Apple released iOS 14.3 recently which introduced the new ProRAW feature to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. This feature allows users to now shoot photos in the RAW format. For photographers, RAW offers more control, enabling them to capture their intended vision within a photo.
Tech enthusiast and travel photographer Austin Mann did a deep dive on Apple’s ProRAW feature and explained how the iOS 14.3 feature will benefit photographers using Apple’s latest Pro devices. Mann explains that ProRAW officially opens the door to users shooting in the RAW formatting for the first time.
ProRAW combines the advantage of capturing a photo in RAW and computational photography. The RAW format gives photographers more control over color and range and gives photographers more options in the editing process over a JPEG. Apple’s computations, on the other hand, control over white balance, noise, and sharpness. ProRAW is the best of both worlds.
During Mann’s extensive testing, he found that Apple’s ProRAW feature allows professional photographers to render a deeper range in colors when taking a photo. Whereas JPEGs and HEIC are limited to 8-bit color, ProRAW operates on 12-bit, expanding the color range to 4,096 shades of reds, blues, and greens. Mann also explains that the Pro and Pro Max use 14 stops of dynamic range when using the ProRAW format. This plays an important role when working with lighting.
Mann sat down with Rene Ritchie to discuss ProRaw at length.
Apple’s ProRAW feature is now available to use exclusively on iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. After updating the device to iOS 14.3, users can head over to their ‘Settings’ and navigate to the ‘Camera’ page to enable ProRAW. Afterward, they can open Apple’s Camera app and tap the new ‘RAW’ option in the top right.
After shooting the desire photos, Mann suggests editing in Adobe Lightroom for a more intuitive experience on iOS and Mac. RAW Power is another iOS app that offers tools for editing and organizing. Mann also points out Halide, an iOS app that previously allowed users to shoot in the RAW format. Halide now enables users to shoot ProRAW and JPEG at the same time.
Mann also notes that ProRAW should not be considered the defacto setting to use when capturing a photo. Instead, the veteran travel photographer highly suggests using the feature when in extreme conditions like lowlighting or if you plan on enlarging the photo on screen or in print.
Overall, he seemed impressed by the innovations and applauds Apple for its strides to benefit the professional photographers out there.