Lightroom 6 has reached the end of its road, so it’s all gravel lane from here on out. The last perpetual revision, Lightroom 6.14, was released on December 19, 2017, and Adobe isn’t going to update or support it going forward. The app still works fine, however, so if you’ve chosen it over Adobe’s subscription offerings (Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC), you shouldn’t see much of a difference for the time being.
Unless you buy a new camera.
If you’re shooting with a camera released after that date, Lightroom 6 won’t recognize those raw files. Camera manufacturers tweak the raw recipe for each camera model, which is why you frequently see updates to Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop and Lightroom that add new raw formats. Since Adobe ended support for Lightroom 6 at the end of 2017, the software will no longer receive those updates. Read more »
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. Read more »