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Camera Raw 6.3 update available

By Rick LePage  ·  December 8th, 2010

Over the past couple of years, one of my biggest complaints about Adobe has been the way that Photoshop Elements has supported Camera Raw (ACR). I have really wished that Elements users got all the features in ACR that Photoshop users got, but, even more, I have wanted Adobe to add the automatic update feature for ACR that Photoshop includes. It’s not fair that we have to go spelunking through our Program Files and Preferences folders to add a new version of ACR to our systems. (Don’t even get me started on the 64-bit stuff!)

If you’re an Elements 9 user, here’s some good news: the Updates feature will now automatically install the Camera Raw plug-in for you. I found this out yesterday, when I went to look at the info for the new Camera Raw 6.3 update. You can still download the plug-in and do all the dirty work of installing it yourself, but if you just go to Help>Updates, Elements will download and install ACR 6.3 all by itself. (You’ll need to close the Editor or the Organizer before it finishes updating, but that’s ok by me.)

(If you’re using Windows and you check for updates, you’ll also find the Elements 9.0.1 updater, which fixes a problem with content-aware fill not working on single-core PCs.)

I still wish we got all of the cool tabs and extra controls that Photoshop CS users got, but I’ll take an easier installation process any day.

If you want to see more on what new cameras are supported in the Camera Raw 6.3 update, you can go to the Adobe support pages, for Macintosh and Windows systems (or check out the Camera Raw 6.3 Read Me PDF). Unfortunately, Camera Raw 6.3 is only available for Photoshop Elements 9.0. The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 6.0/7.0 is Camera Raw 5.6 (Macintosh, Windows) ; for Photoshop Elements 8.0, it’s Camera Raw 6.2 (Macintosh, Windows).

TIP: If you have an older version of Photoshop Elements, and you get a new camera that isn’t supported by your maximum version of ACR (but is by a newer version), you can still work with the files; you just need to convert them to Adobe’s DNG (Digital Negative) format.

First, download and open the latest version of Adobe’s free DNG Converter (Macintosh, Windows. Then, point the program to the folder containing the Raw files you want to convert, use the file-naming section to name your converted DNG files, and select the version of ACR in the Preferences pop-up that corresponds to your version of ACR. (You can click the ‘Embed original Raw file’ if you want to keep everything neat and tidy, but I just back up my Raw files to a different hard drive, so I don’t worry about that option.)

[click the images below for full-size views]

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to open those DNG files with ACR for your version of Elements. I’ve been able to go as far back as Elements 5.0 with this tip.


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14 Replies to Camera Raw 6.3 update available:

  1. Angela

    December 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for alerting us to this update!

  2. Ann-Muriel

    December 9, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Does anybody know if this new version of Camera Raw for Elements 9.0 has all the editing tools (nine I think, including a brush) of the Camera Raw installed with Photoshop?

    • Rick

      December 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

      No, Ann-Muriel – it still has the same three tabs…

  3. Johnny

    December 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I just finished downloading the update. It loaded automatically into my system with no problems. I’m glad that Rick said to turn off the Editor while it was downloading because I wouldn’t have known.


  4. Tony

    December 25, 2010 at 7:10 am

    this is very interesting for me, tooo

  5. Karen

    April 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    well at least now I know why I can’t use my RAW files in PSE with my brand new Canon Rebel T3i- it was very frustrating, as the older camera would work just fine. I just have PSE 8. I’ll try this -might have to get PSE 9.

  6. James

    August 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I bought my version of Elements 9 just about 6 months ago, does it have ACR loaded from the factory ( or whatever)

    • Rick

      August 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Yes, it does, James.

  7. Arthur

    January 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I find the fact that we don’t get the full ACR with Elements 9 very frustrating because all the technical info that I can get assumes that I have all full ACR and so I have difficulty following their tips.
    On another topic. I have great trouble getting real prints from PSE. sure I get prints BUT they are pale and washed out compared to the result I get from Epson fast print.(same photo)
    What should my PSE print settings to get the best out of my photos?

  8. Marianna

    January 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I am just getting brave enough to start shooting in RAW (have not actually done it yet) I have a Canon EOS 50D which says 4.6, 5.1 required and PE6 with Camera Raw plug-in version 4.3.1 I need to convert my files, right?

    • Rick

      January 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Yes, you’ll need to use the DNG technique to get your files converted to use in the older version of Camera Raw.


  9. Marianna

    February 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Well, I just downloaded DNG converter 6.6 and installed it in the Applications folder. When I clicked to open it, I got the message: You cannot open the application “Adobe Converter” because it is not supported on this system. I have OSX 10.4.11. and PE6. Can you help? Adobe told me they could not help because it is “freeware”.

  10. Marianna

    March 5, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I am now shooting in raw almost all the time. I have downloaded Adobe DNG and it works fine. I have a Canon EOS 50D and PE6. Have updated the Camera Raw to 5.5 (the max I can go with a mac G4.) I find I can open the CR2 files in Camera Raw without converting them to dng files, so would like to know what the advantages are of doing so.

  11. Richard

    May 3, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I was looking for this a couple days ago so finding this was perfect timing. Thanks for the information.

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