On iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max with iOS 14.3 or later, you can take photos in Apple ProRAW, which gives you greater creative control when editing photos.
Apple ProRAW combines the information of a standard RAW format along with iPhone image processing, which gives you more flexibility when editing the exposure, color, and white balance in your photo. With iOS 14.3 or later, your iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max can capture images in ProRAW format using any of its cameras, including when also using the Smart HDR, Deep Fusion, or Night mode features. You can edit ProRAW photos in the Photos app and other third-party photo apps.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the new feature and I’m impressed at how ProRaw transformed my phone photography. ProRaw is as significant a camera addition as the faster aperture lens Apple added to the main cameras on the iPhone 12 family and the new sensor-based stabilization found on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. ProRaw works on all four iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max cameras.
ProRaw files are large. For example, I took a photo of the same subject using each file format on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The HEIC file was 5.2 megabytes, the JPEG was 6.8MB, the raw photo (taken with the Moment app) was 16.5MB and the ProRaw photo was a whopping 34.7MB.
ProRaw’s larger file size contains much more image data compared to a standard raw file. A ProRaw file is built on a foundation of computational photography from Smart HDR, Deep Fusion and Night Mode, which can result in a picture with significantly less image noise, better dynamic range and sharper detail and textures.
Not every ProRaw photo I took was vastly different than the regular raw version. But overall, having access to all that computational data was nice. And this is just the beginning of ProRaw. In future updates to ProRaw, third-party apps will be able to use even more of the data from Smart HDR… ProRaw isn’t going to be for everyone, hence why it’s not on the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini. But it does mark the first time Apple has distinguished its camera software on its Pro iPhone models with a feature that is truly targeted at professionals.
MacDailyNews Take: Check out all of the example photos in Holland’s full article here.
To enable your iPhone to take photos with ProRAW, go to Settings > Camera > Formats, then turn on Apple ProRAW under Photo Capture. To take a ProRAW photo, tap RAW in the Camera app, then take your shot.
If you turn RAW off in the Camera app, the format of the photo defaults to the format you set under Camera Capture in Settings > Camera > Formats: either High Efficiency (HEIF format) or Most Compatible (JPEG).
Note: ProRAW uses the industry standard digital negative (DNG) file format, so you can open ProRAW files with apps that are compatible with DNG files. For the best experience, however, use apps that are compatible with ProRAW files, like the Photos app on your iPhone with iOS 14.3 or later or on a Mac with macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later.
You can share the original unedited ProRAW photo, which has the .dng file extension. And if you edit the photo in the Photos app, you can also share the edited version, which has the .jpg file extension when shared.