I also took a bunch of pictures to make a timelapse and I'm using Windows Live Movie Maker to create the video. However, it wouldn't recognize the CR2 (raw) format. I installed the Canon RAW codec but no luck. I was able to create the timelapse using JPEG images. Any ideas?

Also, the final video is created in wmv format - I would like to know if there is a way to output some other format such as H.264 using Windows Live Movie Maker?

Basically, I am looking for ways to create time lapse videos using cr2 canon raw files. I would like to use free software for accomplishing this. Any help would be appreciated.



3 Answers 3


Picasa is free software that will do exactly what you're after. It can read a whole range of RAW file types and also creates timelapse videos.

To create your video, first import the folder of RAW files into Picasa and select the folder. Now:

  • From the menu: Create > Video > From Selection
  • The Video Maker screen will now appear. In the left-hand pane, make sure the Video tab is selected.
  • Under Transition Style choose Time Lapse
  • Set your frames per second using the Slide Duration slider (e.g. 1/25 sec for 25fps)
  • Set your other options and hit Create Video.

Couldn't be easier!


I don't have access to Windows Live Movie Maker at the moment, but one reason why you may be having difficulties is because, strictly speaking, CR2 (or any type of RAW) files are not images; they're just the data that is recorded by the camera when you press the shutter (so light levels plus details of the settings used and sometimes a little jpeg thumbnail image that shows what a typical image could look like when produced from this data). See this question for more discussion on this.

Looking at the online help for Windows Live Movie Maker, it seems that WLMM does not allow the import of RAW files, and so I guess you'll have to convert the images to something such as jpeg/tiff/png (See this answer for a guide to image file formats) first and then import these into WILMM to make your time-lapse. If it were me I would want to ensure that the same processing was applied to every image in the sequence, so although some images may border on being under/over-exposed, transitions from light to dark and vice versa are captured properly.

In terms of output, H.264 is not a file type, but a compression standard that can be applied to a number of different video "container formats" such as .mp4 or .mkv. This video on Vimeo provides some overview on how to export videos using custom settings from WLMM.


The version of Windows Live Movie Maker I have (2011 15.4.3538.0513) appears to import JPG, GIF, TIF, BMP, as well as NEF and CR2 formats. Do you also have the Windows Live Photo Gallery? If not, install it, and see if it will read the CR2 files.

As for movie formats, the old Windows Movie Maker output to AVI, but that feature seems to have been dropped with the new Windows Live version. You'll have to convert the resulting WMV file using another program.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.