Did you ever got a CR2 file and wondered what kind of file is that?. The one who gave you the file must be a photographer. CR2 is one of the forms of RAW file. A file with the extension of .CR2 is resulted by Canon digital cameras. CR2 — stands for Canon Raw Version 2 — is the standard RAW file format of Canon digital cameras.
If you have a Canon digital camera and set the image quality to RAW during setting, the photo files will be stored with the extension of .CR2. As a RAW format, CR2 gives some benefits compared to JPEG regarding the image quality. Professional photographers who use Canon commonly prefer this format over JPEG. On the other hand, a CR2-formatted photo requires more complex steps to edit. It takes basic knowledge in photography to treat a photo file with the format of CR2.
CR2 itself is based on the TIFF file specification. It stores uncompressed image data exactly how it was captured by the camera censor. As the consequence, a CR2 photo file is much larger than JPEG in terms of file size. It can be twice or three times larger.
How to open a CR2 file
It takes no special application if you just want to open a CR2 file without editing it. The default image viewer of modern operating systems have the capability to open a CR2 file, including GNOME Image Viewer that becomes a default image viewer on Ubuntu and some Linux distros.
What if you want to edit a CR2 file?
To edit a CR2 file, you need an image editing tool. It’s just, not all image editing tools have the capability to edit a CR2 file. GIMP, for instance. The popular free image editing tool has no capability to open as well as edit a CR2 file. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the best tools to work with a CR2 file. They are two widely-used tools and become photographer’s favorite. Optionally, you can also convert a CR2 into a JPEG first, but with a risk of losing its quality.