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I don't know why the colors you get by converting your ARW to DNG and then opening the DNG in ACR 9.1.1 shouldn't be any different than if you open the ARW in a newer ACR.
If you feel this isn't right you could share your ARW and the DNG you converted from it and someone else with newer software could do a side-by-side to demonstrate one way or the other. To share you could upload to www.dropbox.com and post a public share link, here.
If you do want a newer PS, the cheapest option available is PS CC-something, currently PS CC 2015.5 with ACR 9.6 that is available bundled with Lightroom CC for $120/year billed $10/month: http://creative.adobe.com/plans/ You can also get just PS for $240/year or the full suite including PS for $600/year.
Here are the links to have a look:
As it looks in camera:
Previewed in Adobe Camera RAW after conversion to DNG (flat colors):
Preview on Mac after conversion to PNG (flat, dead colors):
Thank you for having a look.
You can insert small images like screenshots directly in a forum message using the Picture icon above where you type in text:
Dropbox is for sharing larger files.
Here are your three screenshots...
Native raw in C1:
DNG in ACR:
DNG in Mac Preview:
So the only issue you're having is the preview of the DNG on the Mac is dull, but any images you create are ok? I believe the DNG Converter is what creates the DNG preview so I don't know how upgrading the ACR to a newer version would change the DNG preview.
What version of the DNG Converter did you use to create the DNGs from the ARWs? You might try the most recent DNGC 9.6: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/ if that's not the one you used.
Also Adobe rendering and C1 rendering would be different so that's not any issue.
You know, I was about to argue with you but I cropped the images out of the white and black
backgrounds are realize that the background plays tricks on the eyes.
Thanks for the help.
I may still upgrade, though because as it is, I will have two sets of all files (massive waste
of storage space) if I have to convert every photo project from ARW to DNG before even
starting. It is my work and I am require to retain the original RAW files...
It’s always a good idea to retain your original raw files if you plan on keeping things in general, because sometimes the DNG conversion messes up or as with the 9.6 version of ACR the Adobe raw engine cannot read DNGs produced by a particular Fuji camera—it’s a bug, but someone with that camera has to roll back to a prior version using manual install methods, to continue working with DNGs. I personally never convert to DNG because I don’t want to lose compatibility with other software and I keep my Adobe software up-to-date.