Friday, 26 August 2011

What Feature is Missing on the Canon 600D? How to convert a Canon 600D CR2 file into JPG on Netbooks

I've now had my Canon 600D for almost a month. In virtually every respect it has an unbeatable spec and pretty much every feature that you would want in a DSLR. Excellent resolution, HD 1080p video, wireless flash control, rotating LCD screen and so the list goes on. However I've found one missing feature that Canon have omitted from the Canon 600D that is a real pain but hopefully something that they could easily add with a firmware upgrade.

Firstly some background. Yesterday I was away from home on holiday when I spotted a new model disguised Land Rover Range Rover being tested. I managed to grab a few shots of it before the driver sped off after being spotted.

Having grabbed the shots I realised that they had been taken in CR2 raw format. I only had my netbook with me and although DPP was loaded it does not run on the native resolution of the netbook as I have used an external monitor in the past. Zoombrowser was loaded on the netbook so I thought I would give that a try. Wrong! Zoombrowser was not the latest version so did not support CR2 files from the Canon 600D. Easy - use my 3G connection to download the latest version for the 600D from the Canon website.

Wrong again! Canon in their wisdom have removed the facility to process CR2 raw files from within the latest versions of Zoombrowser so the only supported software from Canon for Canon 600D files is Digital Photo Professional (DPP) which will not run on the screen of a netbook.

At this point I was beginning to dispair - I needed to get these images onto my blog to make them public but until I could convert the Range Rover photos to JPG this was not possible.

One option was to use the Canon 600D itself. The camera is able to process CR2 files and allow you to add Creative Filters to them and then save the file again as a JPG. Perfect I thought. And it would have been if the photo was one that I wanted in grainy black and white, distorted as a fish eye or to look like a toy camera photo. Sadly none of these were suitable for a photo that needed to be in true colours and without any distortion.

The only option that Canon do not include on the Canon 600D is the ability to save a CR2 raw file as a plain, standard JPG with no effects applied, just the standard Picture Style. So the question to Canon is why? It would seem like an obvious option when you can have every weird and wonderful effect applied to the Canon 600D raw images but cannot create a standard JPG.

Please Canon, can you add this to the next firmware upgrade for the Canon 600D? If all the creative filters are possible adding a standard JPG must also be achievable.

In the end I managed to download the wonderful FastStone Image viewer. It is a very small download and an amazingly full featured piece of software that finally enabled me to convert the Canon 600D CR2 raw file into a JPG to allow me to crop it in the ancient Photoshop CS2 version that runs on my netbook. After a long and frustrating evening I had finally managed to get the photo loaded to my blog!