Nidelva river through Trondheim Norway

Nidelva river through Trondheim Norway
by Saaru Lindestokke                

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Have there been any change in Canon's RAW (CR2) format in the Canon EOS 70D camera, comparing to older models like the EOS 60D?

I could not open the 70D RAW files in Photoshop on a friend's computer, while 60D RAW images are opened without a problem.

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

In general, RAW file converters, including Photoshop, will only open RAW files from camera models they know about. There's nothing special about the 60D to 70D transition here; you don't say which version of Photoshop your friend has, but presumably it's not the latest, which does support the 70D.

However, that only answers half the question: why do the RAW converter manufacturers do this? The answer to that is because while the data contained in the RAW file doesn't vary much - at a coarse level, it just contains a sequence of values read by every photosite on the sensor - how to interpret those values can vary significantly between two camera models from the same manufacturer. This may be more true than most for the 60D and the 70D due to the 70D's significantly different "Dual Pixel AF" sensor structure, but it applies to any new camera.

share|improve this answer

Yes. Every camera with a proprietary raw format – any raw file that doesn't have a .dng extension – will need to be supported separately by each raw converter, even when it has the same file extension as other cameras that are already supported.

share|improve this answer
Even RAW convertors that can handle DNG files need to be updated to accommodate new models. – Michael Clark Dec 25 '13 at 23:59
True, as the camera's profile still needs to be established, even if the file itself may still be able to be read. I use a Ricoh GR, which records DNG, and Lightroom 4 can open its files even though it lacks the colour profile and lens data that's included in LR5. Conversely, DxO Optics lost its ability to read those same DNG files after a firmware update changed the manufacturer name. So clearly there's no such thing as a universally readable raw file. – mpr Dec 26 '13 at 0:12
It is even worse than that. If you use Adobe's DNG convertor to convert RAW files from a newer camera to be DNG files compatible with an older version of ACR/PS/LR then demosaicing may not produce accurate colors if the exact colors of the Bayer filter are slightly different in the newer model. This can usually be corrected through WB fine tuning. But some newer models have even changed the sequence of the R-G-B masks in which case really weird colors can result. – Michael Clark Dec 26 '13 at 0:20
Right. Universal DNG is a myth or an approximation at best. Several cameras have required even revisions to the file-format itself and its header contain flags to flag Fuji sensor particularly for example which have had offset pixels, hexagonal pixels, photosites of different sizes and, of course, a completely different color-filter array now. – Itai Dec 26 '13 at 5:29

I had the same issue, and looked up which versions of Lightroom, Camera-Raw, PS were required. In my case updating Camera-Raw plugin allowed my version of PS to read them, but I could not do so with Lightroom. So, I went with Adobe's free DNG converter.

share|improve this answer

The data in a RAW file is different for every model of camera. The basic structure is often the same, but differences in the sensor and how the sensor data is processed by each model of camera means that the RAW files need to be processed differently. If the software is not up to date enough to understand how to process the RAW data for that particular camera model, then it can't figure it out. You can try forcing a model with a similar sensor, but it may get weird results depending on how the sensor data is supposed to be processed (mathematically).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.