What is a raw file?
A raw file is the unprocessed data that was captured by your camera sensor when you took your picture. The only settings on your camera that apply to this file are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This means that any effects you may have applied to the file, such as white balance or black and white, may not appear in Lightroom. Your camera will create a JPEG copy of your raw file with all current settings applied and save that within the raw file for use as a thumbnail by most applications. When you first view a raw file in Lightroom, you will see this thumbnail, then Lightroom will read the raw data and create its own thumbnail, which may have a different appearance.
How does Lightroom work with raw camera files?
Lightroom interprets the raw data and makes image information out of it. But every camera has a unique sensor and thus has a unique form of raw file. Even though camera manufactures may use the same file extension each time (e.g. Nikon raw files are always .NEF), each camera model has a different way of storing information. Because of this, we must continually update Lightroom for new cameras. As we add new cameras to the list (over 300 now) we update our published list of supported cameras.
Will the raw files from my camera work with Lightroom?
To determine whether your camera is supported by Lightroom, check this list:
Go to Help > Updates to install the latest release. You can also manually download and install Lightroom updates:
What if I own a previous version of Lightroom?
Supposing you have a camera that came out after the release of a newer version of Lightroom, so that your version of Elements is no longer recieving updates, you have two basic options:
- Purchase the latest version of Lightroom that supports your camera.
- Use the latest version of the free DNG Converter (for Macintosh or Windows)
- You can convert your files to the universaly compatible DNG format (the files will work with any version of the Lightroom). See In depth : Digital Negative (DNG) for more information.
For more assistance on DNG:
- Adobe TV - The Advantages of the DNG File Format
- Adobe TV - On Using DNG in Lightroom
- Adobe TV - DNG Enhancements in Lightroom 4
Can I perform tethered capture from my camera to Lightroom?
Lightroom has the ability to automatically import images from your camera, as you shoot, life. To learn more about setting up and useing tethered capture, please see Import photos from a tethered camera. This list shows all the cameras that Lightroom supports for tethered shoooting:
Use this document if you run into trouble when performing tethered shooting:
For more assistance on Tethered Shooting:
- Adobe TV - Import photos from a tethered camera
Will Lightroom help me automatically compensate for the image distortion caused by my camera lens?
The Develop module of Lightroom includes Lens Correction which can read what lens was used from the metadata. With this information it can pick a profile that will reduce distortion caused by the curvature of the lens. For a list of which lenses are supported by which camera bodies, see this list:
If your lens is not currently supported, you have a few options:
- Apply the lens correction manually
- Use the Adobe Lens Profile Downloader (Download: Mac, Win) to see if someone else has created a profile your camera and lens
- Use the Adobe Lens Profile Creator (Download: Mac, Win) to make your own profile for your camera and lens.
For more assistance on Lens Profile Corrections:
- Adobe TV - Lens Correction & Perspective Correction
- Adobe TV - Create Stunning Images
- Adobe TV - Correcting Perspective
- Adobe TV - Apply Lens Corrections
- Julieanne Kost's Blog - Lens Correction Profiles
For more information about Adobe Camera Raw, please check these links: