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Your Raw Files Aren’t Being Held Hostage by Adobe

Photo by Bliznetsov
Photo by Bliznetsov

The recent Creative Cloud announcement has left some of you feeling hostage. You worry that you won’t be able to upgrade cameras as they won’t be supported by the version of Adobe Camera Raw that you have.

Here are four solutions you should know about if you don’t want to make the move to the subscription model of Photoshop CC (priced at $9$19 per month or available in suites ranging from $29$79).

  1. Buy Lightroom Adobe Photoshop Lightroom will continue to be sold as boxed software. No changes to the licensing or approach will be made.
  2. Convert to DNG The DNG (or digital negative format) allows you to convert almost any raw file to a new format. The original raw file can be embedded, and you lose no functionality in editing. DNG is a publicly available archive format that’s broadly supported. It’s also a free download and can convert newer camera formats into one that can be recognized by older versions of Photoshop and Lightroom. Lightroom can also convert to DNG on import.
  3. Continue to Use CS6 Adobe plans to update Photoshop CS6 (and all the CS6 apps) for the next Mac and Windows operating system releases. They’ve also promised to deliver a version of Camera Raw 8 that supports all the new cameras (but removes things like Spot detection and Upright). Remember to keep an eye on labs.adobe.com for early updates to Adobe Camera Raw.
  4. Use Photoshop Elements The latest version of Photoshop Elements is incredibly robust. It even offers features like Photomerge. Oh, and it’s often found for about $70. Before you grumble, download the free demo and see if it doesn’t work better than that old copy of Photoshop you don’t want to upgrade.

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