Photoshop CS6 Stragglers Out of Luck for Camera Raw Updates

It's no secret that Adobe left its Creative Suite 6 apps behind when it moved to Creative Cloud and annual software licenses, and if you've been holding out hope for extended support for the old versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, get ready for the bad news. Adobe says Camera Raw 9.1.1 will be the last version released that still offers Photoshop CS6 support. For people using Adobe's apps professionally, this is another reminder that Creative Suite 6 is now a relic and it's time to let it go.

Adobe leaves Photoshop CS6 behind with last Camera Raw updateAdobe leaves Photoshop CS6 behind with last Camera Raw update

Photoshop's Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) component lets the app import native photo files from digital cameras, and includes lens profiles to remove optical distortion from your shots. As new cameras are released, Adobe updates Camera Raw so Photoshop recognizes the models and can properly import images. For Photoshop CS6 users, this means any pro level cameras released after the ACR 9.1.1 update won't be directly compatible.

That doesn't mean Photoshop CS6 users are totally out of luck. Adobe said,

In order to pursue further innovations in image processing and workflow technology, the next release of Adobe Camera Raw (v 9.1.1) will be the final version available for use with CS6. Customers can utilize the free Adobe DNG Converter utility to receive the very latest camera support for CS6 and older versions of our software going all the way back to Photoshop CS2 and Lightroom 1.0.

DNG Converter adds extra steps when importing Camera Raw files, and doesn't include lens profiles. It works, but isn't as good a solution as ACR.

More casual Photoshop users, and people who don't need Adobe's apps as part of their daily job don't necessarily need to worry about moving to Creative Cloud. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and the rest of the CS6 suite will continue to work until OS X changes enough to break them.

For professional users, however, the older app versions are out of date and need to be retired. As more updates come out CS6 will be left farther behind, and Adobe made it clear Photoshop CS6 users will miss out on support for new camera models moving forward.

Like it or not, Creative Cloud has been the path for design for several years. Eventually designers who haven't made the jump to Creative Cloud will need to decide if they're moving forward, or find alternative apps and hope they don't have compatibility issues.