Adobe Camera RAW or ACR is the plug-in that allows Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to open, view and edit camera RAW files. I wrote an earlier post on this subject some time ago. CLICK HERE to review that article. There are two good reasons to keep Photoshop and Elements up to date in this area.
First, if you buy a new camera, you may find the the RAW files it outputs are unreadable to PSE. As camera manufacturers release new models, they often modify the file structure of their proprietary RAW format. As new models are introduced, Adobe rapidly comes out with a new version of the ACR to accommodate the new formats.
Secondly, on occasion new capabilities are added to the new version of ACR, or the methods used within the program to edit RAW images are improved. The updates are free, and you can have them downloaded/installed almost automatically. So there is no reason not to keep this free plug-in upgraded.
However, the latest versions are not always compatible with older versions of Photoshop Elements. Thus, if you buy a new camera, you may find that even with the latest compatible version of ACR installed, RAW image files from your new camera are not readable. Below is a limited list of the latest ACR that is compatible with more recent versions of PSE.
PSE 7 —- ACR 5.6
PSE 8 —- ACR 6.2
PSE 9 – — ACR 6.3 (It appears)
PSE 10 —-ACR 6.6 (Latest ACR)
Remember, if you are using Premiere Elements, it also needs to have the latest ACR version installed. To obtain the latest ACR version for your PSE, go to the ACR Downloads page on the Adobe website. From there you can search for the latest compatible ACR.