Problem solution: Lightroom does not recognize RAW format of the new camera

What to do when Lightroom does not support RAW format of your new camera

When you buy a new camera which shoots in raw format, you’ll sometimes be surprised by the fact that Lightroom doesn’t immediatly recognize the new raw files! Here are 4 of the best solutions.

Short answer: There is a solution for your problem. I show you 4 ways how you can easily solve your RAW file format problem with Adobe Lightroom.

Problem solution: Lightroom does not recognize RAW format of the new camera
Problem -> solution: Lightroom does not recognize RAW format of the new camera

These 4 solutions apply to all camera models and raw formats. Whether Nikon’s .NEF, Canon .CR2, Sony AWF or Pentax .PEF as well as other image processing software providers such as Skylum Luminar…

The problem and its background: There are many camera manufacturers with countless camera models for which they constantly change up the formats. Of course, your image processing software tries to keeps up from time to time with software updates but this is not always the case.

For Your Information: The .DNG format is a camera manufacturer independent, standardized and open, lossless format. You can always convert to this format and make your edits lossless as you would with every other file format workflow.

First solution: Use the DNG format already in your camera

The easiest solution is to convert directly to the universal .DNG format from within your camera’s menu.

Check your manual to see if your camera model supports this feature in the camera menu. This will save you the trouble of having to convert later.

You can immediately work on your amazing pictures as you like, smooth lining that workflow.

second Solution: Convert your RAW files to .DNG

Solution 2 is the safe bet – but in the long run it’s a bit cumbersome.

This solution works with any image editing software and any digital camera model.


  1. Save your RAW files to your computer as usual
  2. Convert these files or folder into the .DNG format.
  3. Eh, Voila, you can edit the images in lossless DNG format as usual.

For this you will need to download a DNG converter. There are various paid and unpaid programs. The DNG Converter from Adobe is free, safe, constantly updated, works reliably and is therefore our best tip. You can download it directly from Adobe.

THIRD solution For tinkerers

This solution is best described in GWegner‘s blog. It’s written in german so I will briefly translate the method below:

  • dowload exiftool here.
  • Extract it into a root folder for easier access in the command prompt(pc) c:\programme\exiftool– on the Mac it works in a similar way, exiftool should be found in  /usr/bin
  • Always backup the original files so that you can replace them later when Lightroom provides an update for the camera.
  • Copy the pictures from your memory card to a temporary folder, for example c:\temp\converted, on the Mac~/converted
  • Open a command prompt, or terminal on the mac, and open the ‘converted’ directory that contains the images you wish to convert. 
    Pc:cd c:\temp\converted
    Mac:cd ~/converted
  • Use ExifTool to overwrite the exif data of your photographs:


c:\programme\exiftool\exiftool.exe -model="NIKON D500" *.NEF
Mac: /usr/bin/exiftool -model="NIKON D500" *.NEF

Exiftool now writes the new camera identification in the metadata. The original file is appended with _original and retains the original suffix to be on the safe side.

In short, you can overwrite the internal camera data (Exif data) with that of an older camera model, which may provide the otherwise identical data. Since it is not quite easy, and may not work either, we recommend one of the first two solutions.

Fourth Solution: Update software

If you want to save time, or want to update your software anyway, now would be a good time.

Each software vendor publishes an up-to-date list of supported camera models and raw formats. An online search will guide you to your specific camera models’ information.

That’s about it. One of these 4 solutions will help you with your problem that Lightroom did not recognize your raw format support.

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *