Working with RAW files

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Whenever a new camera is released I frequently am asked, “Why won’t my version of Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop read the RAW files?”

A RAW file is a camera file format that most cameras can shoot along with the traditional JPEG format. RAW files are specific to cameras and sensors unlike JPEGs that are designed to be universal and easy to open or attach to email.

Almost every new camera that’s released has a slightly different RAW file format that won’t open in a program like Lightroom until Adobe adds support for that particular camera. To further complicate things Adobe does not support RAW files from more recent cameras in older versions of Lightroom.

A few things to check if your version of Lightroom doesn’t read the RAW files from your new camera:

  1. Go to to see if they have released the RAW file support for your new camera. This can take a month or more after a new camera is released.
  2. Are you using an older version of Lightroom such as 4 or 5? If so, you will probably need to upgrade to Lightroom CC in order to process newer camera RAW files.
  3. Have you updated to the latest version of Lightroom CC? You can do this by choosing Update under the Help tab in Lightroom CC.
  4. Do you have the latest version of Adobe’s Camera RAW profiles? This is how Adobe updates Lightroom to work with new cameras. This can also be updated under the Help Menu.

If you have a very new camera make sure to shoot in the RAW+JPEG mode so if Adobe doesn’t’ have the RAW support for your camera yet you will still have the JPEG file to use until RAW is supported for that camera.