New Camera…Cannot Open RAW Files

Almost every time a new Nikon camera is introduced, I receive the same email: “I just bought the newest Nikon, but I cannot open the RAW files in either Lightroom or Photoshop.  These programs worked perfectly with my old camera.  Is my new camera defective?”

This past week alone I got five such emails concerning the D750.

When you purchase any camera you should check with Adobe as to which camera bodies are currently supported, given the versions of the Adobe software you own.  Go to this web site:

The other email I constantly receive is: “I have Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS4, but cannot open the RAW files from the new Nikon I just purchased.”

Well, your new Nikon did not even exist when those old versions of software were created.  Your options are to either upgrade the software (in my opinion the better option as newer versions of software generally offer more), or see if you can use the free Adobe DNG converter with your new camera.  Find out here:

You might discover you need to upgrade your computer.  Another typical email I get: “I’m using Windows XP, but Lightroom 5 won’t work.”  Really?  Look at the operating system requirements for Lightroom 5:  Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or newer.  XP is, in computer terms, ancient history.

So now I’m waiting for another email to arrive: “I use a typewriter, but I can’t seem to load Microsoft Word.”

I have no idea how to answer that.


  1. Bob October 2, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    All is not lost. With photoshop and lightroom in a version currently supported by adobe, and a camera from a major manufacturer such as Nikon et al, it is simply a matter of waiting for Adobe to reverse engineer the raw converter and release a software update. Until then, you are stuck with the manufacturer’s raw conversion software. Being first on your block (also known as an unpaid beta tester) with a new camera has its downsides and this is one of them. I have to admit I get excited and like to have it as soon as available too. I got an iphone 6 the first day. Can you say OS issues? With a new operation system from microsoft, I like to wait for the first major patch before buying. I guess in the future, I may need to apply that logic to apple too.

    I miss XP too and have hung on to my old computer so I can run some legacy hardware in the future (film scanner mainly) and some dos software. I’m using windows 7 and don’t know what I’ll do when forced to the new windows. They are testing windows 10 which will be if past history is any indication is windows 8 “fixed”. The days for windows 7 I’m afraid are numbered.

  2. Abhijit Sarkar October 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    I don’t understand why people send you such emails. You’re a famed photographer, not the “geek squad” or “genius bar”. Even if I discount the fact that they should really look at compatibilities, the same question would be more apt for Adobe support. After all, they paid Adobe, not you.

  3. Juan Carlos Vindas October 7, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    John, this, sadly happens all the time…people, please read the manual of your cameras and wait for your cameras to be supported by your RAW converters…
    The last question made me burst in laugh! 🙂

  4. George Theodore October 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    Hi John

    I’m still waiting for a version of Excel that will work with my abacus