Best 12 Converters for Sony RAW Files [2021 Updated]

January 01

16 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.

Shooting in RAW gives you more control over your pictures and more freedom for post-processing. The RAW format keeps a huge amount of information and provides high-quality images. But each camera has its own RAW format, and supporting several hundred camera models isn’t an easy job for a photo editor.

Sony’s RAW file formats are relatively new. As a result, not many RAW converter developers have adapted their products to support RAW files produced by Sony cameras. Still, Sony mirrorless technology keeps attracting more and more professional photographers that need powerful RAW convertors and photo editors.

Today, you have very good editing options that allow you to shoot in RAW and deliver natural-looking images. New versions of popular photo editing software support many Sony camera models, custom camera and lens profiles, and color matching systems. There are even tools that fix optical issues. Here’s a list of the best RAW converters and RAW photo editors you can find.

Best Sony software to convert .arw to .jpg (and other formats)

1. Adobe Camera Raw

Adobe Camera Raw was released in 2003 and has added support for new camera models ever since. Today, it supports many Sony camera models and two Sony filename extensions: ARW and SRF.

Adobe Camera Raw is a plugin that provides RAW conversion capabilities for Adobe applications such as Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, After Effects, and Bridge. It also offers image enhancing functionality (color adjustments, spot removal, geometric transformations, filters, and local adjustments), effects (vignette, dehaze, and grain), and merging functionality to create panoramas.

Price: Free for Adobe users

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Supports over 80 Sony camera models

Cons: Available only for Adobe users

Best 12 Converters for Sony RAW Files [2021 Updated] Image1

2. Luminar

Luminar is a standalone application that converts Sony RAW files. It supports over 80 Sony camera models and is an amazing image editor with artificial intelligence (AI) features.

Luminar is designed for photography and provides tools for beginners and advanced users. It has more than 70 filters for enhancing and adjusting images, many of which use AI algorithms to deliver automatic solutions. Filters such as Accent AI and AI Sky Enhancer are able to recognize the content in your images and provide a specific set of adjustments. You can use these filters as they are or as a starting point for your creative vision. Luminar also offers predefined Looks for achieving a specific mood.

Perhaps the most important features for a RAW converter are batch processing and digital asset management; the latest version of Luminar offers both.

Price: €79 for Luminar 4 during pre-sale

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Powerful RAW photo editor

Cons: Doesn’t have automatic perspective correction

Best 12 Converters for Sony RAW Files [2021 Updated] Image2

3. RawTherapee

RawTherapee supports most Sony ARW formats, including Sony Pixel Shift. As a RAW converter, it can transform your Sony RAW files into JPEG format. RawTherapee is fast and easy-to-use editing software for Sony images and is one of the best converters you can find. This software is optimized for modern CPUs, provides color management and ICC profiles, supports film negatives and monochrome cameras, and allows you to rate your images and edit metadata.

As a RAW photo editor, RawTherapee offers a preview panel and several preview modes. It allows you to see main histograms and RAW histograms (the camera shows you the JPEG histogram, which is the histogram created after the highlights and darks were clipped by compression). Using the Focus Mask, you can see the areas of an image that are sharp and in focus. Then you can decide which adjustments to make, such as to exposure, details, and color.

Price: Free, open-source

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Pros: Free and easy to use

Cons: Limited image editing tools

Best 12 Converters for Sony RAW Files [2021 Updated] Image3

4. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a RAW photo editor that supports more than 90 Sony camera models. It allows you to enhance and retouch images as well as create fine art.

Affinity Photo provides full RAW development. Among its best features are lens correction, exposure and white balance adjustment, noise reduction, hot pixel removal, and EXIF editing.

Affinity Photo works with layers and has amazing image composition tools such as mask and clipping layers, layer effects, vector and text tools, and blending modes. It also includes a large library of brushes. But this isn’t just an image editor for photographers. It’s a complex tool for graphic design, fine art, and creative work. You can also use it for stitching photos and creating panoramas, compositing HDR images, and making complicated selections.

Price: $59

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Fast loading of RAW files and efficient RAW editing tools

Cons: Might be too complex for beginners

Best 12 Converters for Sony RAW Files [2021 Updated] Image4

5. Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most famous photo editors. It’s also a RAW converter for a long list of camera models by Canon and Nikon — two producers with a long history of using the RAW format. And though it isn’t easy to discover, Lightroom also works as a Sony ARW converter for some Sony camera models. To see if your model is supported, check your camera’s specifications.

Lightroom is famous for its photo organization features, compatibility with Adobe software, and one-click tools that transform your images in seconds. It allows you to enhance colors, remove objects, perform geometric transformations, and work only on specific areas of an image. It also stores everything in the cloud, giving you a powerful backup and allowing you to access your pictures from different devices.

Price: $9.99/month

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Efficient photo organization tools

Cons: Monthly subscription; hard to find out if it’s compatible with your Sony camera

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6. Capture One Pro (for Sony)

Capture One Pro (for Sony) is a RAW converter that supports many Sony camera file formats, including ARW and SR2. It’s a powerful photo editor designed exclusively for Sony cameras. (Note: Capture One also provides a full version of Capture One Pro that works with files from many cameras by Sony and other manufacturers.) Capture One Pro provides photo organizing and editing tools, a customizable interface, and fast importing and exporting of files in various formats.

Being exclusive Sony editing software, Capture One Pro (for Sony) guarantees accurate color profiles and realistic colors. It’s calibrated for Sony RAW files and supports more than 70 Sony camera models. Capture One allows you to work with layers and masks, use custom lens profiles for natural colors and sharp details, and shoot directly to your computer.

Price: €149 or €10.99/month

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Custom color tools for Sony cameras

Cons: If you switch to a camera from another manufacturer, you’ll have to buy a different version of Capture One Pro or choose a new RAW photo editor

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7. RAW Viewer

RAW Viewer is a free application developed by Sony to view your Sony RAW files. It supports Sony RAW/X-OCN files recorded by VENICE/F65/F55/F5/NEX-FS700 with SR-R4/AXS-R5/R7. RAW Viewer allows you to play back files, edit metadata, flip images, see histograms and waveforms, control exposure, color temperature, tone, and color balance, and generate different video formats.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Developed by Sony and customized for Sony cameras

Cons: Limited functionalities for a RAW photo editor

8. DxO PhotoLab

DxO PhotoLab supports RAW formats from more than 400 digital cameras, including 73 Sony camera models. It’s great editing software for Sony files because it’s calibrated to match Sony systems and offers many image correction and processing tools. DxO PhotoLab provides customized profiles that correct for the optical flaws of equipment.

Among its best features are optical corrections, local adjustments with U Point technology, efficient and harmless denoising technology, and the possibility to switch between manual and automatic modes. DxO PhotoLab can help you with photo management, too, through its new Photolibrary feature.

Price: €129

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Optical corrections for camera flaws

Cons: Dedicated to photography; doesn’t include graphic design features

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9. AfterShot Pro

AfterShot Pro is a RAW photo editor that provides many useful features for converting and editing your RAW files. It offers RAW camera profiles and an automatic mechanism that sends you notifications when new profiles are added. You can download new profiles from the software vendor’s website at any time.

AfterShot Pro performs lens correction, removes spots and blemishes, recovers highlights using data from RAW files, and reduces noise. Among its features are basic adjustments, selective editing, HDR editing, red eye removal, and an image presets library.

Price: €59.99

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Linux

Pros: Easy to use, fast workflow, low system requirements

Cons: Difficult layer management

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10. RAW Power

RAW Power is developed by Gentlemen Coders and gives you access to Apple’s powerful RAW engine. It can be used as an Extension to Apple Photos or as a standalone application. RAW Power has extensive camera support, including for many Sony camera models.

RAW Power is a RAW photo editor that’s easy to use and efficient. It doesn’t have too many features, but you can use it to convert RAW files to JPEGs, recover highlights, reduce noise, adjust perspective, correct chromatic aberrations, adjust brightness, and convert to black and white. It also gives you access to iCloud Photo Library and the possibility to back up your photos and access them from different devices. RAW Power is a great photo management tools and allows for multiple file browsing, batch processing, metadata editing, various viewing panels, and searching.

Price: $29.99

Compatibility: Mac

Pros: Easy to use, integrated with Apple software

Cons: Doesn’t work with layers

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11. ACDSee Photo Studio

ACDSee Photo Studio is a powerful photo editor that has recently entered the list of RAW convertors for Sony cameras. It has different versions for Mac and Windows, and each has its own list of compatible Sony camera models. ACDSee Photo Studio provides amazing image editing features and RAW capabilities that place it on the list of best RAW converters for Sony.

Among its best features are HDR imaging, focus stacking, face detection and recognition, layers, tools for adding text, tools for making color adjustments and geometric transformations/corrections, LUTs, batch conversion, and a duplicate finder. ACDSee’s RAW editing features include non-destructive adjustments to correct exposure, color, and contrast, sharpen images, and enhance details.

Price: Windows: $134.95 or $8.90/month; Mac: $34.95

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Excellent editing tools

Cons: Supports Sony cameras only in the newest version; doesn’t have custom lens and camera profiles

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12. CyberLink PhotoDirector 365

PhotoDirector 365 is the newest version of CyberLink’s photo editor. Dedicated to professional photographers, this software provides support for a large range of Sony camera models. It has many attractive features for creative editing, but it also offers image retouching and enhancing tools.

PhotoDirector 365 includes AI-powered tools for automatic adjustments such as AI Deblur, AI Face Recognition, and AI Styles. They allow you to quickly fix problems while considering image content. PhotoDirector 365 offers content-aware removal and cloning, color replacement, filters for image enhancement, and many more features. It also allows you to extract photos from videos, use frames and clip art packs, edit 360-degree images, and use a wide collection of plugins and effects. It’s great software for graphic design and creative photography.

Price: $14.99/month

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Pros: Excellent layer editing and multimedia support

Cons: Few options for image correction; doesn’t have custom lens and camera profiles

Best 12 Converters for Sony RAW Files [2021 Updated] Image11

Sony fans have many interesting RAW conversion options, from free RAW converters to sophisticated professional photo editors. Because the market for Sony RAW software is relatively new and rapidly changing, check the list of compatible cameras before buying a new RAW converter. Make sure your camera and lens(es) are supported. Also, check the system requirements, as some photo editors require a powerful computer and the latest operating system.

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