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Import Non-raw Files Not Converted to DNG

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Premium Classic Member
May 6, 2017
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  1. macOS 13 Ventura
I've been getting this error message (see screenshot), or alert, when I import lately. But all my files are imported, and they're all DNGs. In fact, the raw file format for my camera is DNG. I can't say it's a problem, but I'd like to know why Lightroom doesn't think some of the files are raw files, when they are.


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What are you selecting at the top of the dialog? If the camera shoots DNG, you'd only need copy, not copy as DNG, as they don't need to be converted.
I did have "Copy as DNG" selected. I changed it to "Copy" for my import preset for this specific camera. Thank you.
What are you shooting? The native raw format for your camera is DNG, like Leica? If so, just import as normal and don't convert. The file is already a DNG.

BTW, don't you just hate DNG files? I do. Hate 'em with a passion.

So, remember the golden rule of raw post processing. Never convert to DNG. If you shoot Leica and your file is already a DNG, then too bad. You're stuck with DNG.

Let's start a petition to do away with the DNG file. Force Leica to move away from DNG. Make Adobe do away with the format.

Remove all DNG capability from LR and PS menus. LOL.
Yes, it's a Leica.

No, I don't hate DNGs. I'm puzzled by your reaction— I have no issues with DNG as a file format. Are you serious, or are you joking? I can't tell.
Yes, it's a Leica.

No, I don't hate DNGs. I'm puzzled by your reaction— I have no issues with DNG as a file format. Are you serious, or are you joking? I can't tell.
Nicky, I'm sort of joking but I seriously do not like DNG files because they do not have a sidecar file, which is annoying to the extreme and causes the raw file itself to be written to which rewrites and entire 50 MB file, which triggers a sync on all my backups every time I do the slightest edit in LR, vs just triggering an update of the very small sidecar file, which is the only thing that changes on a non-DNG raw file.
I love my Leica cameras but "hate" DNG as the raw format. DNGs are awkward in LR in a few ways I can think of.

I don't like them and can't imagine why anyone would actually convert to a DNG from their RAF or CR or whatever.... On the camera forums, people argue about this all the time. There is this ridiculous myth that one should convert to DNG because their proprietary format might not exist someday, which is utter nonsense on so many counts.

Now I know Clete will say, "Don't write to file and just let the changes be recorded in the cat." I know, I know.... But I don't like that and I dig my sidecars. That's not the way I roll; in LR....
I see … I wasn't aware this was an issue.

I guess you're taking what Victoria refers to as a "belt-and-braces approach" to saving and backing up files? (See attached excerpts from her book.)


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Well, I'm just a fan of sidecar files. There is no penalty in having them and it is insurance to have that capability separate from the catalogue. It also allows some other programs like bridge to read the edits and display them.
Plus, I like to import my work from my road work from the laptop as a normal import when I get home to my PC. That reads in all of the data to the cat and I avoid having to import from or merge catalogues. Doing it that way has a few drawbacks:
1. Lose collections, which I don't use or create on the road.
2. Lose edit history, which is totally useless data for me.
3. Lose Virtual copies, which is a drawback because I like to sometimes use them to create a separate B&W edit of the same file.
That info is stored in the cat so when I import normally and don't merge catalogues or import from a cat it is not in the sidecar files (only in the cat) so thus is lost. But for me there are advantages to doing it that way and I avoid the potential confusion and mess that can result from a cat import or merge. Basically, if I don't get the dialog box right it messes with my file and folder structure and does weird stuff I don't like, probably because I do it wrong.
But I love my sidecar files, and I dislike DNG files because they have no sidecar. That simple, but not really a big deal.
OK. Thanks for the explanation. My workflow is different from yours in that I do import from another catalog when I move files from my laptop to my desktop, so I don't experience the drawbacks you name.

All the reasons you listed for using XMP sidecars apply to DNG too. I don‘t use DNG either except when necessary as I feel RAW with sidecar works better for my needs but DNG is useful for many.
OK. Thanks for the explanation. My workflow is different from yours in that I do import from another catalog when I move files from my laptop to my desktop, so I don't experience the drawbacks you name.
For me they are not drawbacks. They are choices. But we all have differant needs and it is good to have a sound understanding of LR to make those choices which is why this forum is good.
For a few years I converted my CR2 files (from Canon cameras) to DNG upon import. I liked that they were 20% smaller than the CR2's yet still retained all the metadata from the camera that I ever went looking for. However, the point that GregJ mentioned about just breathig hard causing some metadata to change in the DNG and that triggered a re-copy of the full file got to the point that my cloud backups could never catch up. That is the one and only thing that caused me to stop converting my CR2's to DNG's. Other than that I have no issue with DNG's.

What I would like to see is an option (preference) in all the Adobe products where you could tell it to eithe save changed metadata inside the DNG (as it does now) or alternativly to create a seperate XMP sidecar for the changed metadata like they do with all other RAW formats. I'm not saying such a change would cause me to revert to converting my CR2 to DNG's but it sure would level the playing field.
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