.DNG File Extension

File Type 1

Digital Negative Image

Developer Adobe Systems
3.8  |  72 Votes
Category Camera Raw Files
Format Binary

What is a DNG file?

A DNG file is a RAW camera image saved in the Digital Negative (DNG) format. It stores uncompressed image data captured by various camera models, such as Hasselblad, Pentax, and Leica. Professional photographers commonly use DNG files because they maintain high image quality.

More Information
Screenshot of a .dng file in Microsoft Photos
DNG file open in Microsoft Photos

Adobe Systems developed the DNG format to be a universal RAW camera format that would enable digital photographers to store, share, and edit RAW images more easily. The company released the format in September 2004 and made it publicly available to allow for wider adoption among camera manufacturers and image software.

Since its release, the DNG format has become one of the more common RAW camera image formats. Some other common formats are Canon Raw Images (.CR2 files), Sony Digital Camera Images (.ARW files), Kodak RAW Images (.DCR files), Nikon RAW Images (.NRW files), and Nikon Electronic Format Images (.NEF files).

NOTE: Read more about Adobe's DNG Specification.

How to open a DNG file

You can open DNG camera RAW images with various image-editing and -viewing applications. Microsoft Photos (Windows), Apple Photos (macOS and iOS), and Apple Preview (macOS) all support DNG images and are bundled with their respective operating systems.

You can also open DNG images with Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS), Adobe Lightroom (Windows and macOS), ACD Systems ACDSee (Windows), and CyberLink PhotoDirector (Windows and macOS).

How do I convert DNG images?

You can convert DNG images to other raster image formats, such as JPEG, PNG, TIF, and GIF with Apple Preview, Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Canvas X, and CyberLink PhotoDirector.

Open and view .DNG files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open DNG files

Updated November 12, 2021
File Type 2

Apple ProRAW Image

Developer Apple
3.7  |  3 Votes
Category Camera Raw Files
Format Binary

What is a DNG file?

A DNG file is an image saved in the Apple ProRAW format, which is an extension of the Adobe Digital Negative (DNG) image format that also supports iPhone image processing data. It is captured by an iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max (or later model) with iOS 14.3 (or later) installed and supports 12-bit color and 14 stops of dynamic range (HDR).

More Information
Screenshot of a .dng file in Apple Photos 6
DNG file open in Apple Photos 6

In December 2020, Apple introduced the ProRAW format when it released iOS 14.3. The format allows iOS users to capture images in a higher quality than the HEIF (.HEIC) and .JPEG image formats and gives them more control of the appearance of their photos when editing them, such as the color, sharpness, white balance, and exposure of the pictures.

How do I enable ProRAW on my iPhone?

iPhones that support ProRAW DNG do not capture images in the format by default. To turn on ProRAW on your iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max (or later), tap Settings → Camera → Formats, then slide Apple ProRAW to the "on" position. Then, when taking a photo with the iPhone Camera app, tap the "RAW" option to activate ProRAW.

One significant drawback of DNG files is that they are much larger than JPG and HEIC files, so they take up more space on an iPhone. To conserve space on your iPhone, deselect the "RAW" option in the iPhone Camera app. Your iPhone will then revert to capturing photos in the JPEG or HEIC format (depending on the format you chose in the Camera Capture settings).

How do I share ProRAW DNG files?

The ProRAW format is not optimal for sharing with other users due to its large size and lack of widespread full support among image viewing applications. If you are looking to share photos, capture them as JPG or HEIC files instead of DNG files. Or, you can save ProRAW DNG files as JPG files with the iOS and macOS Photos app, then share them.

While the ProRAW format is not ideal for sharing images, it is optimal for saving photographs that can be edited more accurately. If you would like to share ProRAW DNG files in their original raw format, it is best to share them via email, iCloud Photos, an AirDrop transfer, or a cloud storage service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

How to open a DNG file

You can open and edit Apple ProRAW DNG files with Apple Photos on an iPhone (iOS 14.3 or later) and a Mac (macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later). If you edit the files with Photos, you can share the edited images as .JPG files.

You can also open Apple ProRAW DNG files with applications that support the Digital Negative (.DNG) format, including Microsoft Photos (Windows), Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS), ACD Systems ACDSee (Windows), and CyberLink PhotoDirector (Windows and macOS). However, these third-party applications may not fully support the Apple ProRAW DNG format and might display it differently than an application, like Photos, that fully supports the format.

Programs that open DNG files

Included with OS
Included with OS
Free Trial
Included with OS
Included with OS
Chrome OS
Updated October 6, 2021
File Type 3

Virtual Dongle Image

Developer N/A
2.3  |  11 Votes
Category Data Files
Format N/A

What is a DNG file?

Virtual Dongle image created by programs, such as EdgePro and Sentinel Dongle Dumper, then used by dongle emulators; contains a virtual copy of a dongle, which includes license information and acts as a key that allows software to be run.

More Information

A dongle is a physical device used to activate expensive software. The device helps protect the software from being stolen by hackers. DNG files are designed for users to backup or recover keys stored in the physical dongles that are lost or broken.

Programs that open DNG files

Soft-Key Solutions DongleBackup2012  —  Discontinued
Updated January 6, 2015

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