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Trick Aperture into supporting .dng files from unsupported cameras Apps
Aperture only imports .DNG files made from raw files that were created by certain cameras. Newer cameras (like my Leica D-Lux 3) may not yet be supported by OS X. Other raw-capable cameras may not yet be supported either. This hint may work for many unsupported cameras.

Aperture .DNG importing and interpretation depends on a file called Raw.plist, which lives very deep in your System folder. This file contains information about how to treat the .DNG files based on which model of camera produced the raw file.

Here's how I tricked Aperture into handling my raw photos made by my unsupported Leica:

  1. I downloaded the free Adobe DNG Converter app (ADC) from Adobe's website. Using Image Capture, I downloaded the .raw files from my camera into a folder (called RAWs) on my desktop. I created a new folder (DNGs) on the desktop, and then told ADC to convert all files in "RAWs" and put them in "DNGs". The settings for the converter (available in the ADC's preferences) were:
    JPEG Preview->None
    Compression(Lossless) checked
    Image Conversion Method->Preserve Raw Image
    Original Raw File->Embed Original Raw File->unchecked
  2. I imported one of the .dng files into Aperture. It imports, but says that it is an unsupported image format. I looked around the metadata for the Camera Model entry. Aperture lists mine as "D-LUX 3". I wrote that down.
  3. I started up my plist-editing application. You can use Property List Editor if you have it on your machine, I expect. I used PlistEdit Pro.
  4. In the finder, I navigated to System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/ Versions/A/Frameworks/ImageIO.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Raw.plist and copied (not moved) that file to the Desktop in case I made a mistake. I then opened the original file in its original location in PlistEdit Pro.
  5. I found the entry most similar to the camera I have. In this case, there was a Property List called LEICA-DIGILUX 2, and the Value of that entry was Panasonic-DMC-LC1. This tells Aperture that when the camera that created the raw file is this LEICA model, treat it just like you do with that Panasonic model. The Panasonic has its own Property List with lots of data about how to interpret the raw data.
  6. I duplicated that entry. I then edited the duplicate so the property list is called LEICA-D-LUX 3. You may need to experiment with that name, but the syntax seems to be MANUFACTURER-CAMERAMODEL. Look at the other entries for guidance; note that first hyphen seems to be mandatory. I left the reference to the Panasonic camera as it was.
  7. I saved the edited Raw.plist file in its original location, closed all my apps, started up Aperture, and imported the DNGs without a hitch.
If your camera is totally different from all of the entries in the original Raw.plist file you may have difficulty. Your DNG files might look wretched in Aperture if you guess wrong about how the system should treat that raw data. In my case, I was lucky in that my Leica D-Lux 3 has very similar raw data to the Leica Digilux 2, which is similar to that Panasonic camera.

[kirkmc adds: I haven't tested this; I don't use Aperture.]
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Trick Aperture into supporting .dng files from unsupported cameras
Authored by: allanmarcus on Oct 30, '06 11:49:48AM
Not to demean this post, but this is an old trick. I wasn't the first to figure it out, but I did post a tutorial at

for the Maxxum 5D. Also, you aren't tricking Aperture, you are tricking the OS.

Also, you don't need to duplicate the entry. You can just a <key><string> line above the main <key> line to create an alias to your camera. this is how Aple can support multiple identical cameras (The Maxxum 5D is a the Dynux 5D in Europe).


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Trick Aperture into supporting .dng files from unsupported cameras
Authored by: conner on Oct 31, '06 09:04:15AM

Allan, not to demean your response to the parent post, but I read the link that you posted and noticed the following:

1) Your hint was incomplete and did not work until amended.

2) When someone using a camera other than a Minolta Maxxum 5D asked for help you basically blew them off with "start another thread"

3) Part of the parent poster's hint was about how to find the correct camera model name so that they could solve the problem on a camera other than your beloved Minolta Maxxum 5D -- which is *not*, by the way, in any way a model related to the Leica D-Lux 3 that the parent poster is discussing.

I suggest you either:

1) Write an accurate article about how to carry out this hack with for different cameras, including how to find the camera model string that Apple uses.


2) Refrain from saying "this is old news" and then linking to a a discussion containing your erroneous how-to which does not solve the same problem that the parent attempts to solve and which contains a message in which you tell another user to "go away" when they ask how to solve the problem that the parent *is* trying to solve.

Thank You

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Trick Aperture into supporting .dng files from unsupported cameras
Authored by: Steve Hoge on Jul 17, '07 10:06:22PM

I've used this same technique to add .DNG support for the relatively recent Panasonic-DMC-FZ8. For these purposes, the FZ8 can also use an "alias" entry to the the Panasonic-DMC-LC1 plist parameters.

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Plists don't exist in version 2.1
Authored by: alec kinnear on Apr 05, '09 02:43:12PM

This hint doesn't work for Aperture anymore as far as I know.

If somebody has a more modern version of the hint, unsupported cameras is an ongoing issue with Aperture.

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Plists don't exist in version 2.1
Authored by: marcv on May 21, '09 11:01:18AM

I think it's here:

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