If you go to Adobe's website there is actually a Converter program they have (Which I myself have downloaded) that will convert from NEF to DNG which any CS application can read.
I frequent the Adobe Forums and recently asked why my CS5.5 could not read my 3200. I received information about this converter.
Evidently Adobe has a very low regard for NEF claiming its not a Standard and changes with the direction of the wind. They consider DNG as the gold standard. Adobe thinks it cost too much to maintain RAW updates for Older software when it cost just as much or more to maintain this NEF to DNG converter.
Adobe is just a contraryian outfit. Whose goal in life seems to be, tee off its customers.
So, how do Phase One, DxO and other competing companies handle the situation of new camera bodies and NEF formats? Do they update all older versions of their products so that they're always compatible with those new bodies? Do they provide a means of handling newer NEF versions?
Its only Adobe that is the sticking Point. Apple for Mac and I assume Microsoft for Windows, automatically updates Camera Profiles at least once a month to account for new cameras. And the profiles work on any and all software except Adobe software.
I'd like to take a stick to the people at Adobe over stuff like this. Also they have gone to subscription for all their software. Just for me to update Photoshop I've got to spend $100 a Month. Plus I have terrible Internet despite being hooked up to Comcast Cable's best consumer system. And for it to work Adobe Phones home every so often it if it can't phone home You have an expensive paperweight.
I have used Adobe for the past 10 years and upgraded as new CS packages have come out, that is up to CS 5. I can say honestly that I am very comfortable with the Adobe software however I would love to find an alternative... I do not like the new subscription based Adobe.
This isn't the place for a debate about Adobe's practices.
But as Rick points out, it's not just Adobe that do things this way (i.e. when a major update comes along, RAW support for new cameras is not added to older versions. As one example, a user of Phase One's Capture 1 needs version 7 or above to support D5200 NEF's; version 6.4.5 does not handle them.
Fri 28-Jun-13 12:00 AM | edited Fri 28-Jun-13 12:15 AM by pjonesCET
On Mac, Phase One, DxO and other use Raw File information, provided by Apple. (Which Apple updates about once every month or 2.) I can't say about PC but I as assume Microsoft has a similar procedure. I just checked App store and they just uploaded a RAW update file. see attachment.
This is what is used with software other than Adobe. Phase One, and DxO and so on I hope this answers.
here is the link to the RAW to DNG Converter it has info for Mac/ PC