How to Open CR2, NEF, DNG and RAW Files with Photoshop CS (Example)


RAW files with extensions such as CR2, NEF, and DNG may conflict when trying to open the file in Photoshop. Everything will depend on the camera compatibility, but it has a solution.

What are RAW files?

When a camera captures an image, it processes the information and compresses it before saving it. Sometimes not performs this process and generates the RAW files.

These types of documents have extensions such as CRW, NEF or CR2, it will depend on the brand of the camera. The advantage of this format is the ease of working with the images and obtaining the correct values ​​for saturation, contrast, white balance, color and focus.

Most popular RAW formats

  • DNG: It is an Adobe format released in 2004. It is completely open unlike other formats.
  • CR2: A RAW file belonging to the Canon brand.
  • NEF: It is the type of format known for Nikon cameras.

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These formats can be read by Photoshop as long as the version you have installed is updated. If when trying to open the file it shows you an error, it may not be.

How to open a RAW file in Photoshop

I can't see an image in Photoshop

If your version of Photoshop is CS6 or higher, it is most likely out of date. In case the version is CS5 or lower you will have to convert file.

  • Check your version of Photoshop from the Help Menu / About Photoshop.

Update your version of Photoshop

The most common reason Photoshop doesn’t want to open the RAW file is because the plug-in is out of date. Photoshop Camera Raw. This file keeps a record of the versions of the cameras that are on the market and must be constantly updated.

  • Open Photoshop on your PC.
  • Click on the menu Help / Updates / Update to get the latest version of Photoshop Camera Raw.
  • Restart Photoshop when the update is done.

If even after updating the application you cannot open the file, verify that the files of your camera are compatible from the Adobe page. In case it is not, you have the option to convert the file to be able to open it in Photoshop.

Update photoshop to view RAW files

Convert the RAW file

This method applies to Photoshop CS5 or earlier versions and for camera models that are not yet supported. As a final result, you will have a file in DNG format that you can open in any version.

  • Download the app Adobe DNG Converter from the Adobe page at no cost.
  • Install the application on your computer.
  • Launch the app and select files you want to convert to DNG.
  • Click on Select Folder to choose the folder containing the files. You can select folders but not files individually.
  • Choose the folder where you will save the files obtained as the final result.
  • Choose a setting to name the retrieved files. If you choose the default then they will have the same name as the original files, but with the DNG extension.
  • Change compatibility preferences. Choose the version of Photoshop you use.
  • Press the button Convert to start the process of converting the files. This may take a while depending on the size of the files.

When finished open the files again in Photoshop. You will notice that when you open an initial window is shown to configure settings of the image where you can modify the balance of white, temperature, hue, contrast, highlights, saturation, among other elements.

Press Open image and you can edit the file in Photoshop. The advantage of this type of format is the quality of the images, as well as the final result after editing.

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