Wednesday, November 30, 2016

PE15: Adobe DNG Converter 9.7


Premiere Elements 15 and Photoshop Elements 15 are shipping with Camera Raw 9.6 with option to update to latest Camera Raw version which is 9.7.

Premiere Elements 15 and/or Photoshop Elements 15 Camera Raw feature trace back to the same version Camera Raw 9.7 Camera Raw.8bi file found in the path Local Disc C\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Plug-Ins\Elements 15\File Formats\. Consequently, it follows that the same version of installed Camera Raw will apply to Premiere Elements 15 and/or Photoshop Elements 15 on the same computer.

Camera Raw editing dialog cannot be opened in Premiere Elements and only in Photoshop Elements, but the installed Camera Raw file does support the import of raw format images into Premiere Elements project provided
  • Camera Raw version is installed, and Camera Raw version supports the camera which captured the raw format image
  • the installed Camera Raw version supports the version of Photoshop Elements and/or Premiere Elements in use
  • in the case of Premiere Elements operating as 32 bit application, the raw image file size does not exceed the Adobe limit for still image file size. See HERE.
When the above criteria are not met, the choice needs to be made as to whether or not to update the situation so that the criteria are met or to convert the raw image format to the dng format to avoid the raw image format issues in this particular situation.The conversion of raw image format to dng format is done with the free standalone Adobe DNG Converter. Typically a newly released Camera Raw version will be accompanied by an Adobe DNG Converter with the same version number as the newly released Camera Raw version. When Premiere Elements is running as a 32 bit application, the  file size limitation applies to dng as well as raw image.

Refer to Adobe documents
"Cameras supported by Camera Raw" 
"Camera Raw plug-in and Adobe application compatibility"
"Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter for Windows"
"Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter for Macintosh"
 "Digital Negative (DNG)" 
"Understanding Digital Raw Capture"


The dng image, like its raw image source, is expected to be opened and edited in the Camera Raw dialog on the Photoshop Elements side of things. With or without the editing/saving of the dng in the Camera Raw dialog, the dng image can be imported as source media into the Premiere Elements project, barring any file size limitation issue.

It needs to be kept in mind that the Adobe DNG Converter is a standalone application, but....the question is, when the version of Camera Raw is updated by Adobe, is it necessary to update the version of Adobe DNG Converter? That is, does the user need a match of Camera Raw 9.7 and Adobe DNG Converter 9.7? Is it really necessary to keep updating the Adobe DNG Converter for each Camera Raw version update?

Focus points
Raw Image Editing in Camera Raw Dialog
DNG Editing in Camera Raw Dialog
RAW and DNG issues related to file size in Premiere Elements operating as 32 bit application.


Table 1 represents the results from converting Nikon D810 raw image (Nef) to dng with Adobe DNG Converter 9.7 (latest version) and observing
  • The compatibility of the raw and dng image in the Camera Raw editing dialog
  • The import of the raw and dng image into the Premiere Elements project
Table 1.

The observations obtained were consistent with what has been read in the references cited in the INTRODUCTION and ISSUES sections above, except for the Photoshop Elements 7 DNG result. The Adobe DNG Converter has Preferences section where compatibility of the dng file produced can be set for the version(s) of Camera Raw dialog which will open/edit the dng file file derived from the raw image.  See Adobe Camera Raw editing dialog 9.7, Preferences/Change Preferences/Preferences/Compatibility. See Table 2.

Table 2

In the case of the Photoshop Elements 7 Camera Raw 4.5 result, the Nikon D810 raw was converted to dng with Adobe DNG Converter 9.7 with a compatibility setting of Camera Raw 7.1 and later. At this point, it is not clear why the Nikon D810 dng opened in Photoshop Elements 7's Camera Raw 4.5 dialog. In the case of Adobe DNG Converter 9.7, the compatibility choices in Preference include
  • Camera Raw 2.4 and later
  • Camera Raw 4.1 and later
  • Camera Raw 4.6 and later
  • Camera Raw 5.4 and later
  • Camera Raw 6.6 and later
  • Camera Raw 7.1 and later
  • Custom

At this point, more work needs to be done to clarify the impact of the Preferences/Compatibility settings of the Adobe DNG Converter versions when producing dng files that are expected to open in Camera Raw dialog for edits/saving. Furthermore, when Photoshop Elements 9 (Camera Raw 6.5) replaced Photoshop Elements 7 (Camera Raw 4.5) in this question, the dng generated from Adobe DNG Converter 9.7 (Compatibility setting 7.1 and later) had not problems opening the Camera Raw 6.5 dialog for edits of the dng file.


If the interest of the Premiere Elements user is just to use dng file as source media for one of its projects, the data suggest that this user does not have to keep changing the Adobe DNG Converter version every time a version of Premiere Elements is changed.

Since Camera Raw files are typically large, there is the concern related to use of Premiere Elements as a 32 bit application and Adobe block of still image file size (total pixel count) greater than its limit. The resolution of the raw image file can be downsized in Camera Raw dialog (Photoshop only) and Photoshop and Photoshop Elements Editor. But, serious consideration should be given to using Premiere Elements as 64 bit application where still image file size (total pixel count) does not exist.