You got that fancy new camera during an after-Christmas sale, and you’re ready to go out and photograph! But when you get back and try to import photos, you suddenly find yourself unable to do so in Lightroom or Lightroom Classic.
So, what gives? Why can’t you open your files? There are three reasons why this might happen.
Your camera is too new
If you are one of the lucky first few to get a new camera, congrats! But along with that comes lack of support from some software. Adobe usually updates its photography software on a monthly basis, so chances are, that camera will be supported with the next update.
Until then … your best option is to use the software that your camera manufacturer provides, or to use Adobe DNG Converter (Mac / Windows). You can use this for free to convert your files to the Adobe standard DNG format, which you’ll then be able to import into Lightroom.
And if you want an easier workflow until the point Lightroom supports your camera, try shooting in RAW+JPEG. This will allow you to import your JPEG files — just be sure to save your RAW files manually to your computer.
You need a newer version of Lightroom
If you’ve been holding off as long as possible to invest in the Creative Cloud ecosystem … you’ll soon realize that you might not have much of a choice. If you’re on Lightroom version 6 (the last perpetual version of Lightroom), your camera might be newer to where it’s not supported. For a complete list of supported cameras, visit the Adobe website.
And if you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, you still might not have the most recent version of your Lightroom software. If you’re having trouble, check for updates in the Creative Cloud app on your computer. Or, in Lightroom, go to Help > Updates …
If you’re ready to upgrade, you can get the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which comes with Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, for just $9.99/month. That also comes with 20GB of cloud storage for any photos you want to sync to your account.
By subscribing to Creative Cloud, you not only ensure support for your camera, but you’ll get new features as soon as they’re released.
Your file format might not be supported
Depending on what you’re photographing, the format your camera generates might not be supported by Lightroom or Lightroom Classic. For example, when I turn on Tripod or Handheld High Res on my Olympus OM-D E-M1X, I always get an error that states it can’t import the .ORI files (which, as Bob points out in the comments, are the standard resolution version of the photograph). In this instance though, the camera also creates a .ORF file, which is supported by Adobe fully (and in this case, the high-resolution version I want).
While this can be confusing, you shouldn’t worry about this error. It’s best to check your camera’s manual to see what file formats it saves special types of photographs in, so you can be prepared.