What Is A CR2 File and How to Open It?

RAW image files are quite common among digital cameras. Ever since the introduction of this innovation in the camera industry, the use of digital file formats has increased for image clarity.

The details across the RAW files were excellent, which led companies like Canon to develop their file formats for dedicated clarity in images. CR2 has been one such file format that was present in the digital community for quite a while.

This article discusses details about what CR2 actually is and how one can convert CR2 to JPG with ease. Go through the provided information to learn more about the CR2 file format.

Introduction to the CR2 File – A Clear Overview

Canon digital cameras are known for holding many kinds of image file formats. One such format, the CR2 file format, is referred to as the 2nd edition of Canon Raw image files, which is a package of high-quality, uncompressed format which is effectively larger than the other image file formats.

As it is a high-quality RAW format image, it makes it special in the list of image file formats.

As we dig deep into the details of the CR2 image format, it should be known that it is uncompressed image data that holds the image exactly how the lens captured it. While being based on TIFF format specifications, CR2 withholds the quality of the image that is captured. It essentially made image editing and management easier for the professionals out there.

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Pros and Cons of Considering CR2 File

CR2 files are quite important and impressive for their stature in the camera industry. However, being a RAW image file format, there are several pros and cons of considering and holding the file for yourselves. The list of advantages of disadvantages of having CR2 files are mentioned as follows:


Details in the Captured Image: This image format shows every data point from the camera sensor, which is equivalent to keeping a mirror image of the camera lens. Such details are always encouraged at a professional level.

Allows Specific Software to Access: Belonging to Canon, it can be easily operated and managed across camera-specific software packages available in the market, making accessibility to editing and software easier.

Adjusting the Color Space: This allows users to adjust the color space after capturing the image, as no space is saved across the RAW file.

High-quality imagery: The raw image coming out of a Canon digital camera promises high-quality photos and videos that make it workable and good to use. They can also be edited as the user wishes.


Hefty Storage Required: Holds a lot of storage that takes out room for other data and content in the device.

Makes Sharing Difficult: It can be extremely difficult to share the files across platforms, which does not make it as popular among users as it is among professionals.

Large sizes and hard to edit: The first problem with the CR2 file is that it has enormous sizes that makes it hard to edit. To get away with this problem, people usually convert into other extensions.

How Does the CR2 file work?

The next concern that will be addressed here is related to how the CR2 files work and progress? Allow us to answer this question for you.

CR2 format works by storing the Canon digital camera sensor's lossless details without manipulating the image or a video. Its working capacity can be comprehended because it keeps 14 bits of RGB, which is high compared to JPEG, which can only record 8 bits. This attribute of the CR2 file format is great for storing and maintaining the image originality. Moreover, the high-quality imagery makes it attractive and catchy for the viewers.


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How to Open a CR2 File on Your Computer?

This part will help users recognize the two most popular software that can be used to open a CR2 file. Look across the provided details to know more about these software and how to use one for your purpose efficiently.

1. Photoshop

Photoshop provides a very intuitive experience for image management when it comes to its interface. Although the user is required to install a dedicated Camera Raw plug-in to operate the CR2 file, the number of features provided in handling the characteristics, such as color adjustments and other layer adjustments, is commendable. This makes Photoshop a perfect option for professionals in managing their CR2 files.

photoshop interface

2. Apple Preview

Who would've thought that the built-in tool across Mac would provide features in managing the CR2 files? Preview helps users in opening CR2 files and making necessary changes across them. While making it easier for users to handle the files across the platform, users can make effective use of the tool to recognize the need to share and send the file across different platforms.

apple preview cr2 file

Question: How to Open CR2 with Photoshop?

If you are looking at a guide explaining how to open a CR2 file with Photoshop, you should go through the following steps in detail:

Step 1: You need to turn on Adobe Photoshop across your desktop. Following this, lead to the "File" tab on the top and click on the "Open" option across the drop-down menu.

tap on open option

Step 2: Locate the CR2 file on the browsing window and click “Open” once located. The file opens directly across Adobe Photoshop without any discrepancies.

open your cr2 file

A Composition of CR2 vs. CR3

CR2 and CR3 file formats are a creation of Canon, which existed across their dedicated cameras. These two different file formats are, however, essentially different from each other when it comes to the question of their comparison. As we look deep into the quality and characteristics of both file formats, it is clear that the difference between them is only based on the TIFF lossless format.

As the CR2 is closer to the TIFF format, CR3 holds a resemblance to the CIFF (Compressed Image File Format), which is referred to as the C-RAW version of the image. While diving deep into the differences between the file formats, there was no significant difference observed between the CR2 and CR3 over correctly exposing the image in the format. On looking at the images under a three-stop underexposed image, the CR3 file was discovered to be duller and color-intensive as compared to the CR2 file.

cr2 vs cr3 file

While CR3 was more focused on bringing better quality under no decrease in quality, it was quite successful in achieving it in conclusion. CR2 files, on the other hand, took greater file sizes. Thus, today's world finds the CR3 files to be coherent in utility as compared to CR2 file formats.

An Online and Offline Solution to Convert CR2 to JPG

As you get yourselves aware of a clear comparison of CR2 vs. CR3, it is now time to figure out a clear way to convert CR2 to JPG. With the help of this online and offline solution, you’ll find the right way to execute the function without putting your file in danger.

Offline Solution: Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop provides you a premium service of converting your CR2 files to JPG at an offline platform. To make things easier, users only needed to go through a simple set of steps for converting their files, which are offered as follows:

Step 1: Open the “Files” tab on the top menu and access the “Scripts” section in the drop-down menu. Following this, you will find the option of “Image Processor” across the new screen.

open image processor

Step 2: Click on the “Select Folder” on the first panel to locate the CR2 file on the computer. Right below, you have to specify the converted file location.

choose cr2 files folder

Step 3: Check the option of “Save as JPEG” on the same window. For ensuring quality, click on “Resize to Fit.” The options “Convert Profile to sRGB" and “Include ICC Profits” should also be marked check. Now, click on “Run” to convert the files to JPG format.

start the convert process

Online Solution: CloudConvert

This online image converting solution can make it easy for users to convert their files. With the ability to control the sizes, resolution, and quality of the file, CloudConvert supports a lot of file conversion opportunities for its users. This makes it one of the best options available in the market for online conversion.

To look across the guide explaining how to convert CR2 to JPG, you need to go through the following steps:

Step 1: Click on the "Select File" button to add a CR2 image file from the computer. You can also add it through URL, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.

select your cr2 file

Step 2: Set up the metrics of conversion such as "Width," "Height," and "Fit" size of the image. Along with that, you can also set up the quality of the image and strip the metadata, if required. As you have added the file, click on “Convert” to execute the function.

tap on convert button

What May Cause the CR2 File to Get Corrupted?

The causes of the corruption of CR2 file format needs attention as understanding the core reasons will allow us to repair them and move on with our lives. Have a look at the causes below:

1. A low battery in Canon Digital Camera

Most times, the camera's battery is low when it comes to storing the CR2 files. This leads to the corruption of the images and videos.

2. Virus in the system

Another cause is virus or malware in the system that incorporates into the saved CR2 file format creating problems for the users.

3. Sudden system shutdown

During the file transfer, the system, unfortunately, shuts down and leads to the corruption of data.

4. Improper insertion or removal of SD card

Most times, the data is safe in our SD card, but improper insertion/removal and unsafe usage of storage cards corrupt the CR2 file format.

5. Storage in an infected media

If you have saved your data in damaged storage media, there are fair chances that the CR2 file format undergoes corruption.

Bonus Tip: Repairing Your Corrupt CR2 File with Wondershare Repairit

If you are looking for a quick method on how to repair your corrupted CR2 file across the computer, Wondershare Repairit should be the first option that you should look for. As it ensures a secure platform for the users, it makes sure that all files are protected at all costs with no security breaches or collapses of the platform. Accompanied by an easy interface, Repairit surely sounds like a great option for such a purpose.

Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Installing Wondershare Repairit

For starters, the user is directed to download the trial version for this software.

Step 2: Inserting the File

After the installing process is complete, launch the software. The interface hit the "Add File" and browsed the location for the targeted infected file. Click "Open" afterward.

add the image files

Step 3: Repairing Process

Click on the files that need to be repaired and tap on the "Repair" button. After a couple of seconds, the process will be concluded.

start the repair process

Step 4: Advanced Repair System

It is possible that the file is not repaired by the method given below. Wondershare Repairit provides us with an "Advanced Repair" option. Please select it and insert the sample CR2 file captured from the same Canon digital camera. After the file is repaired, you can click on "Save Repaired Files," located on the interface's bottom right corner.

save the repaired images


Looking for details about the CR2 file? This article has featured some of the important details about the CR2 file and how to open it. Along with that, a clear distinction between CR2 vs. CR3 was provided in the script, and users were made aware of the ways they can use to convert CR2 to JPG.

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