Apple ProRAW, the new RAW recording format available on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, is now available in iOS 14.3. But you won’t find a switch for it in the Camera app after updating your iPhone, and that’s because it’s an opt-in feature that you have to unlock.
The exclusive ProRAW format builds on the industry-standard digital negative (DNG) format with your iPhone’s image processing, opening up the possibilities for editing in post. You have even more control over exposure, color and white balance settings, and edits can be made directly from the Photos app or other compatible third-party photo editing software. Moreover, you can take ProRAW photos with any camera lens on your iPhone 1
To activate Apple ProRAW in the Camera app, navigate to Settings -> Camera -> Formats, then turn on the “Apple ProRAW” switch. That’s all it takes for Apple’s new RAW format to work in Camera.
Now when you go back to the Camera app, you should see a new crossed out RAW button in the photo capture mode. Tap it to activate it. When enabled, Live Photos will be disabled, but all standard adjustment tools and features must be functional, such as Night Mode, Smart HDR, Deep Fusion, and Exposure Compensation Value.
If you’re new to RAW, you may be surprised to learn that the file sizes for images you capture in ProRAW will be larger than the regular HEIC and JPEG versions you were limited to in the Camera app. To throw out numbers, ProRAW files can grow up to 10 to 12 times larger, according to Apple. We’ve seen file sizes comparable to HEIC and JPEG, but it all depends on what you’re shooting, how much light there is, etc.
In the Photos app, images are labeled “RAW” when you view them, and they also appear in the “RAW” folder under the “Albums” tab. Aside from the Photos app on iOS, you can also edit ProRAW images in Photos on a Mac with macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later, and on other iOS devices with iOS 14.3 or later installed.
If you’re sharing a RAW file with no edits saved, you can share it as a DNG file using AirDrop, Image Capture on a Mac, or Windows Photos on a PC. If you try to send a RAW photo in Mail or Messages, it will be automatically converted to a JPG. If you make changes to the RAW file, you will also share a JPG.
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