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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