Shooting RAW on the Phone

The update to iOS 10 brought with it the possibility to shoot in RAW on the iPhone.  For some reason Apple didn’t bother to incorporate this feature in the base phone app but they did make it available to other camera app developers.  Camera+ is one that I use a bit so I figured I would start shooting in RAW via that.  Obviously RAW means larger files but, since I download my files to the desktop frequently and tend to clear out the phone, this wasn’t a concern.

First thing I found out was that other apps could see the shots.  I had taken a few shots and wanted to upload to Facebook and it turned out there wasn’t a problem doing so.  However, the main benefit was anticipated to post processing back on the desktop.  With the SLR shots (is there any point to saying DSLR these days?), it is possible to recover a lot from the highlights and shadows.  Would the same be possible with the phone?  Sort of.  You can get a bit more in these areas than would be the case with the JPEG when things are quickly lost.  However, the sensor data is still not anywhere close to being as adaptable as it is for an SLR.  You get more flexibility to pull the sky back but it is still pretty limited.

Is it worth using?  Definitely.  While it might not be the post processing experience you will be used to with SLR files, it is certainly better than the JPEGs provide.  The increase in file size is hardly an issue these days so I will using it from now on.  The camera app doesn’t have the pan and time lapse stuff so easily to hand so the phone’s base app will still get used but, aside from that, it will be my choice.  My main gripe now is that they have a random file naming protocol that is a little difficult to get used to.  Small problems, eh?

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