This is a very common problem with new DSLRs – the camera manufacturers aren’t giving the software vendors the RAW specifications until after the cameras are released. This means that the time between the purchase of a new camera and the software support for RAW can be as long as two or three months.

We all find this frustrating and we wish that the camera manufacturers would talk to the software vendors sooner, but I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

Meet obvious short-term solution is to shoot JPEG until the raw support can be updated for the operating systems and software.

If the camera has been out for a while, and you just have a new one, sometimes you still need to update your software or your operating system to have the latest version which will include RAW support.

Aperture on the Mac will support RAW images. However, you must have the camera RAW update (which as I said usually comes well after the cameras are shipping)

Photoshop CS3 will NOT support RAW — but here are some options:

  • upgrade to Adobe CS4 Photoshop to open images (here’s the UPGRADE link).
  • on mac, you can use Aperture to manage your images (which reads RAW) and then send the images to Photoshop CS3 to edit as PSD or TIFF etc.
  • You can also use Adobe’s Lightroom in the same way as Aperture
  • You can download the free DNG converter from the Adobe site and convert the RAW files to dng. Then you can open them in CS3.
  • You can also use DPP that comes with the camera to convert to tiff (not sure about DNG) and then open in CS3.

Raw Converter Comparison – Exploring Canon 5DMKII Raw Development – has quite a few examples of different RAW conversions of the same image so you can see differences between them.

Adobe Camera RAW FAQ – good post on common issues with RAW – note that it is older, but has good debugging tips to help figure out your problem reading RAW with Adobe products.

Also, check to make sure you’ve got the latest Adobe Camera Raw

Someone recommended FastStone Image Viewer (a free RAW reader for windows only)

Note that newer versions of Adobe products do support the RAW from most cameras.

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chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind — which covers every aspect of HDSLR cameras (and a whole lot of other cameras as well). A lover of photography since his early days, he graduated to selling stock photos to make a little bit of spare cash. It wasn’t much, but it allowed him to upgrade to better cameras as well as computers, and it wasn’t taking money away from feeding his family.
He loves the stories that the still image can tell. In the summer of 2008, he read a story written by Arnold Kim called “I Quit My Job” — Arn is the owner of He started macrumors in 2000 as a hobby, and by 2008 he was making more money with the site than he was on his day job, so he quit. The surprise to the story is that he was a doctor making more than six figures! Right then and there, planetMitch dreamed about doing the same thing.
September 2008 rolled around, and Canon announced this new version of the incredible 5D — the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was the first Canon DSLR to shoot full HD video and the earth moved! (It really was a huge deal in the photography world.) planetMitch knew if there was ever a chance to ride a wave of something he was really passionate about, this was it — and the blog at was born. It is now one of the most popular HDSLR blogs on the planet, and he is making a full-time living from blogging. He couldn’t be happier!
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