Today’s Question: Can I update Photoshop CS6 to support new RAW capture formats, such as for the new camera I just bought? I would rather not subscribe to “CC” if I can avoid it.
Tim’s Quick Answer: Adobe is no longer adding support for new RAW capture formats in Adobe Camera Raw for Photoshop CS6. You will either need to subscribe to the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, or use the Adobe DNG Converter to convert your RAW captures to the Adobe DNG format.
More Detail: When Adobe releases a new major update to Photoshop, updates to older versions of Photoshop (if they are available at all) are generally limited to bug fixes. Support for the latest RAW capture formats is generally limited to the current release of Photoshop (and by extension Adobe Camera Raw) or Lightroom.
Therefore, to be able to process the latest RAW capture formats supported by Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom) you need to be using the latest major version of the software. In the context of Photoshop, that means you need to have at least a Creative Cloud Photography Plan subscription so you will have access to the latest updates to Photoshop.
One workaround that works in most cases is to convert your RAW captures to the Adobe DNG (Digital Negative) format, using the free Adobe DNG Converter. Images converted to the Adobe DNG format are supported by older versions of Adobe Camera Raw, including the version available for Photoshop CS6. Thus, in most cases you can convert RAW capture formats that are not supported in Photoshop CS6 to the Adobe DNG file format, and then process the DNG file with Adobe Camera Raw.