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Can you convert a PNG to a CR2?

by Casey Schmidt  |  October 2, 2019

2 min. read
Vintage cameras in black and white.

The CR2 is a high quality raw image taken from a Canon camera. If you’ve ever thought about whether it’s possible to convert a PNG to a CR2, this article is for you. Here’s a breakdown of both of the image file types.

What’s a PNG?

The PNG image file is a Portable Network Graphic that is high in quality and resolution. It’s a raster image, meaning its graphics are constructed piece-by-piece using a grid of pixels. PNG uses lossless compression, which ensures it doesn’t lose quality when shrinking in size.

What’s a CR2?

The CR2 image file is the file type that all photographs taken with a Canon camera are stored on. CR2 is the Canon Raw 2, meaning second edition. It’s a high resolution file capable of displaying the most detailed, intimate pieces of an image.

A young woman photographer on a beach.
The CR2 is the standard digital file format of Canon photographs.

How to convert a PNG to a CR2

There is no way to convert a PNG into a CR2 image. The CR2 is the resulting file type of a photograph taken by a Canon camera. If a Canon camera downloads its files into a digital format, they’re automatically stored as a CR2. This format is meant to be converted into other image file types of size requirements and editing – not the other way around.

The CR2 is similar to a group of ingredients used for cooking. In their initial phase, they’re all individual of each other (flour, sugar, etc.). However, as they get mixed together, they become part of a finished meal. It wouldn’t make sense to try to convert the finished product back into single ingredients. Similarly, it doesn’t work to convert a PNG to a CR2.

A digital conversion bar.
It’s unfortunately not possible to convert a PNG to a CR2.

How to convert a CR2 to PNG

There is, however, plenty of ways to convert a CR2 to a PNG. The first and most convenient method is using an online converter program. These systems are browser-based and don’t take up hard drive space (other than the PNG file you download afterward). I prefer Convertio for its simplicity and fast upload/download speeds.

The other method is a desktop system. This is ideal for users who have numerous CR2 files to convert. It’s also preferred for people with limited internet access. Most importantly, it’s safer for people with sensitive images they need to convert. I like CoolUtils’ Total Image Converter system.

It’s not possible to convert a PNG to a CR2. However, a PNG is already in its ideal format to be edited and manipulated. Look for the right tools to help you do so.