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Does Photoshop 7 support RAW file format? Or do I need any other software for that?

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    It depends entirely upon which camera model created the "RAW" file. – Michael C Nov 20 '13 at 7:38
  • Why limit yourself to Adobe software?? Use something like RAW Therapee for your raw files, save them as Tiff images and open them up in PS7 to manipulate them. Of course you wont have the interface that ACR or PS CS6 provides but you will be able to develop your images in PS7. By its very definition DNG files are device independent and does not depend on software versioning. – user24323 Nov 23 '13 at 6:46
  • @user24323 Do you trust the safety of these 3rd party programs ? – Janardan S Jul 15 '16 at 15:43
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So... the first support of Camera RAW was introduced with Photoshop 7.0.1, in August of 2002. I don't know what camera you have, but the odds of that supporting any camera model created beyond 2003 is approaching zero. I think you'll find that you'll need other software to convert before using.

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Photoshop 7 supports some RAW file formats via the concurrent version of Adobe Camera RAW, mainly those from cameras already in existence at the time PS7 was released. As Adobe updates ACR to support newer cameras, compatibility with the newer versions of ACR also requires newer versions of Photoshop. What version of Adobe Camera RAW you need depends on exactly which camera made the RAW files in question. Once you know what the earliest version of ACR is that supports your particular camera, then you can find the earliest version of Photoshop that supports that version of ACR.

Here is a link with a comprehensive set of instructions from Adobe that addresses the issue you are encountering. Which solution you use will depend on your answers to the questions that are asked along the way in the link below. Since you haven't indicated which camera created your RAW files, it is not possible to summarize the instructions to fit your exact situation.

http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/multi/troubleshoot-camera-raw-photoshop-photoshop.html

Here is a link that lists camera models currently supported by Adobe products via Adobe Camera Raw and the earliest version of ACR that supports RAW files from each camera. The chart also lists the earliest version of Adobe Lightroom that supports RAW files from each camera (via the listed version of ACR).

If you choose to use Adobe DNG Convertor to convert your RAW files to a DNG version supported by your older version of Photoshop, be aware that the conversion may remove some of the functionality and flexibility you would have if you used a newer version of ACR/LR/PS to work with the RAW files directly. This will probably be most noticeable with regard to color and noise profiles for newer cameras used with older versions of ACR/LR/PS. Again, it all depends on which camera (and more generally, which manufacturer) the RAW files are coming from.

If you read between the lines of this announcement from Adobe, you see that in the past some of the file encryption methods found in some Nikon RAW formats has caused some users to question the level of cooperation between Nikon and Adobe in providing solutions for raw processing. In other words, the encryption Nikon included in the NEF files from certain Nikon cameras caused problems with opening those files using Adobe products, presumably because Adobe was forced to reverse engineer the demosaicing algorithms for those encrypted files. Nikon now seems to be, at least according to Adobe, sharing the encryption keys with Adobe in the same way they do with DxO Labs.

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http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-suite/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html

That list will tell you the lowest version of Photoshop that supports your camera.

If your camera is not supported by PS7 you either need a newer version of Photoshop, or you can use Adobe's Raw to DNG converter to convert your cameras Raw files to appropriately versioned DNG files, which can then be opened in Photoshop 7.

  • Note: Are you positive that DNG files generated in a later camera will open in PS7? The convertor still needs the specific algorithms for that specific sensor, even after a file has been placed in a DNG container. Just because an application can handle a DNG created with certain cameras does not guarantee it can handle a DNG created by any camera any more than an older program that can open a .cr2 file from a Canon 1D mark II made in 2004 can also be guaranteed to open a .cr2 file from a Canon 6D made in 2012. – Michael C Nov 20 '13 at 17:11
  • I'm fairly certain the DNG converter can target different DNG versions, so that they can be opened in earlier applications, even if the source RAW is from a modern camera. – Robert Paul Nov 20 '13 at 17:19
  • Then why does the link you provided list different ACR and LR versions for different cameras that save files as DNGs? – Michael C Nov 20 '13 at 17:38
  • Since all sensors use different methods to, for example, generate accurate colors, if you convert the data away from the monochromatic luminance values for each pixel then you also remove the flexibility to adjust the white point and color balance at a later stage. It is well known that one of the things the Adobe DNG convertor does is it sets the black point and then strips away the data from the masked pixels used to generate the black point, but it doesn't demosaic the data in any way from the other pixels on the sensor. If a later camera used slightly different colors for each color of ... – Michael C Nov 20 '13 at 17:45
  • ... the Bayer mask (as, in fact, different cameras do), then the monochrome luminance values have to be demosaiced differently at the time the DNG file is being worked on in PS or LR, not when it is placed in a DNG container but the raw data from each pixel is left intact. – Michael C Nov 20 '13 at 17:47

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