Can you post the RAW file so we can take a look, please? So this is how it looks when you open in Photoshop or when you open in the Camera Raw Plug-in? What version of ACR do you have installed? Thanks!
By “all my RAW files look”, do you mean all your photos taken in the blue and purple venue lighting? If so, then this is likely a camera profile and highlights-compression issue. Have you tried the other Camera xxxx profiles in the Camera Calibration area in Develop?
There is a difference between the camera profile and methods that Canon uses to convert to JPGs in camera or with the Canon software and the profiles and methods that Adobe uses. There is also a difference between what happens with very bright areas in each of the Red, Green, and Blue channels. Adobe and Canon are distinct companies so each cannot know what the other does.
There is probably nothing wrong as far a programming bugs or file corruption, but you may be able to improve the way the photos look to some extent. If you want others to have a try and tell what they did, then upload one of them to http://www.dropbox.com and post a public download link, here.
On the other hand if your photos of landscapes outside or indoor shots in common lighting situations, are oversaturated for various colors, then there could be an actual issue that can be corrected, again, posting one of the offending raws will help others guess where the issue is, and whether you can do anything about it.
To tell what version of Camera Raw you're using in PS-CS6, use Help / About Plug-ins / Camera Raw and report what version it says.
Hi Adriana! The above pic is indeed how the image looks in Photoshop, the Raw Plugin and when I preview it. Strange thing is that prior to opening it in PS, RAW plugin or preview the thumbnail looks fine.
I tried uploading the RAW file in its entirety but it obviously exceeds the maximum size.
Here is a photo I took just 2 weeks ago, colors and lights look fine. I haven't made any setting changes in camera or software either.
Let me be a little more detailed: all of my daytime photos look fine, no issues with those. However anything with lights(as in above photo), and long exposure are the ones that have issues. Particularly colored lights. Here is a link to the actual RAW files if you want to take a peek, also I am on the latest version of raw 188.8.131.52
The difference of the reply #4 shot and the initial shot that has very strong blue coloring, appears to be the use of flash which brightens the foreground with daylight-balanced flash lighting and minimizes the overexposure of the colored lighting, so while you can see the various colors, they aren't overexposed, which leads to banding as the channels clip at different points on the way to white. One issue with the reply #4 image, of the DJ, is that the blacks are not very black.
Back to the original topic: the files do not appear to be corrupted, nor does there appear to be a software issue. But the Adobe Camera Raw defaults don't look good for these pictures in extreme lighting.
I was able to extract the camera embedded previews for each shot using ExifToolGUI. These are reduced-size but should show the toning and color processing the camera would apply to its own JPGs. If these are not what you see for the JPGs from your camera then you might supply those as part of your shared dropbox folder.
I am using Lightroom 5.3 to do the comparisons which should duplicate the processing done by ACR 8.3, but it provides an easier to show side-by-sides as well as the processing applied in the last example. I am using a Windows 7 64-bit computer with a standard-gamut monitor that is profiled but that profile is close to sRGB so I have not taken the time to convert my screenshots to sRGB since they will almost be the same either way:
A comparison between the camera processed raw files and the Adobe processed raw files shows us that the default Adobe processing is more saturated, more contrasty and with harsh color transitions as compared the camera jpg. The Copy 1 is a virtual copy in Lightroom so I could reset it to default values and not touch the original user processing supplied in the XMP:
However, by merely changing the camera profile in the Camera Calibration section from Adobe Standard to Camera Standard we see almost the same rendering between Adobe and Canon, so if you're trying to start with the same place the camera rendering is, then just switch your camera profile to Camera Standard:
Now, the dropbox version of IMG_3277.CR2 came with an XMP file that has user settings that are much improved compared to the default rendering, and this includes quite a bit of change in the Camera Calibration sliders to reduce saturation and shift hues a bit.
Here are those user settings with the Adobe Standard camera profile at the left, compared to a pay-for VSCO Fuji film simulation profile along with using Auto Tone, Exposure -1 and Tint -150 to reduce the purple, on the right, but not quite as much as the OP's settings. I'm not saying mine is an improvement or that VSCO profiles are useful, just that there are many ways to adjust an image and color profiles can make a difference especially in extreme lighting situations as we have, here:
I have another question about the image or screenshot in reply #4. The dark areas seem artificially brightened.
This is may be a purposeful treatment, to give it the look of film, or the flash illuminating the smoke, but if not, then I'd question whether your monitor is calibrated and if it is a newer LCD or LED monitor, or if it is an old, dim CRT, still?
In other words, if the dark areas of the screenshot in reply #4 seem black to you, then something may be wrong with your monitor calibration.
Here is a split-view of that screenshot, where the lefthand histogram and the top half are what I see in the screenshot, and the lower half and the righthand histogram are what it looks like after I set the black-point to -61 (automatically, via shift-double-click on the word Blacks), so the blacks are close to zero:
Thanks! I tried switching the camera calibration in Photoshop from Adobe to Camera Faithful and that seems to have done the trick, I can tweak it from there on out. Oh as far as the image of the DJ i intended for the darks to be ligther and with less contrast...but thanks for pointing that out!
What could have caused this though? I shoot a lot of shows and a lot of long exposure photography and this is the only time this has happened. Nonetheless I really appreciate the extensive write up, I didn't expect quite such a response.