OK, I’m unlikely to get any votes for this, but I have a pile of mRAW images (from before I understood what that meant). PL2 refuses to work with these, even as it happily works with TIFFs and JPGs. It claims that sRAW/mRAW files are not really “RAW” files (fine), but then neither are TIFFs and JPGs.
I believe (but haven’t tested) that PL2 may also reject linearized DNG files. Again, these could be treated like TIFFs and JPGs.
I just ran trial copies of a number of RAW converters and none of them had any problems reading sRAW/mRAW file, so it didn’t even occur to me to check before I purchased PL2.
There’s a technical reason not to use sRAW/mRAW as the results are so much worse than proper RAW files. As PhotoLab aspires to only the best possible results, their exclusion makes perfect sense. Despite Ken Rockwell’s recommendation (he recommends jpegs too), there’s no good reason for a modern photographer to shoot these formats (they came into existence when computers were underpowered to process full size 20 MB RAW files). For legacy files in the archives, there’s quite a bit of software which will help you through those files including old Lightroom (even I own a copy of Lightroom 4 from before Adobe started their Cloud cash/privacy grab and lost my business permanently).
I’d far rather see DxO make an effort to support Iridient Transformer versions of Fuji X-Trans files than mRAW/sRAW (and I have a shelf full of Canon cameras).
Your argument might be valid if PL2 also refused to work on JPGs, but it doesn’t.
I have a pretty good understanding (now) of what sRAW/mRAW files are. I know I can use other software (which I already own) to process them. I also know I can convert them to TIFFs and then PL2 will happily accept them.
I don’t want to make assumptions about how much effort it might take to allow them. It might take weeks of development or it might just require flipping a bit.
If it’s not much work, then DxO should just add these formats. Based on how comprehensive the DxO processing is, I imagine that each format is almost like adding an additional camera for DxO. Based on DxO’s speed adding cameras and their announced process, I worry adding these formats is very time consuming.
DxO creates profiles for a large set of camera/lens combinations. This is pretty time consuming and I would guess that this is the source of the slow speed in adding cameras.
They would be insane if their internal format was different for each RAW file. I suspect they convert each format to a common internal format, with metadata to account for the differences. Their image processing would then process the common internal format.
So the real effort is in converting each RAW format to the internal format. If it were me, I would have started with one of the RAW conversion libraries (e.g. dcraw or libraw)—why reinvent the wheel? The library approach allows an image viewer like Irfanview (with just one developer) to support almost all RAW formats (including sRAW/mRAW) with little effort. Even if they use custom code, the files might not be that hard to read as there is probably a lot of reusable functionality in their conversion code.
Anyway, we’re both guessing. The DxO developers are the only ones that can properly estimate the effort.