Apple picks up support for new Oly, Sony, Pany raw photos

An OS X update lets iPhoto, Aperture, and other software handle images from several of the latest mirrorless cameras and high-end compacts.

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Mac software now can handle raw photso from Panasonic's Lumix GH3 and other new higher-end cameras.
Mac software now can handle raw photso from Panasonic's Lumix GH3 and other new higher-end cameras. Lori Grunin/CNET

Apple released an update yesterday to let Mac software handle raw photos from eight new cameras, most of them high-end compact models.

The Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 4.02 lets Aperture 3, iPhoto 11, and other software handle raw photos from the following cameras:

• Nikon Coolpix P7700

• Olympus Pen E-PL5

• Olympus Pen E-PM2

• Olympus Stylus XZ-2

• Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

• Sony Alpha NEX-5R

• Sony Alpha NEX-6

• Sony Alpha SLT-A99

Raw photos offer more flexibility and higher image quality than conventional JPEGs, but photographers must use software to process the photos, and companies must write software to decode new cameras' proprietary formats.

A slew of new raw photo formats are arriving as camera makers struggle for dominance in the new market of compact "mirrorless" cameras with interchangeable lenses. Most of the new cameras Apple now supports are of this mirrorless ilk.

For an entertaining look at how the mirrorless market is developing, I heartily recommend this mirrorless camera party video from the Camera Store in Calgary, Canada.