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Open CR2 Raw Files in Photoshop – Camera Raw File


Learn How to Open CR2 Raw File

What is a CR2 File?

Canon Digital cameras use CR2 file type. This is the mostly used RAW file format in cameras like: EOS350d, EOS300d, Digital Rebel XT and EOS400d. Earlier CRW file format is used by Canon Digital cameras. CRW file format is based on Camera Image File Format (CIFF). The RAW format CR2 replaced the CRW format. RAW format is generally used to directly write data to memory from CCD or CMOS chip. There is no modification, compression or processing to the data is done in the RAW file format.
CR2 Image File Full Form: It generally stands for Canon Raw version 2 File Format.

  • CR2 RAW file

RAW file is a type of image file that have undeveloped and the unprocessed data from the image sensor that can be from a scanner or digital camera. Nowadays, RAW format is becoming more and more popular. Canon Digital camera uses CR2 format for RAW file.
CR2 Canon RAW files are the files, which are easily edited and converted by various supported software. Sometimes users find difficulty in opening RAW files therefore, one can use any of the available software such as Photoshop, Lightroom or GIMP to view RAW files. Most of the user face this problem of opening RAW files because of some update issues also. However, before opening any CR2 file check the updates available for the program and perform that updates.

  • CRW and CR2 Format

Earlier CRW file format is used by the Canon cameras for RAW format, which is based on Camera Image Digital File Format (CIFF). Now, Canon uses CR2 file format for RAW file, which is based on the Tag Image File Format (TIFF). CR2 image files have high quality and quite large size as compared to CRW file. RAW files produced by CR2 are much better than CRW file.

What are the Software to Open CR2 Files?

There are various software available online to open CR2 RAW file. Here most widely used software are discussed to open CR2 image file.

  • Photoshop
  • Lightroom
  • GIMP
    A user can convert CR2 file to JPEG also and view them in any available software. JPEG file format are easy to view in any program or application. One can view this file in Windows Photo Viewer of the system also. Therefore, it is much easier for the user to first convert CR2 file to JPEG format and then open it in any available application.

How to open CR2 Raw file in Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5 ?

Photoshop is most popular application to view and open CR2 RAW file. As it is high quality file therefore, easy to open in Photoshop. There are various versions of Photoshop available and all are having same procedure to open an image file. To open any to image file a user need to follow the below mentioned steps:

  1. First, you need to set the Photoshop as your default program while opening any image. This will automatically open every image file in Photoshop, instead of selecting it every time.Now, you need to right click on the file, a context menu is displayed
    To set it as a default option, follow the below mentioned steps:
  • First, right click on the file, a context menu is displayed
  • Now, from the drop down list, select the option Open With
  • From the list of programs available, select the Adobe Photoshop. If it is not visible then you need to search for the program on your system.
  • To set it as default program to open image file, check the box of Always use the selected program to open this kind of file, the box is in the bottom-left side of the screen
  • After that, click on OK button.

2. Now, you just need to double-click on the CR2 image file. If your system has Photoshop then it open file initially in a plugin of Photoshop known as Camera RAW. This allow users to edit the image without compromising with RAW format

3. After that, click on the Open Image option from lower right side of the screen to edit image Photoshop.

How to Update Photoshop?

Most of the time users face difficulty to open CR2 RAW file in Photoshop also. This is possible in case where users are using lower version of the Photoshop. Sometimes users try to CR2 file of latest version in older version, which is not allowed. Therefore, to open any CR2 RAW file a user need to update Photoshop. To update, follow the below mentioned steps:
1. To check the available updates, Open Photoshop
2. Now, click on Help Option and then select Check for Updates option. In case of Photoshop CC, select Updates… option
3. If there are any Updates available for Camera RAW files, Install that update first by clicking Update option
4. After that, try to open CR2 RAW file in Photoshop. It will be opened without any problem. If required support of your camera then RAW file will open in Camera RAW

How to Convert CR2 to JPEG?

To convert CR2 file to JPEG format and open them in any of the application such as Photo Gallery of the system, a user need to follow the below mentioned steps:
1. To open CR2 Raw file in photo gallery, a user first need to download Microsoft Camera Codec Pack (16.4.1734.1104) the from the official website of the Microsoft.
2. When installation is complete, open CR2 RAW file in the Photo Gallery of the system
3. To convert the CR2 to JPEG, you need to launch the Photo Gallery
4. After that, double-click the image and under the Manage category, select option Make a Copy.
5. While renaming the file, change its file format to JPEG and click on the Save button


Most of the users face problem to open CR2 RAW file. Therefore, after understanding the issues faced by users, we have discussed methods to open and edit image file in an efficient manner. The users who want to view their CR2 files in Photo Gallery of the system, can convert CR2 to JPEG to view them in more convenient way.

Shini is a freelancer technical blogger. An information seeker in arena of Technology, curious about sharing information through web among folks. Researched on various email clients problems & recovery solutions is currently willing to share all the information acquired with help of Blogs.