.CR2 File Extension

File Type 1

Canon Raw 2 Image

Developer Canon
4.0  |  299 Votes
Category Camera Raw Files
Format Binary

What is a CR2 file?

A CR2 file is a camera raw image created by various Canon digital cameras, such as the EOS 1D Mark IV and EOS 450D. It stores uncompressed image data exactly how the camera's CCD captured it. Professional photographers typically use CR2 files because they support high-quality images.

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Screenshot of a .cr2 file in Adobe Photoshop 2021
CR2 file open in Adobe Photoshop 2021

Canon introduced the Canon Raw version 2 format (CR2 files) in 2004, replacing the .CRW format utilized by earlier versions of Canon cameras. While the CRW format saved image data in the Camera Image File Format (CIFF), the CR2 format is based on the TIFF specification. Various Canon digital camera models may capture images and save them as CR2 files, including EOS 1D Mark IV, EOS 450D, and EOS Rebel T3.

NOTE: In 2018, Canon released the Canon Raw version 3 format (.CR3 files), phasing out the CR2 format. Later versions of Canon cameras, such as EOS M50 and EOS R, were the first to save image data in the CR3 format.

Why do people use CR2 files?

Most people use CR2 files if they are professional photographers or own a Canon digital camera that captures images as CR2 files. Camera raw files like CR2 files are optimal for capturing high-quality photographs since they store uncompressed image data. However, raw data leads to larger file sizes, which can be difficult when sharing and storing images.

For this reason, photographers often edit their CR2 images then export them in an image format that utilizes a lossy or lossless compression method, like JPEG and PNG files. While compressed image formats can degrade the image quality, they produce much more manageable file sizes for sharing, storing, and uploading images.

What are other camera raw formats?

The CR2 format is one of many raw image formats utilized by various camera manufacturers:

How to open a CR2 file

You can open CR2 files with various image editing programs, including the software bundled with Canon digital camera purchases. You can also open CR2 files with Microsoft Photos (bundled with Windows) and Apple Preview and Apple Photos (both are bundled with macOS).

Some other image editors that support CR2 files are Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS), ACD Systems ACDSee (Windows), and IrfanView (Windows).

How to convert a CR2 file

Various image editors and viewers, including Adobe Photoshop, Apple Preview, and IrfanView, can convert CR2 files to other formats.

For example, Adobe Photoshop can convert CR2 files to the following formats:

  • .JPG - JPEG image
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
  • .BMP - Bitmap image
  • .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .PSD - Photoshop Document

Additionally, Apple Preview can convert CR2 files to the following formats:

  • .JPG - JPEG image
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
  • .HEIC - High Efficiency Image Format
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
Open and view .CR2 files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open CR2 files

Updated March 1, 2022
File Type 2

Poser Character Rigging File

Developer Bondware
3.2  |  20 Votes
Category 3D Image Files
Format N/A

What is a CR2 file?

3D character data file used by Poser, a 3D human modeling program; includes information about the figure's joints and bones, including where and how much they bend; may also contain information about morphs that are built into the figure; may be imported by various third-party programs.

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NOTE: Poser was originally developed by Smith Micro, but was sold to Bondware in June 2019.

Programs that open or reference CR2 files

Updated April 15, 2020

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