All applications have a set life span and so does Lightroom 6. Adobe has stopped updating Lightroom 6 since December 2017. The app continues to work well with images captured on older cameras and devices. However, if you’re using a new camera released after Dec 2017, Lightroom does not work with these images.
Continue using Lightroom 6 with new cameras
Yes, you read that right. Even though Adobe has stopped updating Lightroom 6, it is possible to use Lightroom with your new RAW images by converting them to DNG.
Why convert to DNG?
RAW images are unprocessed images produced by cameras. Each camera has its own way of storing these images and is also assigned different names such as CR2, NEF etc. Since they are specific to the camera, these images cannot be read by other software.
The idea of DNG is to have a universal RAW format, the one that can be used by other software that understands DNG files. It is a generic and compatible RAW format.
If your files are converted to DNG, it can be opened using other applications including Lightroom 6. And you can use a free tool called Adobe DNG Converter to do the conversion.
Convert RAW to DNG using Adobe DNG Converter
As a first step, download and install Adobe DNG converter on your system. It is available for both Mac and Windows users.
Then launch the tool and in the dialogue box that appears, follow the steps below.
- Select the photos you wish to convert
- In the next step, choose a destination folder to save the converted files
- An optional step – Set a scheme to rename the incoming image files
- Compatibility – Set to Camera Raw 7.1 and later
- JPEG preview – Set JPEG preview to medium as this will help save on conversion time and also reduce the file size
- Embed fast load data – Enable this option to allow images to load fast in Develop module
- Compression – Disable the lossy compression option
- Embed original RAW file – Disable this option. This will allow extracting the original RAW file from the converted image at a later time. Enabling will increase the file size drastically. You can instead have all your original RAW images as a backup in a different location.
- Once the preferences are set, click Convert to convert your original RAW file to DNG format.
After the conversion is complete, you will have DNG images with the same quality as your original files. These files can then be imported to Lightroom 6 for further use.
Other features of DNG files
Other than the fact that DNG files offer compatibility with other software, here are some of the things you may want to know about the format.
- DNG files occupy about 15-50% less storage compared to other RAW counterparts
- All original file information is retained including standard meta-data, date, settings, time and the camera used.
- It is open source, available for free for other software to support
Despite the advantages that DNG files offer, they are not free from data loss situations. These files can also get deleted or lost at times. But, you can quickly recover DNG Files in few minutes using Remo Recover tool. ths, DNG files are one of the best RAW formats Adobe has designed. If you are still using Lightroom 6, either get the latest one or follow the above steps to open DNG files created on latest camera models.