I get a myriad of questions about camera support in Photoshop and Lightroom so I thought I’d try and answer them in this blog post.
Table of Contents:
- What do I do if Photoshop CS6, or Lightroom 4, does’t recognize my raw files?
- What do I do if an older version of Photoshop, or Lightroom, does’t recognize my raw files? (CS2, CS3 CS4, CS5; LR1, LR2, LR3)
- What are the benefits of using DNG?
- Why is DNG necessary for legacy version support?
- Additional Resources
I just got a new camera and Photoshop CS6, or Lightroom 4, does not recognize the raw files. What do I do?
First, make sure you have the latest updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. (The process to update Lightroom is similar. Launch Lightroom and choose Help>Check for Updates…) It’s always a good idea to have the latest updates installed.
Second, if updating to the latest version doesn’t give you joy and let you open your camera raw files, verify your camera make and model is on the list of supported cameras.
Third, if your camera isn’t on the list of supported cameras check on Adobe Labs for a release candidates of the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in or Adobe Lightroom. A release candidate is a very close to done version of the plug-in that Adobe shares with the community prior to full release for additional testing.
Finally, if your camera came out within the past 90 days, be patient, as you may need to wait for the new camera support. Adobe goes through a rigorous process of adding support for and testing of each new camera raw format. Adobe generally releases updates of the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in and Lightroom to provide new camera support about once a quarter, or about every 90 days. Feel free to drop us request or vote for specific camera support on our Feedback Site.
What if I own an older version of Photoshop like CS2, CS3, CS4 or CS5? Or Lightroom 1, 2 or 3?
A lot of people ask, “Why do I have to buy a new version of Photoshop or Lightroom just to get the latest camera support?”
The answer: You don’t have to. Adobe provides backwards compatibility for the latest cameras for FREE in Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4 and CS5, as well as Lightroom 1, 2 and 3, through the Adobe DNG Converter.
Download it here:
What are the benefits of using DNG?
There are other benefits to using DNG besides backward compatibility if you haven’t explored those:
- The metadata, keywords and raw adjustments are stored in the file – along with a processed preview of the image. This makes the file portable and keeps your metadata safe and secure.
- DNG files are smaller than the original raw file, which will save you disk space and time in the long run.
- DNG is an openly specified file format which means the file format isn’t going away. If you use another raw processor that supports DNG, you don’t have to worry about compatibility or portability of your metadata.
Julieanne Kost has created a video on Adobe TV outlining the benefits of DNG in your everyday workflow and how to use the Adobe DNG Converter:
Note: Julieanne goes through the process of converting your raw files to DNG using the Adobe DNG Converter around the 7:12-9:44 point of the video.
Why is DNG necessary for legacy version support?
AKA: You suck, I still want an update for the the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in for Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5 or Lightroom 1, 2, 3
The problem with supporting Adobe Camera Raw plug-in updates for legacy version of Photoshop and Lightroom is camera manufacturers insist on creating a new proprietary raw format each time they come out with a new camera – and new cameras are coming out faster and in greater volume. If camera manufactures either settled on a single raw format for their brand of cameras or just used DNG it would make compatibility a non-issue.
It’s untenable to keep updating previous versions of the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in going back to CS2 to support new cameras/raw formats in a timely fashion. Using the DNG converter is the fastest way to deliver backwards compatibility to ALL users (CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5 Lightroom 1, 2 & 3, as well as 3rd party apps that support DNG). This allows us to support the greatest number of customers and cameras as possible.