.CR3 File Extension

Canon Raw 3 Image File

Developer Canon
3.5  |  86 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 stores 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. Canon introduced the CR3 format in 2018 when it released EOS M50, replacing .CR2 files.

More Information
Screenshot of a .cr3 file in Apple Preview 11
CR3 file open in Apple Preview 11

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 with minimal difference 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.

How to open a CR3 file

You can open CR3 files with Canon Digital Photo Professional (Windows, Mac), Canon Digital Photo Professional Express (iOS), Microsoft Photos (with the Microsoft Raw Image Extension), and Apple Preview (Mac).

Some other options that also provide editing options include Adobe Lightroom (Windows, Mac), Adobe Lightroom for iPad, or Adobe Lightroom Classic (version 8.0 and later) with the Adobe Camera Raw plugin (version 11.0 and later) installed.

NOTE: Apple introduced system-level support for CR3 images when it released macOS Catalina (10.15) and iOS 13. However, there are Canon camera models that create CR3 images that macOS and iOS operating systems do not support.

How to convert a CR3 file

Several image viewers and editors, including Canon Digital Photo Professional and Apple Preview, can convert CR3 files to other formats.

For example, in Apple Preview, select File → Export... to convert a CR3 file to one of the following formats:

  • .JPG - JPEG Image
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .JP2 - JPEG 2000 Core Image
  • .EXR - OpenEXR Image
  • .TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
Open and view .CR3 files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open or reference CR3 files

Updated April 22, 2022

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