Photography Workflow

Workflow for RAW files from the Canon 5d mkIII and Lightroom 3

Oh, it was a happy, happy, day at my house when my Canon 5D mkIII arrived. I took it out of the box, popped in a battery, formatted my memory card, set it up to shoot RAW format, and went out to the front yard to test out those 61 focal points of delicious goodness.

When I was all done, I could not WAIT to look at the photos. For well over a year, my 5D mkII had considered focusing an entirely optional thing – causing me to get in the bad habit of overshooting because one frame would be in focus and the very next frame wouldn’t. The magical 5D mkIII was going to FIX all of that for me, and I was simply giddy about it!

Until Lightroom 3 wouldn’t open the RAW files.

It was like they didn’t even exist as far are LR3 was concerned.

WTF?!?!! (Imagine me looking really mad, sad, and considering throwing my computer across the room.)

Of course, I took it to Google, and quickly found my answer. Lightroom 4 came out of beta just before the mkIII was released, and that release of LR4 put LR3 to bed. No more development for Lightroom 3, including NO UPDATE to make it work with the mkIII files.

I’m a total geek, and I love a new gadget and new software as much as the next person, but I don’t like upgrading software that I use in my everyday workflow that close to the launch. I like all the bugs to be worked out before I dive in. I’ve heard that LR4 is a bit slow and that the interface is different. Using it will mean having to update all of my LR catalogs. I just don’t want to do it yet.

Thank goodness, there is a workaround. It does add some time to your workflow, but in the end it isn’t that bad. (Yes, I’ll add time to my workflow if it is something I can run and leave – I don’t want to add time where I have to sit and watch LR render stuff. I know, it is a bit crazy.) Whenever I download my memory cards, I then launch the Adobe RAW to DNG Converter. (FREE from Adobe.) I point to my source directory, set it up to save in a DNG directory, and then pull those DNG files in to Lightroom 3.

Viola´! Now Lightroom 3 and the Canon 5D mkIII play well together again!

PS – And in case you’re wondering – the mkIII considers focusing to be a requirement, and it does quite a fantastic job doing it!

By Christine

Business Coach for Local Businesses, founder of the InstaLocal System, and Best-Selling Author. Blogger since 2000, I named WordPress. (Yes. Really.) My Superpower: Helping Local Business owners like you use the power of story to magnetize clients and dominate your market. It is time to stop believing the lies of the Perfection Culture. I live in Houston, Texas when I'm not on a road trip adventure in my Mini Cooper.

2 replies on “Workflow for RAW files from the Canon 5d mkIII and Lightroom 3”

Great share, C! Is there a way to tell the geeks at Adobe to take an extended vacation and stop developing upgrades to give non-techies like me time to catch up on the learning curve? 😉

When I follow the above I get an error message stating –
“The source folder does not contain any supported camera raw files”

My source folder is the same as the one that I download into….can you tell me where I am going wrong?

Many thanks and best wishes for Christmas


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