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How to convert CR2(raw) image

Sienna Baldwin , Mar 29, 2007; 01:55 p.m.

I have a Canon EOS Rebel XT Digital. I took some pictures using RAW and I am unable to open the pictures in Photoshop CS2... (Using the RAW to take pictures,the are saved as a CR2 file). How do I open then with the Photoshop CS2? Thanks!


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Bruce C , Mar 29, 2007; 02:25 p.m.

You need Adobe's CameraRaw driver, namely a file CameraRaw.8bi, which you unzip and move into \Photoshop CS2\Plug-Ins\File Formats. Go to Adobe's download area for PS CS2 and nose around for it.

Dan Mitchell , Mar 29, 2007; 02:54 p.m.

I would begin by launching the Adobe Camera Raw program, rather than by starting directly in Photoshop.

Once Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is running you can look through your disk for the folder in which you have saved your RAW files. Once found, thumbnails will display in ACR. Double- click on an image you would like to convert and the conversion window will open. (By default a number of automatic conversion settings will be selected. If you want to fine tune the image - and that is the point of using RAW - you'll need to uncheck the small boxes on the left side of the window.)

Once you get your settings the way you want them in ACR you can click the button at the bottom of the window to convert and automatically open the resulting file for editing in Photoshop. Edit as necessary and save. My advice is to keep your RAW files intact - save them AND save the edited photoshop files. (To do otherwise would be like making a print and then throwing out the negatives - not a very good idea!)


Bob Atkins , Mar 29, 2007; 02:55 p.m.

You can also use Canon's DPP software to open and process the RAW files, then save them as TIFF or JPEG.

Bruce C , Mar 29, 2007; 03:20 p.m.

Now I wonder exactly what the problem is -- I read your note as saying you knew where the .CR2 files are located, but CS2 wouldn't open them. In that case, you do need to install the driver I mentioned.

OTOH, it could be you don't know where the .CR2 files are located. Once you locate them, opening them should be simple: directly in CS2, or using ACR as Dan suggests, or using Adobe Bridge as Adobe wants you to do.

So if you still have the problem, please clarify for further advice.

Ed Baumeister , Mar 29, 2007; 03:48 p.m.

In my experience, Canon's DPP is a better converter of RAW files -- especially in white balancing. But you can only go so far with DPP, and after conversion, I recommend Photoshop.

Luke Tyssowski , Mar 29, 2007; 04:20 p.m.

While we are on the subject, I recently started using Lightroom. I noticed that the program has converted all of my CR2 files into Digital Negatives. I'm still trying to figure out all this digital processing stuff. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to the Adobe DN conversion? It even converted the files on my CF card, much to my surprise.

When printing from Lightroom all the pictures are gray and bland. I wound up converting to JPEG and using Canon's easy print to get better looking more colorful prints. Lightroom prints look nothing like what's shown on the monitor, while Canon's prints are closer. I'm having a heck of a time opening my pictures in different programs (Lightroom, Picasa, Canon Raw Shooter etc), and they look different in each one. Different WB, color tones etc. What a mess.

Somebody should standardize this stuff. ;)


Lester Wareham , Mar 29, 2007; 05:45 p.m.

You should be able to browse the files from Bridge and just double click to open in ACR, you then make adjustments and click open to get the file into photoshop. Also you can double click from explorer.

What can cause a problem (on windows) is if the filename has a full stop in it. You try and open in it and it seems you can but something goes wrong in photoshop. Make sure there is no full stop "." in the filename and the extension is ".cr2".

James Ng , Mar 30, 2007; 02:04 a.m.

Actually, if you use CS2 and you have Adobe Vue 2, Photoshop should know enough to download the Adobe Camera Raw Plug-in 3.7. Mine did and now I can open CR2 files in Photoshop.

Chris Laudermilk , Mar 30, 2007; 04:14 p.m.

"Somebody should standardize this stuff. ;)"

LOL Look around and you will see this is a common wish with photographers...except that the manufacturers aren't cooperating.

It looks like most of the basics have been covered: to open in PS, you need ACR 3.x available on Adobe's site--once installed you can simply open from Bridge. However, probably a better option is to use Canon's DPP software bundled with your camera. Once you get a little familiar with converting RAWs, go check out the third-party offerings (C1, Bibble, Lightzone, Silkypix, etc)--you might find one you like even better.

In answer to the DNG question, some people like it in that it's converted to an intermediate format that is supposed to be more universal. In practice I personally find it's a good concept that does not measure up in the harsh light of reality because a) Adobe still has to reverse-engineer the RAW formats to convert them like everyone else, b) it loses some of the EXIF makernotes data, c) not all apps support DNG, and d) you often end up simply with a larger file. To me all it does is add another step to the workflow to no gain. The fact that Lightroom is converting to DNG without asking is troubling. That makes me all to more sure I don't want to use it.

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