not possible to avoid infringing when conforming with such specification because there is no technically possible noninfringing alternative for achieving such conformity. Essential Claim does not include a claim that is infringed by implementation of (a) enabling technology that may be necessary to make or use any product or portion thereof that complies with the DNG Specification but is not itself expressly set forth in the DNG Specification (for example, compiler technology and basic operating system technology), (b) technology developed elsewhere and merely incorporated by reference in the DNG Specification, or (c) the implementation of file formats other than DNG.
Adobe may revoke the rights granted above to any individual or organizational licensee in the event that such licensee or its affiliates brings any patent action against Adobe or its affiliates related to the reading or writing of files that comply with the DNG Specification.
Any Compliant Implementation distributed under this license must include the following notice displayed in a prominent manner within its source code and documentation: "This product includes DNG technology under license by Adobe.”
The rights granted herein are provided on an as-is basis without warranty of any kind, including warranty of title or noninfringement. Nothing in this license shall be construed as (a) requiring the maintenance of any patent, (b) a warranty or representation as to the validity or scope of any patent, (c) a warranty or representation that any product or service will be free from infringement of any patent, (d) an agreement to bring or prosecute actions against any infringers of any patent, or (e) conferring any right or license under any patent claim other than Essential Claims.
Reservation of rights
All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.