Adobe CinemaDNG Offers Digital Open Format Standard

Adobe plans to work with leading camera manufacturers in an effort to develop the new CinemaDNG format.

Adobe Systems Inc. announced on Monday plans to lead a new industry open file format for digital cinema files. The plan is to streamline workflows and gradually help ensure easy archiving and exchange.

The Flash company intends to leverage its successful Digital Negative Specification, dubbed CinemaDNG, file format as a foundation. The company plans to work with a broad coalition of leading camera manufacturers, including Panavision, Silicon Imaging, Dalsa, Weisscam, ARRI, and software vendors.

CinemaDNG will define the requirements for an open, publicly documented file format, that it plans to develop with companies throughout the industry.

“With the CinemaDNG initiative, Adobe is extending its leadership in developing open, interchangeable formats for digital still cameras into the realm of digital cinematography,” said Jim Guerard, vice president of Dynamic Media at Adobe. “Filmmakers will be able to adopt digital cinema cameras with confidence, and camera manufacturers will be able to provide specialized functionality while ensuring instant file format compatibility with existing workflows.”

Filmmakers prefer the digital cinema camera concept which offers lower costs and significantly faster turnaround times. In addition, filmmakers could avoid roadblocks caused by incompatibilities in workflows that involve multiple devices, vendors, and file formats.

They could adopt digital cinema cameras while minimizing the risk that proprietary or camera-specific file formats would be unsupported in the future because CinemaDNG would provide a durable, standard format that will be open for many years to come.

The new robust archival standard will also be available to filmmakers for the new generation of raw-capable digital cinema cameras. CinemaDNG would also provide the foundation for an editing workflow that would allow filmmakers to use the highest quality source material.

CinemaDNG is intended to eliminate a key obstacle for camera manufacturers and software developers by adopting new products that will offer instant compatibility. Manufacturers may be able to reduce development costs by dropping proprietary formats and conversion utilities.

Adobe says that a new industry-wide standard for raw data can only help in future-oriented processes that will benefit users of raw data.