How Fast Will Your New Camera's RAW Files be Supported?

I was in a recent DALPUG user group meeting and the topic of Lightroom vs. Aperture came up. Specifically, someone mentioned that they were a bit tired of how slowly Aperture released updates to support the RAW files of new DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, etc.

I've always generally been okay with how fast Ligthroom supported new cameras, but the discussion got me thinking about how fast both these tools support new cameras.

The following are the results of my research. You can scroll to the bottom of the post for a bit more information on how I collected the data. As you can see, it isn't exhaustive, but it is composed of over 30 models, primarily from Canon, Nikon and Sony.

While this may not guarantee how fast Lightroom and Aperture will support the RAW files from your new camera in the future, it is interesting to see how fast they've done so in the past.

A few interesting things to note:

  • Lightroom is faster (yah!), but that the gap isn't huge.
  • The only exception to the previous point is in support of newer Sony models. At the time of this post, Aperture isn't supporting a single one of the 6 Sony DSLRs released in 2009 that I used to compile these charts.
  • Nikon is generally supported a bit faster than Canon.

A Look at the Charts

All charts show the time, in days, needed to support the RAW files for a particular camera model. These are measured between a camera's announcement date and the date Lightroom/Aperture released an update supporting the model.

General Chart

Nikon Support

Canon Support

Aperture Support

Lightroom Support

Data Sources & Info

Camera Announcement Dates were pulled from press releases and Wikipedia. Announcement dates were used because the data was more reliably accessible than the dates that the cameras were actually available for purchase.

Lightroom/Aperture release dates were based on Apple tech notes and Lightroom release notes.

Sample Sizes:

Canon: 9

Nikon: 9

Sony: 7

Olympus: 1

Brian Reyman

Brian lives and breathes Adobe products and loves using pretty much all of them. He was recently named an Adobe Community Professional for Lightroom! As an Adobe Certified Expert in Lightroom and User Group Manager for the Denver Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop User Group, Lightroom is at the top of the list! When not shooting and using Lightroom (or other Adobe products), Brian is an IT professional living in Denver, Colorado. You can find Brian enjoying time with his great wife & kids or out playing sports or shooting (pictures of course) in the Rocky Mountains.