Cheap/free tool to view/convert Canon CR2 RAW format photo files on Windows?

  • Recently, my family had some professional photos taken while vacationing at a resort. The photos were given to us on CD in both .CR2 and .jpg formats.

    While we can view the JPEG-format versions of the photos just fine, they had some effect and color filters applied which we'd rather not have for some prints. Consequently, I'd like to open the .CR2 files myself to get at the original unmodified photos.

    I don't own a recent Canon camera, so I don't have the corresponding Canon software that undoubtedly ships with their RAW-capable cameras. I tried Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, but it didn't recognize the .CR2 files.

    So, what is a cheap or free tool to view and convert .CR2 photos on Windows?

    Note: I don't want to buy Adobe Photoshop. I trust it would work, but I'm seeking a cheap or free solution, at this point... I'm not yet enough of a photo addict to buy expensive pro tools.

    Lightroom seriously kicks ass but it's $299 US.

    OK, if I need a RAW ass-kicking, I'll consider Lightroom ;-)

  • sastanin

    sastanin Correct answer

    10 years ago

    You can use any free (as in freedom) RAW processing software. I can recommend:


    It is a stand-alone RAW converter. Its interface is different from many other RAW converters, but I find it quite good. It easily integrates with Gimp photo editor.


    It is more like workflow software rather than just a RAW converter. One may consider its interface more friendly. Also, it allows to save the processing profile and quickly apply it to many photos in a series.

    Either tool should handle CR2 files. On one hand, there are other free RAW converters to choose from, but most of them are directly or indirectly based on the same dcraw.c, as UFRaw is. RawTherapee, on the other hand, seems to have a different rasterizer.

    +1 for RawTheraphee, which is actually amazing and now open source so everybody can put his hands into it :)

    **RawTherapee** did exactly what I needed. Thanks!

    Your link to "a different rasterizer" appears broken.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM