Canon 400DToday I was presented with the challenge of CR2 files.. I must admit, when I was first asked – I didn’t even know what a CR2 file was, apparently it’s a RAW file format used by some of Canon’s digital camera range. For some reason, the file format is not automatically accessible using some of the off shelf photo editing packages. Including photoshop would you believe.

My first plan of attack was to find out if my MacBook could open the files, so I tested it and sure enough they opened straight away in the OS X preview app. (I love Mac’s :-) ) I did consider transferring all of the files over to my Mac, to then use an applescript batch convert and then send them back. 
However, as these pictures where from Kat, who’s doing a university course the resolution was immense, leaving a file size to match.. So this soon became a non runner. Each file was taking upwards of 10 minutes to transfer and there was well over 300 of them!
I went on to try and hunt down an application to do the batch convert on Windows, even trying Canon’s own app – all of which failed. We then decided on a RAW file image viewer, then at least we only needed to transfer the files Kat wanted to keep. Again this turned out to be a complete failure..
As luck would have it, I stumbled across a forum post claiming Windows Photo Gallery could actually open the files. So we gave it ago, and sure enough as soon as we added the folder to the gallery away it went and generate thumbnails for each picture. It was even kind enough to offer to download the latest RAW file codec from Canon’s site!
So if you have RAW CR2 files you need to open, try Microsoft Photo Gallery before scouring the web for RAW file convertors! Or buy a MacBook of course :-)

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