With Apple ProRAW, Apple wants to combine the convenience of the iPhone camera with the versatility and quality of professional photography. Apple ProRAW allows you to take photos in RAW format, but including the smart photo techniques from Apple such as noise reduction and multiple exposures. This takes a lot of work off your hands because the most essential operations are performed automatically.
Using Apple ProRaw, Apple combines artificial intelligence, advanced photo techniques and RAW format in one. The ProRaw function is available from iOS 14.3 and can be used exclusively on an iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max for now .
Differences RAW and Apple ProRaw
When you take a ‘normal’ photo with your iPhone, all kinds of automatic operations are performed thanks to artificial intelligence. For example, noise is corrected, colors are improved, multiple exposures are applied via Smart HDR , details added with Deep Fusion , etc.
This is not done with a RAW photo and it is best to compare it with a negative. It is an uncompressed representation of the composition as recorded by the sensor, without any kind of software editing being performed on it. This means that no edits, such as color and contrast correction, are performed on a RAW photo.
Because no corrections have been made, a RAW will often look pale. It is therefore also the intention that you edit this format in a photo editing app. You can then easily adjust the exposure, colors, sharpness, etc. yourself.
Apple ProRAW positions itself between a RAW photo without any edits and a ‘normal’ photo taken by the iPhone camera. Complex edits such as noise reduction and multiple exposure adjustments are performed automatically. Also details that Deep Fusion add to a photo are linked to the ProRAW photo.
Benefits of RAW photos
In a normal photo, it is difficult to undo software edits of the camera. For example, it is not possible to 100% remove a color correction applied by the camera software. You can only adjust the color correction applied. So you are going to adjust the color processing performed by the camera software, as it were.
By using RAW and ProRAW you can improve the photo yourself without the camera software doing this for you. This gives you complete freedom and ensures that you can still take special photos. ProRaw helps you just a little more to ensure that smart HDR, noise reduction and details are included.
With both RAW and ProRAW, no compression is performed to prevent loss of quality. However, this results in larger photo files than the current HEIF format used in iOS.
Take Apple ProRAW photos
You can turn the function on or off via the RAW button in the Camera app. When the option is enabled, you take a standard RAW photo with all the image information, but with Apple’s smart camera software including smart HDR and Deep Fusion.
ProRAW will be added to iOS 14.3 this fall and is only available on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini and all previous models unfortunately do not receive support for ProRAW.
Edit ProRAW photos
If you use ProRAW then the noise reduction has already been done, just like the adjustments with a multiple exposure. So you can get started right away with the color and white balance via the Photos app from Apple and some editing apps including Photoshop, Pixelmator , etc.