.CR3 File Extension

.CR3 File Extension

File Type

Canon Raw 3 Image File

Developer Canon
3.4  |  59 Votes
Category Camera Raw Files
Format Binary

What is a CR3 file?

A CR3 file is an image created by select Canon digital cameras, such as the EOS M50 and EOS R. It may store uncompressed RAW image data exactly how it was captured by the CCD or compressed RAW (C-RAW) image data depending on the camera setting selected. CR3 files were introduced in 2018 with the release of the Canon EOS M50, replacing .CR2 files.

More Information
Screenshot of a .cr3 file in Apple Preview 10
CR3 file open in Apple Preview 10

The CR3 format is based on the ISO Base Media File Format, and includes custom tags and the crx codec, which supports lossless RAW and lossy C-RAW compressions. If saved with lossy C-RAW compression, the image is roughly 40% smaller in size with minimal differences in image quality.

The Canon EOS M50 comes with the Digic 8 processor, which allows it to capture images in the CR3 format. Earlier versions of Canon digital cameras used the .CRW and CR2 format. The CRW format is based on the Camera Image File Format (CIFF) and the CR2 format is based on the TIFF specification.

NOTE: System-level support for CR3 images was introduced with the release of macOS Catalina (10.15) and iOS 13. However, there are Canon camera models that create CR3 images that are not supported by the macOS or iOS operating system.

How do I open a CR3 file?

Windows users can open CR3 files in Microsoft Windows Photos. If you have not already installed Microsoft's Raw Image Extension, Photos will prompt you to install the extension when you open your CR3 file.

Non-Windows users and those looking for more editing options can open CR3 files in Adobe Lightroom (Windows, Mac), Adobe Lightroom for iPad, or Adobe Lightroom Classic (version 8.0 and later) with the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in (version 11.0 and later) installed. You can also open CR3 files and convert them to other formats in Canon Digital Photo Professional (Windows, Mac) and Canon Digital Photo Professional Express (iOS).

Open and view .CR3 files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open or reference CR3 files

Updated February 1, 2021

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