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10.6: Add RAW support for some unsupported cameras Other Hardware
Snow Leopard only hintMy new Olympus E-620 is not (yet) directly supported by Snow Leopard. Since I only shoot in RAW, I searched the web and found that there is a Raw.plist file that can be tweaked. However, that didn't work. I then found out that you need to tweak the RawCamera binary, too (that's a shame Apple, hiding ID Strings in a binary).

Step 1: Tweak the Raw.plist file.

Open Terminal, and run these two commands:
$ cd /System/Library/CoreServices/RawCamera.bundle/Contents/Resources
$ sudo cp Raw.plist Raw.plist.orig
Open Raw.plist using you favorite text editor and sudo, i.e.: sudo open -a textwrangler Raw.plist. My E-620 is the little sister of the E-30, so I expanded the E-30's entry to include the E-620, too. Find the entry like this:
And add the E-620 entry above, giving this:
This aliases the E-620 to the E-30, which is well supported.

Step 2: Update the Signature of the Raw.plist file

I don't know if this is really necessary; it seemed to work fine without, but you never know when this may bite you. Again in Terminal:
$ cd ..
$ sudo cp CodeResources CodeResources.orig 
$ openssl dgst -sha1 -binary Resources/Raw.plist | openssl enc -base64
Take the resulting string (something like vNX0z5VZrQjPi5OAHRi/K4N5+IA=), open CodeResources in your favorite text editor, find the Raw.plist entry, and replace the signature with the new one. In my case it now looks like this:
Step 3: Patch the CameraRaw binary to recognize your camera

It seems that the tags in Raw.plist are matched by strings generated by RawCamera. That is, when you open an image, RawCamera looks at the bits and generates an ID string like RCID_OlympusE30. This is matched in Raw.plist.

To support the E-620, I had to patch the RawCamera binary to recognize it. I replaced all occurrences of E-520 and E520 with E-620 and E620. (I chose the E-520 over the E-30, because the string lengths are the same). I did this with HexEdit (you can use the hex editor of you choice). Terminal, again:
$ cd MacOS
$ cp RawCamera /tmp
$ open -a hexedit /tmp/RawCamera
Use Find and Replace to exchange E-520 for E-620 and E520 for E620, then save the changes. You need to copy the file first, because HexEdit is not smart enough to ask for permission to write a file owned by root (TextWrangler and BBEdit are, though). After editing, copy the edited file back into the directory:
$ cp /tmp/RawCamera .
Now reboot. Afterwards, I was able to use QuickLook on E-620 images, and import them into Aperture.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one. Any time you're modifying system files, make sure you have a current backup, just in case. I've marked this hint as 10.6 only, but it looks like the file layout is the same in 10.5, so it might work there as well.]
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10.6: Add RAW support for some unsupported cameras
Authored by: solitario on Dec 30, '09 09:39:14AM

Without access to Apple's signing key you cannot fix the signature for a bundle signed by Apple (or Apple's code signing implementation is seriously broken). So just patch the executable and the plist and skip the code signing.

I just wonder why Apple even bothers to sign their code if they allow it to run when altered....

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10.6: Add RAW support for some unsupported cameras
Authored by: cycomachead on Dec 30, '09 10:23:52AM

Yeah, this whole thing changed with 10.5. I don't mind it being more "hidden" in the system folder, personally, because it doesn't really affect the way I use the OS, and programs. I think it makes it easier for Apple to push updates. I just wish Apple had a few more resources to be able to test new camera profiles, since unlike Adobe, they don't have a dedicated team.

Oh, and this isn't a bad solution for most cameras, but there's a couple things to remember:
1. It only works with cameras with a similar sensor AND RAW format. The second one is more important. Most companies don't change their profile structure, but if they suddenly do, well, that's a lot more work.
2. The changes will be "undone" by subsequent Digital Camera RAW updates, and OS releases. (Unless your camera is finally added to the support list. :) Here's hoping for an LX3 update!)

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Also: Terminal not necessary
Authored by: cycomachead on Dec 30, '09 10:27:22AM

These instructions are fine, but if you don't like the Terminal, you can do it via the Finder and regular methods. You'll just need an admin password, or a root account. Having an admin password is a little slower than using Root, but safer if you're unsure of what you might be doing. :)

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The non-hacking solution
Authored by: lincd0 on Dec 30, '09 04:28:17PM

The current version of Adobe DNG Converter supports the E620. Use it to convert your RAW files; then they'll open in Apple applications.

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The non-hacking solution
Authored by: sv1cec on Feb 04, '10 12:30:08PM

I tried the above procedure and I can't say it worked. Or at least it didn't work for Apple Aperture, which is the application I use for managing and editing my pictures.

I was interested in making Aperture recognize my Canon S90 raw files. So what I did, was to replace Canon G11 for S90, either exactly as shown above or by replacing every occurence of G11 with S90. No work.

It's strange, because after doing all the above, I can see the "thumbnail" of the Canon S90 picture, which means that part of Aperture recognizes the raw file and renders the thumbnail for it, but when I click on the thumbnail to open it in the editor, I get the usual error message "File not supported" etc.

Any ideas would be more than welcome, since only Steve Jobs knows when the next Aperture version will be released (if ever).

Another question: Is Adobe DNG Converter a stand-alone app or is it only for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements? If there is a stand-alone app, where can I download it from? I checked Adobe site, but all I can find are the versions for Photoshop and Elements, I ain't using either.

Many thanks

Edited on Feb 04, '10 12:32:45PM by sv1cec

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The non-hacking solution
Authored by: sv1cec on Feb 08, '10 05:07:16AM

For some reason, the modification shown above (changing the Raw.plist file and the RawCamera file) didn't work for me. So I did some searching and some experimenting, and I think I came up with a more "viable" solution, to force Mac to recognize and support my non-supported camera.

Let's define the parameters:

I own a Canon PowerShot S90 camera (and several Nikons) and I am using an iMac and a MacBook, running Aperture, to manage my pictures, edit and file them. In the Nikon world, I always shoot raw (NEF), so I wanted to do the same with my S90. Unfortunately, the S90 is NOT supported by Apple. There is however, one camera that has the same censor as the S90, which is supported by Mac OS-X, it is the Canon PowerShot G11. From what I read on the Internet, the raw files had to be the same since those cameras are using exactly the same censor. So here is what I came up with.

Mac checks a "tag" inside the CR2 raw file to figure out what camera a picture is shot with. That tag is called CanonModelID, and that's the only tag that needs to be changed, to allow Mac to understand and use the pictures you shoot with the S90. All you have to do, is change that tag in your CR2 raw image files, to something that your RawCamera already supports, in this particular case, I changed the tag to show "PowerShot G11" instead of "PowerShot S90". The reason for selecting this particular camera (the G11), in my efforts to trick Mac OS-X to recognize the S90 raw images, is because the G11 and the S90 share the same censor (as stated above), so the image information would be interpreted correctly by any program in the Mac.

To change the tag, I used a program called ExifTool, written by Phil Harvey and which you can google to download. ExifTool is a command-line tool (meaning there is no GUI user interface) and that's a good thing, because as a command-line program, it supports all Unix wild characters. That means that you can convert all your S90 images, with one single command.

The procedure I came up with, is this:

I first copy all my .CR2 files, from the S90 memory card to a temporary directory. So I end up with a group of .CR2 files in there. Then I open a terminal window and move into that directory, where I issue the following command:

exiftool -canonmodelid='PowerShot G11' *.CR2

What that command does is:

- it copies all original .CR2 files to .CR2_original files (so your initial files are preserved).
- it then patches a copy of each original file, replacing the "canonmodelid" tag (which was "PowerShot S90" before) with the string "PowerShot G11".

So you end up with two set of files, one with extension .CR2 and another with extension .CR2_original. The .CR2 files are now perfectly readable by Mac applications, such as the Finder, Aperture, Xee etc.

All I have to do now, is to move the .CR2 files in my standard Master files directory structure and import them in Aperture. The funny thing is that Aperture still reports that the camera model is "Canon PowerShot S90". And of course, you can also save the .CR2_original files if you so want, so you can use them when Apple decides to support the S90.

I hope this trick helps other S90 and Aperture users, until Apple gets its act together and releases a new Raw Camera Compatibility package.

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The non-hacking solution
Authored by: pediger on Feb 08, '10 01:47:01PM

Works! Very cool. Thanks. I'm new to both RAW and the S90, so I'm still wading through how to best to work with its RAW files.

A few notes:
- I get similar, though not identical, results from Adobe DNG Converter, Lightroom (3 Beta), and changing the tag to PowerShot G11
- All of the above methods differ from the results I get from Canon's DPP tool, sometimes dramatically. I understand it may be futile to try to duplicate DPP's rendering elsewhere, but DPP sometimes produces results by default that I prefer.
- exiftool (v8.08, so slightly older) is available from MacPorts: sudo port install p5-image-exiftool
- exiftool -s <filename> lists all of the exif tags in their shortened format, e.g., CanonModelID vs. Canon Model ID.
- There are two tags that identify the camera: CanonModelID and Model (or Camera Model Name). The second is apparently what is displayed by most tools when viewing exif data. The first must be what Apple uses to support RAW.


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The non-hacking solution
Authored by: sv1cec on Feb 14, '10 07:23:42AM

Well, my procedure seems to be useless now that Apple announced Aperture 3 and posted the new Digital Camera Support (DCS) package, which supports the Canon S90 raw.

However I noticed one issue with the latest DCS, which is probably due to distortion correction applied. Have a look at the two images below.

The first is produced with the procedure outlined above, while the second is from the same image shown with Xee. As you can see the second image is cropped on all four sides.

Also, I discovered that my procedure introduces a "hot pixel" in the CR2 files treated.

Can you please tell me if you can see that pixel too?

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The non-hacking solution
Authored by: adampretty on Feb 25, '10 07:50:11PM

Hi there, I have a pretty similar dilemma but it has not been solved by updates etc. I am using a Sinar eMotion 75lv digital back which produces raw .STI files, I can convert them to dng using a program called brumbaer eMotion dng, but then these dng files are not recognised by aperture 3 either... they work (the converted dng) in both bridge and camera raw. Do you think you will be able to somehow trick Aperture 3 or the system into thinking these DNG files are a form of DNG that aperture 3 recognises? because as far as I know the brumbaer software is the only option to convert STI files. It is so frustrating as I am trying to archive all of my images using Aperture and so far am having no luck. Thanks for your help!

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10.6: Add RAW support for some unsupported cameras
Authored by: alanterra on May 20, '10 09:20:11AM

I have one computer that can display ".rw2" (Panasonic G1) files in Quicklook and the other cannot. The Quicklook plugin lists look identical. I believe that an app on the first computer must be providing the Quicklook preview, but I can't figure out which one. Any way to identify which app is providing the quicklook so I can install it on my other computer?


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