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Opening RAW Images

edited October 2012 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
Hi all,
I was advised to take some photos in RAW images but now I cannot open them on my computer. Which is the best program to use to open Canon 60D RAW images (CR2 files)? My friend told me RAW images are very good and that's why I did that. Also, if I convert them to jpeg will they still be as good as RAW?


  • edited October 2012
    HI maiMelissa,

    The thing with RAW is that is saves a lot more data then JPEG. so when you do your post processing you have more data to work with. In regards to the problem of opening, you are going to need a program for CR2 files. I am still using the program sent with the 60D, but there are several aftermarket programs out. Photoshop and LightRoom are the first that pop into my head. Surf around the forum; there have been people talking about the different programs.

    You can convert them to jpeg and the pictures should look just fine.

    Hope this helped.

  • edited October 2012
    Hi there,
    As Auston pointed out, the Canon DPP and Zoombrowser programs that came with your camera do a great job of displaying RAW pictures.
    There are quite a few myths about photographing RAW. Auston has mentioned about the amount of data you have at your disposal for post processing and he is quite correct. The photo magazines always promote shooting in RAW if you are prepared to sit for hours in front of your computer, if you want to blow up your pictures to the size of the Empire State, if you intend to make money from your pictures, and if you have a penchant for creating some ethereal masterpiece in Photoshop.
    What people forget is that there are no in camera processes applied to a RAW as there is for JPG. There's no sharpening, color correction, noise correction; you have to do all this yourself.
    Your camera is capable of recording both RAW and JPG at the same time. Just for fun (and I am a kind of sad person) I once spent more than fifteen minutes working on a RAW to produce a photo that matched the JPG.
    Your friend misled you slightly. RAW pictures are better than JPGs when they have been worked on. Try the RAW+JPG test and compare the pictures. I think you will agree that the JPG looks better.
  • edited October 2012
    Page 224 of the manual shows that you can shoot in RAW, then convert in-camera to JPEG. If you want to spend time later working with the RAW files (as I actually enjoy doing), then save as lossless TIFFs. Adobe also supplies software to convert the CR2s to DNGs (Digital Negatives) which are accepted in Photoshop (which is far superior to the admittedly good Canon software bundled with the 60D).
  • edited October 2012
    Hi MisterD,
    You are correct in what you say. I didn't actually say not to photograph in RAW and I gave reasons for when you should. Also, I can't afford Photoshop and mentioned the Canon software for opening RAW files because it comes for free not necessarily because it's the best for working with RAW.
    My point is that for everyday shooting JPG fits the bill 95% of the time.
  • edited October 2012
    With you 100% on all of the above PBked!
  • Infranview and RawTherapee are also available for free and handle cr2.
  • edited October 2012
    Photoshop Elements is a good program and it's nowhere near as expensive as the full photoshop, but should suit most hobby and home photographers just fine. I have version 10 of the software but I believe that version 11 is now available.
  • edited October 2012
    Hi, I have a big problem. I have lots of photos from My weadding but I can't open them. The Photographer said it's in RAW format. I tried evrything but no progress in opening even a single picture. I don't know the type of Camera used.
    I uploaded a RAW file to medifire if someone can open it and tell me if it is me or if the photo is fake.
    I have a dvd full with RAW files but all of them are the same size. Is that normal?

    My english is weak.
  • edited October 2012
    Hi caki83,
    I have had no success either. Your picture opens in Irfranview, but is just a pattern of lines. If possible contact your photographer for help. No one should lose their wedding photos!
  • edited October 2012
    @caki83 - @PBked - I asked a friend of mine about this and he told me that the image might have a security code attached to prevent it from being copied. He also told me the exact same thing PBked said; contact the photographer and have him give you either the key code or a new set with out the lock on it.
  • edited November 2012
    If running Windows 7 you can go to Microsoft's site and download free plug in to view all RAW files. I use this and Irfanview, which is also free, to catalogue shots. It also will batch convert RAW to .jpg if you have a lot of shots to convert. As for an editor, I like Paint Shop Pro x4 a lot. It has more than enough features for editing and is a very reasonable cost online.
  • edited May 2015
    Im sure these are older posts but I joined just to comment to this thread. @MaiMelissa, your basic Cannon programs are fine to open and view, especially if you just want to see what you shot. However what most everyone on here is saying and you probably have already learned (like I did) is that it really depends on what your reasons for shooting RAW are. I was told the same thing and because I do like to edit my pictures (it gives you more creative control), I just kept shooting RAW. However, my boyfriend found it to be a pain and shoots jpg and sometimes auto, depending on the circumstances. Hes had some really good shots of birds and other wildlife that way.
    The main reason I wanted to comment was to say that for awhile now, I have been using Photography creative cloud which offers Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99 a month. I'm not sure but I think there is even an app for your phone under that program. Both Photoshop and Lightroom are outstanding programs that vary in what they do and people have preferences as to which program they like better. Paint Shop Pro is the only one that was ever mentioned to me in my club that was even close to these two programs and a lot of those people are published professional photographers. So like anything else in Photography, it will take time and you will develop a sense of what works best for you. For now, be as basic as possible, as long as possible, this can get very, very expensive.
  • edited May 2015
    I'm largely ignorant of Canon, but a user of Nikon raw files, I will second Desertrat's suggestion of at least starting by getting the raw reading Codec from Microsoft. Many programs use that, and once you can read a raw file you can choose your program. Irfanview is one free program that can view raw files and convert to many other formats, but cannot save them in their original form. It's very easy to use and very versatile, and makes a good default file viewer. Another with a slightly less convenient interface, but with very good presentation and sharp graphics is Faststone Image Viewer. Each of these does its own JPG conversion of raw files for display, and I think Faststone's image is a little sharper.

    With either of these programs I can download a folder of Raw images and zip through them as needed to view and make quick conversions without altering the originals. I can edit the raw files themselves with Nikon's programs, but for viewing and quick conversion the free files are much faster. Irfanview is very fast and its interface well put together, and I use it on all my computers as the default image viewer.
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