Once friend made few photos for me. Park, people have rest. Friend gave me photos. Every photo was in two formats - TIFF and CR2.

TIFFs I use for editing, storage. From TIFFs I make JPEGs for blog.

What are the benefits of CR2?

  • 3
    Does this answer your question? What are the pros and cons when shooting in RAW vs JPEG?
    – Philip Kendall
    May 10 '20 at 9:08
  • 1
    @PhilipKendall I thought whether I should vote to close this as a duplicate, but I suspect the photographer actually shot in RAW and converted them to TIFF. So it's not RAW vs JPEG; it's RAW vs TIFF.
    – juhist
    May 10 '20 at 9:12
  • @Philip Kendall Thank you, Philip. My question is another. I don't compare with JPEG.
    – Konskoo
    May 10 '20 at 10:45
  • 2
    To me the major difference between RAW and JPEG is the fact that one is an image format and one isn't. That applies just as much to RAW vs TIFF as it does to RAW vs JPEG - this is shown out by the fact that the answers, both here and to the linked question, concentrate on the increased ability to post-process RAW images, not on the JPEG compression aspects.
    – Philip Kendall
    May 10 '20 at 10:58
  • 1
    This relatively recent answer to an old question provides several examples of the difference between working with raw files and files, such as TIFFs and JPEGs, than have already had gamma, black and white points, demosaicing, etc. "baked in". Each example includes links to another question that concentrates on the issues present with each example photograph.
    – Michael C
    May 10 '20 at 17:24

The CR2 format is the Canon raw sensor data as opposed to an image. It is losslessly compressed. Some newer Canon cameras support CR3 format which can be compressed in a very slightly lossy manner.

I suspect the TIFF files were created from the CR2 files. Usually, cameras cannot store the pictures as TIFF; they can store as JPEG (heavily lossily compressed) or RAW (usually losslessly and sometimes very slightly lossily compressed).

The TIFF file is one interpretation of the sensor data as an image. It has some demosaicing algorithm to convert the brightness values of the sensor behind the Bayer filter to colors of individual pixels. It has some denoising algorithm. It has some white balance settings. It has some exposure correction. It has some lens corrections. Most likely the photographer fine-tuned the settings to give the best possible image.

If you want to do the fine-tuning yourself, you need to open the CR2 files in an application such as Lightroom, Darktable, RawTherapee or Canon Digital Photo Professional. With the CR2 files, it is possible to e.g. change the white balance or exposure correction.

You may even find that over time, as computers become more powerful, they can better interpret the raw sensor data to form an image. An example of this is Digital Lens Optimizer which is now available in Canon Digital Photo Professional. You can use it for RAW files shot before the Digital Lens Optimizer was available. But for JPEGs you cannot use it.


  • 3
    'JPEG (heavily lossily compressed)' Uh? Quality 98 and halved chroma on my two Canon cameras. That's not "heavily".
    – xenoid
    May 10 '20 at 9:31
  • 4
    @xenoid "Heavy" is a relative term. What you consider as "heavy" might differ from what others consider as "heavy". For me, throwing away half of the chroma information counts as "heavy", especially when compared to C-RAW compression.
    – juhist
    May 10 '20 at 9:47
  • @juhist Thank you, juhist. Yes, friend shooted RAWs and then converted photos to TIFFs.
    – Konskoo
    May 10 '20 at 10:55
  • 3
    Your two "related" links are pretty dated and most of the answers fairly naive in the way they describe the contents of raw files. We have much better and more recent examples here than those. For instance, What does an unprocessed RAW file look like? and RAW files store 3 colors per pixel, or only one?
    – Michael C
    May 10 '20 at 17:27

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