Which RAW Converter Should You Use for Sony?

November 25

9 min. to read

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If you are using photo editors for your RAW files, you need to be sure that it is compatible.

Most photographers would agree that having the power to shoot in RAW format gives them an amazing amount of control over how their final images turn out. This is because RAW files contain all the recorded information from any given scene, allowing you to decide which characteristics of your photos to enhance and which to suppress.

Imagine this: you take a photo of a beautiful landscape on a bright sunny day. You come home, transfer your image to the computer and find out that the sky doesn’t look blue, but rather white, because your camera didn’t expose it properly. Now, if you shot this image in JPEG only, you’re pretty much stuck with it unless you decide to use Photoshop to add a new sky altogether. However, if you saved the photo as a RAW file, chances are that you’ll be able to pull more information from the blown-out highlights and save your image!

Which RAW Converter Should You Use for Sony? Image1

That’s the power of a RAW file, and the best part about all these edits is that they are completely non-destructive and can be undone if you ever feel like your image doesn’t look the way you want.

RAW converters for Sony

A RAW file needs to be converted into something like a JPEG before you can share your image with others. For that, there are a number of RAW image editors available. However, you need to be sure that the editor you’re using is compatible with the RAW files from your camera.

Sony is still a fairly new entrant into the world of professional photography. With their excellent A-mount cameras, Sony made their way onto the scene a few years ago but couldn’t quite catch up to Canon and Nikon. However, when they came out with their mirrorless technology, Sony really started becoming a household name when it came to fast-paced photography. Today, a large number of professional photographers are making the move to Sony cameras, which means they need to be aware of RAW editors that support the Sony RAW file format.

Which RAW Converter Should You Use for Sony? Image2

Luminar by Skylum

Luminar is a new name in the world of RAW photo editing. It’s an image editor developed from the ground up to attract all tiers of photographers from beginners to experts. It doesn’t have the cataloging prowess of other RAW converters, but it does come with a large number of features to help you edit your images to your heart’s content.

If you want a simple, easy-to-use, yet very powerful way to convert RAW to JPEG, then Luminar is worth a shot. It is a very capable Sony RAW converter.

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Capture One by PhaseOne

When you talk of Sony RAW converters, you have to consider Capture One for Sony. This has to be the best overall option for Sony RAW files not only because it’s one of the best RAW converters but also because its Express version is completely free for Sony users! This is thanks to a partnership between Sony and PhaseOne, and it benefits users a whole lot. The only things you lose when using the Express version over the Pro version are layer masks that allow you to make local adjustments. But if you really need that, even the upgrade to the Pro version for Sony users is cheaper than the price of the software for others.

Other than the unbelievable value for the money, Capture One boasts features like great image quality and control over exposure, contrast, white balance, and much more just like any other leading RAW converter in the market. It also has a number of presets that can help you give your images a unique look with a single click. Capture One also has a cataloging system to help manage your photos in a streamlined way. Its cataloging may not be as effective as Lightroom’s, but it still adds to the overall value of this software.

So if you have a Sony camera and are looking for a RAW editor and converter, it simply makes sense to give Capture One a go as you don’t have to pay a penny for it.

Lightroom by Adobe

Lightroom is considered the best RAW converter by many photographers. The main reason for this is the track record of the software. It has been around for quite some time and is created by the giant Adobe. This means stable operation, instant support, updated online forums, lots of tutorials, and much more. Operationally, Lightroom has a simpler interface than Capture One and has a lot of the same features like exposure control, color correction, noise removal, and layer masks. Another great thing about using Lightroom is its integration with Photoshop. This means that if you want to do some pixel-level editing, you can use Lightroom as a Sony RAW converter and then take your images into Photoshop for final tweaking.

Lightroom is also very good — almost unchallenged — when it comes to its catalog management. This is one of the biggest reasons why people who are already using

Lightroom cannot even imagine switching to another RAW editor, even if it offers better value for the money.

Which RAW Converter Should You Use for Sony? Image3

However, despite its excellence, the reason Lightroom cannot be recommended as the top Sony RAW converter is because not all versions of it support Sony’s RAW file format. Also, Capture One simply offers much more value for the money since it’s basically free for Sony users.

Sony has come a very long way in recent years with their mirrorless technology and is finally being taken seriously by expert photographers in all genres. Their cameras are known for their great image quality, high-speed shooting, small size, and very capable RAW files. But unfortunately, those RAW files are of no use if the RAW converter you choose doesn’t fully support them.

Overall, we strongly recommend that you give Capture One a try by making use of the free Express version for Sony users. If you want a simpler editor that has pretty much all the same features in a more intuitive interface, then Luminar is the best overall choice. If, however, you want the strongest catalog manager bundled with an excellent editor and you don’t mind working a little harder to make sure you have the right version, then Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop combo might be hard to beat as far as overall features are concerned.

Luminar 4 Your photography. Elevated.

Replace the sky in your photos, instantly! Boost details with AI Structure. Discover more amazing tools in the new Luminar 4.

  • AI Sky Replacement
  • AI Structure
  • 60+ cutting edge features
  • Instant Looks
  • And more

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