If you are a photographer you know that taking RAW photos allows you to edit them afterwards without sacrificing quality. With Apple ProRAW available on iPhone, you can recreate that experience while continuing to use the company̵
What is Apple ProRAW?
Smartphones like the iPhone use computer photography to enhance the look of the photos they take. Apple’s built-in Smart HDR, Deep Fusion and Night Mode features use machine learning to produce higher resolution and sharper photos, even in low-light situations.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to take a real RAW photo and still use Apple’s smart technology. You can create RAWs with an iPhone, but no machine learning is used to improve the image before it is captured. But with ProRAW, you get something between a standard iPhone HEIC or JPG and a RAW file that contains a record of what the sensor captured.
ProRAW is Apple’s custom internal RAW format. When taking photos, the end result is a 12-bit RAW DNG file with 14 stops of dynamic range. This means that you can take full advantage of the iPhone’s computational photography processing and still edit the photo properly.
At the time of writing, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are the only two phones that support ProRaw. It is also only available in iOS 14.3 and above. Apple will expand ProRAW support to newer handsets in the future.
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Enable Apple ProRAW on an iPhone
Before you can use ProRAW, you must enable the feature. While your first instinct may be to jump into the “Camera” app, open the “Settings” app instead.
If you can’t find the Settings app on your iPhone’s home screen, use Apple’s built-in Spotlight search.
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Then scroll down and tap on the “Camera” option.
You are now in the settings menu of your iPhone camera. Here you can adjust video frame rates, add grids to your preview and more.
Select the “Formats” option at the top of the list.
Finally, enable ‘Apple ProRAW’.
As a reminder, capturing ProRAW images on your iPhone takes up more storage space than capturing standard photos. If you don’t plan on editing your images, it might be better not to use the DNG format, especially if your smartphone is running out of space.
RELATED: How to Take RAW Photos on Your iPhone
Take RAW photos in the Camera app
With Apple ProRAW turned on and on, it’s time to take a picture. Open the “Camera” app on your iPhone.
Again, if you cannot find the application on the home screen of your device, use Spotlight search to find it.
Then, while making sure you are in “Photo” mode, tap the crossed out “RAW” icon in the top right corner.
When the “RAW” icon is visible, the images will be captured in Apple ProRAW. Go ahead and tap the shutter button to take a photo.
If you browse your images in Apple’s “Photos” app, you’ll find a “RAW” label stamped on the top of the ProRAW photo.
Third-party gallery apps such as Google Photos will not display the image as RAW. Instead, you need to delve into the properties and look for the DNG file extension.