When most photographers shoot with their DSLRs, they prefer to capture RAW photos. So you can understand why there was so much excitement when the Apple ProRAW format was announced. ProRAW means you no longer need an expensive DSLR to capture stunning professional-level images; now you can capture them on your iPhone.
But what does all that mean for your photos? You might be wondering, “What is RAW?” And how do you shoot in ProRAW? Do not worry. We will answer all of these questions and more as you continue reading.
Before you start taking ProRAW or RAW photos on iPhone
We need to talk about the elephant in the room – the big downside to shooting in ProRaw or RAW is the size of the files. It may sound incredible, but a 3MB JPEG or HEIC file could easily be larger than 25MB as a ProRAW file. So the more you shoot with ProRAW on your iPhone, the more you want to clean up your photo library.
The good news is that you can use the Gemini Photos app to quickly scan your iPhone and help you free up space. After You download gemini photos From the App Store, just follow these steps to quickly trim some weight from your photo library:
- On your iPhone, open Gemini Photos.
- Select one of the categories as Duplicates.
- Touch a group of photos.
- Select the copies you want to delete.
- When you’ve gone through each group, tap Delete [x] Duplicates.
- Confirm and tap Delete.
After following the instructions listed above, tap on Your Library and go back to other categories such as Similar, Blurred, Notes, etc. When you are done cleaning your photo library with Gemini Photos, it is important to remember that the deleted photos are not yet deleted from your phone. To free up space, open the Photos app and touch Albums> Recently deleted> Select> Delete all.
Understanding the RAW format
At first glance, you may not like RAW images. That’s because RAW files are designed to capture the maximum detail in every photo. While normal HEIC or JPEG images taken with your iPhone will be automatically enhanced, RAW photos are flat and almost a bit boring in comparison.
What is the RAW format in photography?
The RAW format is designed to capture all possible colors and lighting details. Normal images can be viewed immediately, while RAW photos must be edited to view properly. All those extra details you’re capturing give you more control in the post-processing when editing and retouching your image. But it also makes the file much larger.
What is Apple ProRAW?
The ProRAW format is Apple’s attempt to create a RAW file that your iPhone can process. RAW photos are usually quite large and require a great deal of processing power to work. Apple needed to create something a little more nimble so iPhones could handle them too. And although ProRAW files are quite close to RAW, the format is not without its flaws. There are some limitations. But you probably won’t notice it unless you’ve been shooting RAW for a while on your DSLR.
What is the difference between RAW, ProRAW and JPEG?
The biggest difference between RAW and ProRAW is that RAW captures images directly from a camera’s sensor. Absolutely no processing is applied to the image. All the detail in a ProRAW photo is applied by software. That’s why it does its best to mimic the appearance of a RAW image.
And even further from both is a JPEG. As you read earlier, when you capture a JPEG image, it is immediately enhanced and compressed. Then it is ready to be seen and shared.
Why should I shoot RAW?
You should consider shooting RAW once you start editing your images further. When you start trying to adjust everything about your photo, that’s when you want to have the control that RAW gives you.
Shoot in ProRAW on iPhone
At the time of writing this article, the list of iPhones that can trigger ProRAW is very short. The first phones that were able to do this were the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, and now the new iPhone 13 line has this feature as well. There are solutions for shooting RAW on other models, but currently, these are the only iPhones that support it natively.
How to activate Apple ProRAW
If you’re ready to use Apple ProRAW, the first thing to make sure you do is enable the feature. This is how you do it:
- Open the Settings app.
- Touch Camera> Formats.
- Activa Apple ProRAW.
The next time you access the Camera app, you should see a button to turn Apple ProRAW on and off.
How to edit ProRAW photos on iPhone
Because ProRAW requires a bit more processing power, you won’t be able to edit them in all applications. Obviously, you will be able to do some basic corrections with the Photos app. But if you want to do a little more with your ProRAW images, here is a list of applications that can help with that:
- Dark room
- Sight recovery
Taking RAW photos with an iPhone 11 or earlier
As we mentioned earlier, only two iPhone models support RAW, but that doesn’t mean they are the only phones that can have fun.
Can I shoot RAW on iPhone 11 or earlier?
You may remember that Apple ProRAW is primarily software-based. So with the help of some third-party apps on the App Store, you can take RAW photos with iPhone 11 or earlier. For example, Pro Camera by Moment allows you to capture iPhone RAW photos. Again, it is not a true RAW file, but it is reasonably close.
Is shooting RAW on iPhone worth it?
If you are editing the image, the answer is yes. You’ll love all the control and detail you get with each image. But if you’re just taking ordinary, everyday photos, you probably don’t want to waste storage space on them.
How to Take RAW Photos on iPhone Using Pro Camera by Moment
You can capture photos on your iPhone in RAW using the Pro Camera by Moment application. And it’s pretty straightforward once you’ve downloaded it from the App Store. All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Open Pro Camera for now.
- Tap the Format button at the top. It will read JPEG, TIFF or RAW.
- Select RAW.
That’s all about it. Now, you’re shooting RAW without having to get an iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max.
If you’re looking to take your iPhone photography to the next level and haven’t tried shooting Apple ProRAW or RAW image formats, it should definitely be at the top of your list. With these advanced formats, you can do much more with your photos, dramatically enhancing your photography and giving you finer control over every detail.