What is Apple’s ProRaw Photo Format and How to Use

Every iPhone update has something new for its users and I am not talking about the size upgrade. Contrary to popular belief every iPhone upgrade comes to the market with a lot more to offer than its predecessor. And iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max are no exception. Both of these are loaded with features never seen on any other phone and major improvements from the previous models. One aspect of the iPhone that has always made an impact on users is the camera. This time, it has taken a leap way forward. There are a lot of incredible things about the cameras of iPhone Pro and Pro Max, but here we’ll focus on one. Let us learn about Apple’s ProRaw Photo Format.

What is Apple’s ProRaw Photo Format?

If you are a photographer or possess a high-end camera unit, you might be familiar with Raw photos. So, ProRaw is Raw photos for iPhone devices. If you are not the first lot, don’t worry I’ll explain everything there is to know about Apple’s ProRaw. So, if you have already purchased an iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max. You would have seen the RAW option in your camera. Once you enable the RAW mode your pictures no longer get saved in JPEG but DNG instead.

The difference between JPEG and DNG is that the later stores a lot more data than the former. So, while a JPEG file may ignore unnecessary information when you click a picture a Raw format stores it. Why would you want to hold on to unnecessary information you may ask? It is because a photo clicked in the ProRaw format is essentially raw data, meaning a larger scope of alteration. In simple words, you can do a lot more with photos clicked in ProRaw format than you can ever do with a traditional JPEG. Using photoshop or lightroom on such images in a piece of cake and the details will take your breath away. Light changes will look fine as raw data preserves tons of space for highlights and shadows.

The format is made for editing and can help users highlight most details in the picture. They are like the negatives of images used with an SLR camera. Which means it is a good idea to change their format after editing. Most other devices do not support the DNG format. Even if yours do, it is still a good idea to change the format. This is because DNG files are 10 times the size of a JPEG. So, while they are amazing for editing, not so much for sharing. You can use Apple’s ProRaw on HDR, Night Mode and Deep fusion, but remember that it can only be used on static images and not videos.

Pros and Cons of ProRaw

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make use of the RAW format anymore. Apple has made it accessible to you and you can make the best out of it. The format is best if you wish to process your images later and if you are going to take a printout and get it framed, ProRaw is the way to go. This is because you’ll be able to make a lot of changes to the exposure in your image. So, it is good for special occasions when you plan to capture a memory or showcase your incredible photography skills.

The problem is that you might not want to use ProRaw for everyday use at all. When I said it is good for special occasions, I mean it. If you are considering using the format for every image, you’ll be saying goodbye to 25 MB worth of memory every time you click a picture, that is 40 images per GB. So, if you do not wish your phone memory to run out, don’t use ProRaw excessively. Also, if you are not fond of editing, stick to JPEG because ProRaw photos are absolutely raw with no iPhone input. That translates to more work reducing noise and sharpening.

How to use ProRaw?

Enable the ProRaw option in Settings and once you do that all you gotta do is click on it before taking a snap in your camera. The feature is only available on iPhone Pro and Pro Max for iOS 14.3 and above, so make sure your OS is up to date. If you wish to use this feature on other iPhones, you can do it by third party apps like Halide.

Happy Shooting Apple Users!

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