Convert Raw to DNG Automator Action

DECEMBER 2020: The Photoshop Automator Actions do not work with recent versions of macOS, and are no longer available.

You can batch-convert raw files to DNG with Adobe’s DNG Converter (currently at version 9.12.1), or when importing images into Lightroom (version 6 and Classic), if that is your primary image editor.

For step-by-step instructions on batch-converting Raw files with DNG Converter, see this more recent post on Complete Digital Photography; this process is required if you are using Lightroom 6 (the last non-subscription version of Lightroom) and get a new camera with raw files that aren’t supported with Lightroom 6. 

Adobe’s Digital Negative Specification, or DNG format, provides an open standard for the storage of raw camera data. However, since few cameras can store directly into Digital Negative format, if you want to take advantage of DNG, you first need to convert your existing raw files to DNG format using the Adobe DNG Converter. Mac users running OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”) or later can ease their conversion tasks using this Automator action, which lets you batch process your DNG conversions, as well as include DNG conversion in a more complex image processing pipeline. This updated version adds Leopard support as well as the ability to convert Sony SR2 files.

For photographers who shoot raw, DNG offers several important advantages over proprietary formats: it’s open source, so any software or hardware vendor can support it; it won’t vanish if any particular company goes out of business; and it includes support for all raw conversion metadata, making for a more efficient, all-in-one, raw format/metadata file.

Automator, meanwhile, is an excellent workflow automation tool which allows you to create applets that automatically manage your post-production pipeline.

The Convert Raw to DNG action allows you to use Automator to drive all of your DNG conversions. You’ll need the Adobe DNG Converter 3.2 or later, a free download available here, as well as OS X 10.4 or later..

To use, simply follow the included installation instructions, and then add the action to a workflow. Configuring the action is very simple:

  • If you leave the Name or Destination fields alone, then all resulting DNG files will be saved in the same location as the source, with same name as the original, appended with a “.dng” extension.
  • Select a new destination to store the resulting DNGs in a different folder. Enter a new name to give each DNG file a new, sequentially numbered name.
  • Configure the Output options appropriately (see the Adobe DNG Converter on-line help for more information.)
  • This new version offers substantial speed improvements over the previous, 1.0 version. However, to achieve this speed increase, two previous options have been dropped. Consult the included readme for more details.


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