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I use Lightroom 5. Recently bought a Nikon D3400 and have used it in RAW file mode. I usually transfer via the SD card through a card reader (I use a Mac).

Do I need to make any changes to Lightroom before I try this with the RAW files?

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    You should probably be aware that Adobe is retiring the perpetual license Lightroom product. If you plan to continue using LR you would need to go to the subscription model. Since you are still on LR5 I'm assuming that you are not overly committed to LR and may not care to pay a monthly fee to keep using it. You can, of course, use the free Adobe RAW converter and thus extend the usability of your copy of LR5 more or less indefinitely. You might also consider moving to something like Raw Therapee which is free, fully supported and runs on most platforms. – jones0610 Nov 18 '17 at 1:48
  • Thanks for this. I'm aware of the change in licensing of Lightroom. I installed the stand alone version of Lightroom 6 only to discover it completely froze my system. Had to uninstal it and ask for a refund! I know there's no support for version 5, but it seems to work, so I've had a look at the free software and will download that and trial it soon. – Stuart Aken Nov 18 '17 at 15:12
  • No worries. LR6 is just about at end of life anyway, although with the free RAW converter I am in no super panic to move to something new. I will likely go with Capture One Pro when release 11 comes out. I went from LR3 to LR6 so no experience with LR5. It should run on most any Win machine though... although perhaps not XP. You can do basic editing with RAW Therapee and all of the other free stuff that's out there. If you are serious about post processing you may find free software to be lacking. – jones0610 Nov 19 '17 at 4:46
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Do I need to make any changes to Lightroom before I try this with the RAW files, please?

Yes. According to Adobe's page Cameras supported by Camera Raw (also known as Adobe Camera Raw, or ACR), for the Nikon D3400,

  • Camera: D3400
  • Raw image filename extension: NEF
  • Minimum Camera Raw plug-in version required: 9.7
  • Minimum Lightroom CC version required: 1.0
  • Minimum Lightroom Classic CC version required: 2015.7
  • Minimum Lightroom Perpetual version required: 6.7

Thus, you need to upgrade from Lightroom 5 to Lightroom 6.7.


Alternatively, you can install Adobe's DNG Converter to convert your Nikon RAW Files (.nef) to .dng format. DNG is intended to be a "universal RAW format". It's not strictly a universal RAW format, and there is some information lost in the conversion from NEF (or Canon's CR2 RAW format, etc.) to DNG. For instance, there is some information in Nikon's NEF files that their Capture NX2 software can take advantage of, that Lightroom can't.

However, converting to DNG will allow you to continue to use Lightroom 5.

See also:

  • Many thanks for this comprehensive info. I've now given the Nikon instruction book a more thorough viewing and discovered and downloaded their proprietary software, which seems to do most of what Lightroom does. I note that the Capture part of the suite doesn't list the D3400 amongst RAW files it can handle, so I'll download the Adobe DNG Converter and try that. I've kept the URL for this Q & A so I can revisit once I start the process! – Stuart Aken Nov 18 '17 at 15:20

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