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How to convert the CR2 to AI

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 19, 2019

3 min. read
A futuristic digital conversion.

The CR2 is extremely important to photographers but it has limitations. These drawbacks include lack of edit-ability and lack of share-ability. Fortunately, the solution to these is simple: convert the CR2 to AI. Here’s a guide to help you learn how.

What is CR2?

The CR2 image file is the raw image digital representation of any photograph taken on a Canon camera then uploaded to a computer. CR2 is an acronym for Canon Raw 2, meaning second edition. It is extremely large in size and high in quality.

What is AI?

The AI image file is an Adobe Illustrator file format that is highly scalable and uses a unique graphic type, the vector. Vector graphics are built using different mathematical points, which determine numerous image factors. The AI is highly editable and can be manipulated in size without sacrificing quality.

An illustration of different computer graphics.
The AI changes sizes without losing quality.

How to convert CR2 to AI

There are two different ways to convert the CR2 to AI and both have specific benefits. The first way involves using browser-based converters. This method is perfect for users who only need to convert a limited amount of files. A browser-based system lets users use a browser for the entire conversion. It’s particularly ideal for users with limited hard drive space. All it takes is sufficient internet access to upload and download files, starting with the CR2 and finishing with the AI file. I recommend Convertio because of it’s fast download speeds and easy-to-use interface.

The second way to convert is by using a system that installs to your computer. This approach is great for people who have a large quantity of files to convert. A computer-based system allows users to take a large batch of files and convert them all at once. It’s specifically designed to benefit those with limited or slow internet access, as it doesn’t require an internet connection to use. Finally, it’s better for security reasons, as you don’t have to upload any files to the internet to convert. For this type of conversion I recommend ReaConverter, a fast system with a smooth interface.

Colors converting into a light in space.
Make sure to compare the different ways to convert.

Why convert?

The CR2 is typically the first step in the process of digital photography. Essentially, anyone who takes photos extensively with the Canon camera will eventually want to edit them digitally. They need to upload them to a computer to do so, which results in the CR2 file type. However, even though this is a high resolution file that represents the exact photo taken, it’s not in an editable format.

The AI file, on the other hand, has editing potential and can further build images into things such as logos. Furthermore, the AI is a much more reasonably-sized file format. This is essential for someone who wishes to share or upload a large quantity of CR2 files at once, since they’re so massive in size it would be difficult.

The CR2 is one of many fantastic image file types for maintaining the original quality and depiction of a photograph. However, it’s not functional for editing or practical for sharing. When this limits your potential, consider converting it to AI.