Sunday, September 13, 2009

Using Canon CR2 Raw Formats in Windows and Photoshop

.CR2 is the raw image format supported by Canon. Models that support CR2 include:
  • EOS 400D
  • EOS-1D
  • EOS-1D Mark II
  • EOS-1D MarkIII
  • EOS-1DS
  • EOS-1DS Mark II
  • EOS-20D
  • EOS-30D
  • EOS-350D
  • EOS-40D
  • EOS-5D
[List provided by]

If you use any of the above models and have a habit of shooting in raw, you may wonder how to preview these images in Windows like all other Windows supported image files (such as .jpeg, .bmp, etc.).

Lucky enough, Canon provides a free codec software for consumer download. To download the software, all you need to do is to specify which Windows operating system you're using:
The installation process is also very straight forward with its setup wizard.

Now that you can preview the CR2 files in Windows Explorer, you may wonder how you can edit these CR2 files directly in Photoshop. Adobe offers a free Canon raw plug-in that's available at the following link:
The installation instructions are on the same page near the bottom. Basically, you just have to add/replace the "Camera Raw.8bi" file under your Photoshop Program Files directory "Plug-Ins\File Formats" folder. Note that the zip file contains two different 8bi files; one for 32-bit systems and one for 64-bit systems. Be sure to copy the correct .8bi file to the directory for the plug-in to function.

Here's a short but very useful video tutorial on Camera Raw 5:

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