What is ProRAW and how to take RAW photos on iPhone?

As expected, Apple has once again bet big on the professional camera to make high-end iPhones a profitable choice for mobile photographers and photography enthusiasts. The triple camera system has received some notable improvements, along with the addition of ProRAW for taking DSLR shots. In this article, I will talk about what ProRAW is and how you can take RAW photos on your iPhone. If you’re willing to kick-start this all-new feature, now is the right time to get started.

What is ProRAW and how to take RAW photos on iPhone?

If you like photography, you should already be familiar with RAW. For the uninitiated, RAW is an image format that consists of minimally processed data. Shooting in RAW means you can capture as many colors as possible in an image, along with information like pixels and image metadata.

What is the difference between ProRAW and RAW?

In more ways than one, Apple ProRAW is different from RAW. For starters, ProRAW leverages computational and multi-frame photography technologies like Smart HDR and Deep Fusion and integrates them with the depth and flexibility of a RAW format.

Despite applying computational photography technologies, ProRAW leaves plenty of room to edit crucial things like exposure, contrast and color to the same depth that can be achieved with RAW. And that’s exactly what separates ProRAW from RAW.

Since ProRAW offers basic processing, editing images is a little easier. Thus, it proves to be quite useful in terms of photo editing. Unlike RAW images that require you to edit from scratch, ProRAW ensures that you don’t have to spend time dealing with some basic stuff.

How to Use ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

At the October 13 “Hi, Speed” event, Apple stated that ProRAW will be released later this year. And true to his word, ProRAW was released as part of the iOS 14.3 beta. It will soon be released to the public on stable versions of iOS 14.3 in the coming weeks. to use it, go to Settings -> Camera -> Format and enable the toggle for ProRAW.

As far as first impressions go, the ProRAW format looks promising. We’ll delve into that when we have more time to test this new feature.

Best Camera Apps to Take RAW Photos on iPhone and iPad

If you want more flexibility when shooting RAW images or you want to capture RAW photos even on your older iOS device, third-party camera apps are for you. Among various options, these are my favorite camera apps for taking RAW photos.

1. RAW+

If you are looking for a Reliable free manual camera app that can allow you to capture RAW images on your iPhone and iPad, seriously consider RAW+. While it might not be the most powerful camera app with a wide array of features, it has all the bases covered to be a remarkable choice.

The app comes with 8 white balance presets including auto and custom kelvin that you can use to improve the quality of your RAW photos. Featuring a simple interface, it allows quick access to shutter and ISO controls via sliders. In addition, RAW+ also supports RGB histogram and it consists of a grid and level overlays as well.

To make sure you can take better photos, RAW+ throws out highlight and shadow clip warnings. So, it would be a little easier for you to take stunning pictures. Please note that the freemium version of this manual camera app may allow you to take only up to 100 photos for free. And if you want to remove this limitation, you will have to opt for the pro version of the app.

Install: (Free$6.99 for the full version)

2. Halide Mark II – Pro Camera

Going by the wide range of features, Halide Mark II is one of the best iPhone camera apps for taking RAW photos. So if you don’t mind shelling out a comparatively high price for a solid list of pro camera features, it would be worth having at your disposal.

RAW+

The app has a modern looking interface packed with features like focus peak and focus magnifier. In addition, it has Smart RAW that allows you to capture high-level RAW photos by optimizing the settings. Thanks to full manual exposure controls such as shutter speed, ISO and white balance, it gives you the control you need to get stunning images.

Notably, Halide comes with a unique feature called “Roof” which allows you to take two photos with a slight delay to capture one image processed at maximum Smart HDR with Deep Fusion and Smart HDR along with DNG RAW. In addition, exposure tools such as histograms, 14-bit RGB XDR waveform, and colorful zebra stripes play a vital role in allowing you to capture high-quality RAW photos.

In addition, the manual camera app also allows you to take pictures of pets and objects on your iPhone XR and iPhone SE 2020. All things considered, Halide is a top-notch manual camera app for iOS.

Install: (US$ 11.99/year$35.99 for the full version)

3. ProCam 8

In terms of both versatility and the ability to capture professional-grade photos, the ProCam has been one of the top bets. So, in case you don’t want to settle for any sub-average manual camera app, I recommend you give it a try.

ProCam

Probably the best part of ProCam 8 is a great set of manual controls. Whether it’s white balance controls, true focus peaking, or shutter speed control, you’re fully covered. In addition, also provides overexposure warnings to keep it under control.

What caught my attention in this app is the scroll system and steppers that takes a lot of inspiration from DSLR cameras. In addition, AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) with RAW support and lossless TIFF file format compatibility make it a complete camera app for iOS.

Install: ($6.99also offers in-app purchases)

How to Capture RAW Photos on iPhone and iPad

In this guide, we are going to use RAW+ to capture RAW photos on iPhone and iPad. The camera app is available for free and requires iOS 11 or later. So make sure you have installed the app before starting.

  1. To throw RAW+ on your iOS device.

Open the RAW+ camera app

2. Now, adjust camera settings as per your needs.

Adjust the settings

3. After having adjusted camera settingspress the shutter button to take the RAW photo.

Take RAW photos on iPhone

Take RAW images on iOS device with ease

That’s all there is to it! So, this is how you can take RAW photos on iPhone or iPad. While it’s better if Apple makes ProRAW available even on older but capable iPhones like the iPhone 11 Pro and Xs Max, third-party camera apps do a more than decent job of filling the void.

What do you think of Apple ProRAW and does it have enough to warrant immediate attention from professional photographers? It would be great to have your feedback in the comments section below.

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