How to Convert NEF to DNG for Further Editing and Best Alternative

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Peter Wood

What should I do if I cannot open the NEF files on my Photoshop? How to convert NEF to DNG for further editing? NEF is the RAW format of the Nikon digital camera and cannot edit with Photoshop or other photo editing software. Learn more about the benefits of changing NEF to DNG and the best methods to convert the NEF files from the article.

How to Convert NEF to DNG

Part 1: Why You Should Convert NEF to DNG?

NEF is the file extension for RAW photo files produced by Nikon cameras. Like other RAW image files, NEF can retain everything captured by your camera processor, including metadata.

DNG, standing for Digital Negative file, is an open-source RAW file format created by Adobe. Essentially, it is a standard RAW file format available to a wide range of camera manufacturers and image editors.

Here are several reasons that you should convert NEF to DNG:

1. Compatibility. The cameras from different manufactures can produce various RAW file formats. NEF, for example, is the RAW file extension for Nikon. CR2 is from Canon. DNG format is open source and not limited to specific manufacture or photo editors. So Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and other software support the DNG format.

2. File size. DNG files are around 20% smaller in file size than the RAW files but do not lose any quality.

3. Keep the data file. XMP is the metadata file for each original RAW file. It will contain instructions about how to process the file. Advanced photo editor can adjust exposure and temperature based on the XMP file. DNG files can store the XMP data along with your photo, so you do not need to save XMP files anymore.

4. Detect file corruption. The DNG format can detect file corruption, while RAW files do not have such ability.

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Part 2: How to Convert NEF to DNG Format

Adobe DNG Converter is a dedicated DNG converter program developed by Adobe. Of course, it enables to convert NEF to DNG on both Windows and Mac.

Step 1: Open the NEF to DNG converter, and click the Select the Folder button folder to import the folder storing NEF files you wish to convert. You can also drag the NEF files or entire folder onto the converter icon to open them directly.

Step 2: Go to the Select location to save the converted images section. You can decide to Save in Same Location or hit the Select Folder to set another destination folder.

Step 3: Set the filename rule in the Select name for converted images section. And make sure to select DNG from the File extension drop-down list.

Step 4: If you want to change the custom options, click the Change Preferences button to get them in the Preferences dialog. The Compatibility option, for example, can create DNG files for different versions of Photoshop and Lightroom.

Step 5: Once you are ready, click the Convert button to convert NEF to DNG. After that, you can manage the photos or further edit the RAW files within Photoshop or Lightroom afterward.

Note: Adobe DNG Converter is just a NEF to DNG converter. It does not provide other functionalities, such as photo management.

Adobe DNG Converter Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: Best Alternative to Convert NEF to DNG

Whether you need to browse NEF, DNG, JPG, PNG, TIFF, PDF, or even video files, WidsMob Viewer Pro is the all-in-one media viewer and manager. It provides 4 different modes to view the thumbnails, including full-screen, thumbnail, EXIF, and slideshow. You can find multiple features to compare two similar photos, transfer photos to a sub-folder, delete unwanted ones, check EXIF information, and more. Moreover, it also enables you to convert NEF and DNG to another file format by retaining the original photo quality.

1. Convert NEF or DNG format to JPEG/TIFF/BMP files without losing quality.

2. Batch process to convert multiple NEF/CR2/DNG/HEIC at the same time.

3. View NEF within the different modes and even manage the photos with ease.

4. Provide extensive bonus tools, such as photo editing, filters, and slideshow.

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How to Convert NEF to TIFF without Quality Loss

Step 1: Download and install WidsMob Viewer Pro, launch the program on your computer. It enables you to browse different file formats, including NEF, DNG, WebP, AVIF, MP4, PDF, and other file formats. If you have already set it up as the default media viewer, you can click any file to open the files within the same folder.

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Step 2: To manage the NEF files or DNG images, you can simply drag-n-drop the desired files to a sub-folder within the same folder, choose two similar photos and click the Compare button to select the desired one, and even press the Ctrl + C to copy the image. After that, you can paste to another destination as your requirement.

Compare Photos Thumbnail Viewer Pro

Step 3: Double-click any image to check the detail of an image with a full-screen. Head to the bottom with the mouse to navigate to the desired one. It enables you to remove unwanted ones, cut out the desired part, and even view EXIF information, including model, camera maker, exposure time, ISO, Flash, and more.

View Image Metadata Viewer Pro

Step 4: Whether you need to convert NEF or DNG to another file format, such as JPG, PNG, or BMP, you can simply click the File menu and choose the Save As button. After that, you can choose the desired file format from the drop-down list. Click the Save button to save NEF or DNG to the desired file format.

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When you want to convert NEF to DNG for further editing, you can use the Adobe DNG Converter to convert the RAW format. Of course, you can also use the best alternative solution to view and convert NEF files via WidsMob Viewer Pro, on the other hand, offers more bonus tools for NEF management and conversion.