How to Open CR2 Files or Convert Canon CR2 for Other Image Browsers

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Peter Wood

CR2, standing for Canon RAW image file, is an image file format produced by Canon digital cameras. It is a kind of RAW file format and is used to store uncompressed image data. When you take photo shots with a Canon camera, you can find the photos decode in CR2.

How to open the CR2 files directly? If you want to view the photos in CR2 on Windows or Mac, what are the best solutions? Is there a method to view, edit, manage or even convert the CR2 format with ease? Just find the desired answer from the article now.

How to Open CR2 Files

Part 1: What is Canon CR2 Photo Format?

RAW is a collection of uncompressed image formats include CR2. It is a file type used by some popular Canon digital cameras, such as EOS400D, EOS450D, and more. To help you understand what Canon CR2 is, we will compare it with JPG below:

1. File extension. Canon CR2 files are ended with cr2, while JPG images are in jpg files. The former is far more than an image format but stores a lot of raw data. The latter is a standard image format readable by any image program on the market.

2. Quality. CR2 usually records 12 bits of color or 36 bits per location. JPG stores exactly 8 bits per color or 12 bits per location. Even you zoom out a CR2 image file, it won’t become blurry.

3. Compression. CR2 is a RAW format. It means that the image files contain extensive data and information captured by camera processors. JPG is a compressed image format instead. That makes CR2 better for adjustment and editing.

4. File size. Since CR2 is an uncompressed format and stores a lot of information, the file size is much larger than JPG.

Sometimes, you view the image stored in CR2 and JPG, but the latter may look better. That is due to Canon CR2 files storing the original image data. But JPG will become sharper and higher in contrast after compression. Therefore, CR2 is not suitable to print from your camera.

CR2 Canon Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: How to Open and Convert CR2 Files

Since the CR2 format has high photo quality and includes all the metadata, it is hard to open CR2 files directly within the default image viewer. WidsMob Viewer Pro is a versatile CR2 viewer to browse Canon RAW photos in different modes. Besides the CR2 photos, you can also view JPEG, TIFF, and even video files from the camera. It has multiple editing features to transfer photos to a sub-folder, delete unwanted ones, compare similar photos, and check EXIF information.

1. Open CR2, JPEG, HEIC, PDF, and even video files directly without an extra codec.

2. View Canon CR2 files in various modes like full screen, thumbnail, slideshow, etc.

3. Browse the EXIF information, preview the CR2 photo in a slideshow, and more.

4. Provide multiple editing features to rotate, crop, flip, delete, and compare photos.

Win Download Mac Download

How to Open and Convert CR2 Files

Step 1: Download and install Widsmob Viewer Pro, launch the program on your computer, and click the Import button to add the CR2 images to the program. If you have already set it up as the default media viewer, you can simply click any image or video to open all files within the same folder in thumbnails.

Preview ARW in Thumbnail Viewer

Step 2: If you need to transfer the CR2 images to a sub-folder, you only need to drag-n-drop the file from the same folder. Of course, you can also press the Ctrl + C keys to copy the image, then you can paste it anywhere you want. Besides, you can select two similar images and click the Compare button to choose the desired one.

Compare CR2 Files Viewer

Step 3: To browse CR2 images in full screen, you can double-click the image to enter the full-screen mode. After that, you can zoom out photos and view the details. Go to the bottom bar, you can get the Camera Model, ISO, Exposure Time, F-Number, Focal Length, White Balance, Contrast, Lens, and more other information.

View EXIF Image Viewer Pro

Step 4: Just right-click the CR2 image and you can find multiple editing features, such as rotate left, rotate right, flip H, flip V, crop, move to trash, show in Explorer, and set up the preferences for the CR2 viewer. Of course, you can also use the built-in features in the bottom slider to delete the photos or cut out the desired part.

Crop Image in Full Screen Viewer

Step 5: Whether you need to browse the photo as a slideshow or need to check the sub-folders in the same folder, you can click the Preference button to set up the details. It enables you to set up the mouse wheel settings, zoom steps, reach the last/first image with looping, view photos + folders, and clean the cache directly.

Preference WidsMob Viewer Pro

Step 6: If you need to further edit the photos with another photo editor, you can choose the CR2 image and select the File menu. After that, click the Save As button from the list to choose the desired output format, such as JPEG. Name the output image and choose the destination folder before clicking the Save button.

Convert CR2 to JPEG Viewer Pro Win Download Mac Download


You can understand what Canon CR2 is and how to open CR2 images with original quality. Experts suggest that you should take photos in RAW formats, such as CR2. However, you may face problems when trying to open images on your computer. That is why you need the WidsMob Viewer Pro, the best CR2 viewer, manager, and converter. It offers extensive useful features for the Canon RAW image files.