CR2, Canon Digital Camera Raw Image File (.cr2)
The CR2 Raster image file format
CR2 (Canon Raw Version 2) files refer to the raw image format used by Canon cameras. It stores information directly from the sensor to the storage device. It cannot be easily viewed like a JPG or PNG. When stored in RAW formats, the images can be edited in much more detail in post processing with less loss of quality. When done with JPG or other image formats, this reduces the quality significantly. CR2 images are not yet ready for printing and can not be edited with a bitmap editing program. Raw images are like digital versions of film negatives.
Technical details of CR2 files
Raw images such as those in a CR2 format are processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal colorspace before converted to a file format which is easy to print, send, upload, and download. The colors of raw images like CR2 files are recorded in 12 or 14 bits and use lossless compression. CR2 came after the CRW format Canon used in the 350D, 1D, G9, and 20D models. CR2 files are based on the TIFF file format and can be treated in similar ways and were able to be recognized by programs such as Microsoft’s Digital Image 2006 though the product was discontinued in 2007.