With iOS 10, Apple’s iPhone can now shoot RAW photos; Photoshop’s co-creator explains why it’s a big deal

“With the launch of iOS 10, Apple adds RAW support to select iOS devices with DNG (iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7S, 7S Plus, and the iPad Pro),” Hillary Grigonis reports for Digital Trends. “But what exactly is RAW photography and DNG anyway – and what’s the big deal?”

“Smartphones traditionally snap the very familiar JPEG file that’s easily (and instantly) shareable. JPEGs are automatically edited and adjusted by the software built into the camera or smartphone so they’re ready to go. The downside is that JPEGs are heavily compressed. RAW file types, such as DNG, on the other hand, are untouched by that automatic software, leaving more of the photo’s data intact,” Grigonis reports. “The untouched RAW file, whether opened on a desktop program or a mobile photo editor, offers more flexibility in retouching than a JPEG that’s already been processed. As you might suspect, the tradeoff is that RAW files tend to be very large.”

“While DNG may sound complex, the original idea behind the untouched file type is actually the opposite,” Grigonis reports. “Thomas Knoll, Photoshop’s original co-creator who worked with Adobe to develop DNG in 2004, says that the goal of DNG is actually to make photography easier.”

Muchd more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a big, big difference. We can’t wait to start shooting RAW with our iPhone 7 Plus units!

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        1. Well, most of iPhone users are not blind, for example. So what should Apple do?
          Of course most of the people won’t care about being able to maintain the RAW images, but more and more people are using iPhones to shoot photos at a professional level.

        2. What I’M saying is you can do something for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all world. Grudging a small pro feature (but big for pro’s) when the iPhone is loaded already with other features for the masses (and the list keeps getting bigger) seems disingenuous and selfish. It’s no skin off your nose anyway so why even mention it?

  1. I’ve used Pure Shot and 645 Pro for years to shoot raw files with the iPhone.

    Good to see Apple now letting us get the unprocessed photo files through their own software.

    The point-and-shoots offered by Canon and Nikon don’t offer raw files unless you buy their expensive versions. They’d better change that if they want to remain relevant.

      1. Yeah, I agree. Having a JPEG to send to someone or pop up to Instagram, while having a RAW to later work on is the optimum. It’s amazing what you can do with a RAW file and Lightroom or Photoshop. I’m really liking Creative Cloud at only $10 a month.

  2. Some things to mention from the article:-

    The iPhone will not be able to shoot and save RAW files to the camera roll, only when shooting in the iOS version of Adobe Lightroom, which requires a $10/mo subscription to Adobe CC.
    Hopefully this will change but probably not until iOS11.
    Also, the RAW files produced are DNGs – fine for most but not ideal if you’ll be using other apps to process the images. Capture One for example. It’s unknown at this early stage if the images can even be retrieved from Lightroom.

    The ability to shoot in RAW is a result of updates to Core Image that Apple mentioned at WWDC.
    Here’s a link to the video that covers the tech details entitled, “Live Photo Editing and RAW Processing with Core Image”

    It’s a belated step but in the right direction.

    1. Except that ProCam – which already can save TIFF + jpegs, has announced raw support and it’s free. ProCam is worth trying for the long exposure function if you like misty white water effects.

  3. When will Apple allow WAV audio? should be soon. Apple could do this now and move many more 256GB phones. They could probably already offer 1TB and sell a ton even with the premium it may run. Maybe this will happen on the next model with WAV audio files in the iTunes store and Air2Pods.

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