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Published on 11 Feb 2012 | over 4 years ago

READ this first! For details about opening camera raw files and DNG files go to this link: www.imagemaven.com/camera-raw/

This is Adobe's list of supported cameras. Read this first. helpx.adobe.com/camera-raw/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html

And also consider keeping everything up to date. Computers and software. This post has more info about that. www.imagemaven.com/new-camera-domino-effect/

If you have a really new camera model and a slightly (even a couple months) older version of Elements, Photoshop or Lightroom, then the ACR plug-in may have to be updated. Along with how to open your raw files, that's what I'm demonstrating in the movie above. Chances are high that many of you will not be able to open your raw files on the first try.

Capturing images in RAW file format is far more flexible than capturing jpgs. However, sometimes your camera and the software on your computer don't quite sync up. This is true if you have a brand new camera and an older version of Photoshop, or new Photoshop that hasn't been updated.

If that is the case, you may have to update your Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) plugin for Photoshop. Follow the directions in Step One below.

Now, if that doesn't do the trick, you'll have to download the free Adobe DNG Converter utility, which will convert files from over 200 any digital camera Raw files to a more universal RAW file format, DNG (which stands for digital negative), which can then be opened in an older version of Photoshop. (Older being CS2, Cs3, CS4.) Photoshop Elements can also open RAW files, and you may have to follow the same process if you have a newer camera and an older version of Elements.

Step One: Update Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

• Update and install the latest version of ACR (v6.6 as of December 2011)
• Use the Adobe updater (if it's installed on your computer). That way all the updates will be automatic and much simpler than the manual method.
• Detailed instructions are included on the download page of the Adobe site
• For Photoshop CS2 -- the latest version of ACR is 3.7
• For Photoshop CS3 -- the latest version of ACR is 4.6
• For Photoshop CS4 -- the latest version of ACR is 5.7
• For Photoshop CS5 -- the latest version of ACR is 6.7
• For Photoshop CS6 -- the latest version of ACR is 7.1
• For Photoshop CC -- Will Auto Update

• Once you have installed the latest version, try again to open your camera RAW files
• Easiest way is to navigate to the folder where your RAW files are using Adobe Bridge
• If this doesn't work, go to Step Two.

Here are the direct links to the latest Adobe Camera Raw updates for Photoshop:

• Mac: www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp
• Windows: www.adobe.com/support/downloads/product.jsp

Step Two: Download DNG Converter

• If Step One doesn't work, you will need to convert your files to DNG format, and then use ACR after that to open the converted files
• Once you get your file converted to a DNG, it will open in any recent version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, and other RAW image converters too.

Links to the latest Adobe DNG Converters are the same links as above

Step Three: Convert Your Files

To use the DNG converter, follow these steps: (These are for Mac, but the PC steps are very similar)

• Go to the appropriate link above and download the latest Adobe DNG Converter
• Place it in your Applications folder
• Launch the DNG Converter application
• Select the folder where your raw files are located and click Convert
• You can save the new files to another folder, which I suggest you do, (and perhaps delete the original raw files once you are certain the new DNG files will open)
• You can also re-name your new DNG files, but it might be simpler to keep their original file numbering
• The DNG files are also slightly smaller than your raw files, but don't worry, all the quality is there

Suggestion: Try one small folder of images first to test

• The DNG converter converts your raw files to the DNG format which can then be opened using ACR and Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5 and higher, as well as Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto
• Very simple and fast. Converting files to DNG is actually considered very beneficial, as it is an archival format and it also uses a loss-less compression which makes the DNG files 15% smaller
• DNG files can be opened by all RAW conversion software and in the future may become the standard file format for all digital cameras

*** WINDOWS USERS: For everyone who doesn't have a MAC, download Adobe Application Manager and update from there.

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