Using Adobe Lightroom 4.2 to Open RX1 RAW Files

The RX1, having just recently been released in Japan and slowly throughout the world, does not yet produce files that are directly openable in Adobe Lightroom 4.2. However, the latest version of Lightroom does support opening RAW files produced by the sister camera, the A99. By tweaking the EXIF data on the .ARW files produced by the RX1, we can open the files in Lightroom without a problem.

Being impatient and unable to wait until Adobe releases an update that inevitably support the RX1, we can tweak the EXIF file to trick Lightroom into opening the RX1 RAW files.

Here’s how on Mac OS X (some rough details if you’re on Windows as well):

  1. Install exiftool. This is a command-line utility that runs both on Windows and Mac.

  2. Bring up the Terminal application in the “Applications” -> “Utilities” folder.

  3. Change directory using the “cd” command so that your command-line current directory contains the .ARW files. For example, on my mac, the folder I need to get to is: /Volumes/Sandisk/DCIM/100MSDCF. For me, I would run these “cd” commands to get to this folder:

cd /Volumes
cd Sandisk
cd 100MSDCF

In case I had any trouble with the folder choices, I could run ls to list all the folder choices available.

  1. Once you are in the folder where the .ARW files are stored, you can use this command to overwrite all the RX1 files with the A99 EXIF tag. This will make the RAW file appear to have been created by the A99, sufficiently enough to trick Lightroom into opening the file. Note that this modifies the files in the direcotry.
exiftool "-SonyModelId=SLT-A99V" -overwrite_original_in_place -P *.ARW

If you’re on windows, you can bring up the command line by running cmd. Your memory card should be assigned to a drive letter like E: or F:, etc. Replace exiftool above with exiftool.exe, and replace ls with dir.

  1. If you’re successful, you should be able to now import into Lightroom 4.2 with no problem. Here’s what the EXIF data would show in Library panel, despite now having tagged it as A99. Note that it still recognizes the Model and Lens correctly.

EXIF example