Working with Digital Photographs in Zoner Photo Studio
Maximize Your RAW Support
If you shoot to RAW, but the kind of RAW in your camera is not supported by Zoner Photo Studio directly, the solution is simple: install Adobe DNG Converter.
First, a few words on some important RAW fundamentals. RAW actually is not really just one format. It is a group of formats with one thing in common: they all contain raw camera sensor data. The data must be processed before it becomes a picture. Processing it in third-party software is harder than it could ideally be, because each manufacturer uses its own storage method (sometimes it differs camera to camera) and manufacturers do not publish official documentation for “their” RAW. Zoner Photo Studio thus directly supports only a few formats: Canon’s CRW/CR2, Nikon’s NEF, and Adobe’s DNG. And it is precisely the universal DNG (Digital Negative) format that Zoner Photo Studio uses to handle the remaining RAW formats. With DNG’s help, it can process almost every existing RAW format, including ORF, MRW, PEF, and other, less common formats. Adobe has developed, and constantly updates, a freeware program for converting RAW files to DNG: Adobe DNG Converter. It can convert almost all RAWs to DNGs, and Zoner Photo Studio can then work with the DNG file.
If, when switching into Zoner Photo Studio’s RAW module, you ever see a “file format is not supported” error, first make sure that you have the latest version of Adobe DNG Converter installed and integrated into Zoner Photo Studio (see below). New cameras come out every year; support for their RAW formats is added to Adobe DNG Converter nonstop—and added directly to Zoner Photo Studio only sometimes. Thus updating Zoner Photo Studio may help, but if not, go to http://www.adobe.com/go/dng_converter_win and install Adobe DNG Converter, or update your installation of it.
To ease the steps below, install the Converter to the default folder (for this it’s enough to just not click anything but “Next” during installation). Then start up Zoner Photo Studio. Visit its Settings | Preferences window (Ctrl+M), then the RAW Format section. It has a control named RAW-to-DNG Converter. If you installed Adobe DNG Converter to a custom path, enter it here. If you left the default path (that is, you didn’t change it), the correct path is already filled in.
Then click OK. This makes Zoner Photo Studio start using Adobe DNG Converter to process all RAW files. Note that you can sometimes use conversion via the DNG converter to get better display of an already-supported format that otherwise is not displaying correctly—the colors are wrong or are too light or dark compared to the preview.
Remember, Adobe DNG Converter is continually updated, and support for new camera models is constantly added to it. If RAW conversion problems continue after installing Adobe DNG Converter, check that you have installed the latest version and that you have set the path to it correctly within Zoner Photo Studio.