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iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max now have ProRAW format, here is why it matters and how it works

The already effective camera systems on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are now more awesome. The tech giant has added the ability to shoot ProRAW images on both the Pro models with the roll out of iOS 14.3.

twitter-logoManas Tiwari | December 17, 2020 | Updated 14:15 IST
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
The ProRAW format has been added to iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.

Highlights

  • Apple brings ProRAW to iPhone 12 Pro, Pro Max.
  • New format brings smartphone photography closer to DSLRs.
  • ProRAW could be a game changer for mobile photography.

The already effective camera systems on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are now more awesome. The tech giant has added the ability to shoot ProRAW images on both the Pro models with the roll out of iOS 14.3. In a nutshell, it takes the pro-graded cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max really close to the DSLRs, opening new opportunities for mobile photographers and photography enthusiasts. However, the technology is not as simple as you think.

It requires basic camera knowledge to click good ProRAW images and skill to edit them. This is why a lot of people were cautious about Apple adding the feature to the in-built camera app. As things stand, this could be a game changing moment for mobile photography. The feature allows everyone to shoot and edit photos in ProRAW, without the expertise.

What is ProRAW and how it works?

If you have handled a DSLR, you may be familiar with the RAW format. It has minimally processed data and allows you to capture more colours and details in photos. Apps like Halide and Adobe Lightroom have allowed iPhone users to shoot RAW and capture as many details as possible for a while now.

ProRAW takes the game to the next level. It merges the present day technologies like Smart HDR and Deep Fusion with the Smart HDR and Deep Fusion. This gives you the usual benefits of RAW format with improved control on exposure, contrast, and colours. A normal user benefits from the fact that unlike RAW photos, ProRAW shots don't require you to edit images from the scratch. It makes your job easier as well as saves time.

After the latest iOS roll out, the ProRAW feature will work with all the rear cameras of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, even in the Night Mode.

How to enable ProRAW on your iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max?

  • Head to Settings
  • Swipe down and tap Camera
  • Choose Formats at the top
  • Toggle on Apple ProRAW
  • In the camera app, you will see the RAW icon in the top right corner
  • Tap RAW to enable it for a photo, the diagonal line will disappear when it's enabled
  • After taking a photo with ProRAW, you'll see the RAW label in the top left corner

However, you need to keep in mind that images shot using ProRAW can size up to 25MB and will end up eaing a lot of storage on your phone. You will be best served by turning on the option only when it is required.

Why the ProRAW could be a game changer?

Over the last few years, smartphone cameras have closed down the gap with DLSR and professional cameras. Yet, there is a major difference between the two with latter gaining advantage in certain situations. The ProRAW further narrows that in the still photography space, helping mobile photographers extract more from that 6-inch screen.

However, it will take some time before the format becomes mainstream. For starters, it is only available on the Pro models both of which cost more than Rs 1 lakh in India and are not everyone's cup of tea. Then, these images still take two to three seconds to process a lot more than RAW images.

The format is meant for everyone. In fact, in some scenarios you may not even find a major difference between RAW and a ProRAW image. The latter only comes to effect in extreme conditions and is targeted at professions. But, as we said before, it gives more options to casual photographers who can experiment with their Instagram posts.

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