MacNut

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So Apple announced ProRaw, that seems like it's still processing the image. Why won't they just support true Raw.
 

bobdobalina

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Apr 14, 2010
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I'm no expert here, but maybe they created a new RAW format so they could bundle the processed image metadata with the actual RAW image data?
 

mollyc

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Aug 18, 2016
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Right now I have to shoot raw via the Lightroom app. Which I usually forget to do. But it makes a huge difference. Would love raw out of the native app.
 

LonestarOne

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Sep 13, 2019
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Right now I have to shoot raw via the Lightroom app. Which I usually forget to do. But it makes a huge difference. Would love raw out of the native app.

Apple probably chose not to do that to avoid confusing novice users, who might accidentally shoot RAW and then wonder why their photos didn’t look great straight out of the camera. It will be interesting to see how they implement this with ProRAW. I suspect there will be a camera setting for it, which is probably not turned on by default. And even if Joe Novice shoots ProRAW accidentally, he will still see the photo with adjustments applied.
 

akash.nu

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May 26, 2016
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Right now I have to shoot raw via the Lightroom app. Which I usually forget to do. But it makes a huge difference. Would love raw out of the native app.

I’d like to see the comparison between the RAW from the Lightroom app and from the native app.
 
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robgendreau

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Jul 13, 2008
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I’d like to see the comparison between the RAW from the Lightroom app and from the native app.

There are several apps that shoot raw. i'd suggest just trying them yourself. The Apple Camera.app doesn't shoot raw at this time.

It's unclear to me how the raw data will be recorded in the ProRaw format, since Apple uses more than one frame, depth data, and other stuff to render images. I'd suspect a container with a lot of that, which might mean several images as with pixel shift raw on Oly or other cameras, etc. But given that the phones use some dedicated horsepower to render those images, maybe that will be done first. So that the raw really isn't completely raw. More like how some cameras do some noise reduction first.
 

MevetS

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Dec 27, 2018
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I was unaware the iPhone Camera shot in native RAW.

The confusion may be:

- The camera on the newer model iPhones (not sure when it became available, to lazy to find out) can output the RAW image data.

- The Apple camera app on the iPhone does not provide output as RAW images. A third party camera app is required.

Of course, you all may know this ...
 

cupcakes2000

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Apr 13, 2010
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Certainly the problem I find is that I use my iPhone for all my general ‘snaps’ - i don’t really want to use raw in this case. However, if I find I have a keeper, I’ll always wish I had shot in raw. I have to make the decision before hand as to whether to shoot with a raw camera app or apples own. it’s annoying especially when it’s a quick snap from the Lock Screen. This could be the best of both worlds in this case. A little like raw+jpeg but all rolled into one. This is assuming you can ‘turn off’ or edit the auto applied stuff after the case.
 

kallisti

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Apr 22, 2003
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I question if it’s RAW at all or just data with more editable ability.

That’s going to be the big question. “RAW” is a term that has meaning for photographers. While there are several different RAW formats (usually tied to a camera brand (i.e. .NEF, .ARW, .DNG etc.)) they all imply a file that includes sensor-level data. There can be compressed or uncompressed data. The compression can be lossy or lossless. But the file should represent what the sensor recorded at the time of capture.

With Apple’s computational photography that makes use of multiple images, I’m not sure what a RAW file would look like in the traditional sense. Are you going to be able to edit the individual files that make up the stack? Is it going to be a merged file, but give you more control than you would otherwise have with a JPEG? How big are these files going to be?

From a marketing standpoint, calling it ProRAW could cause problems if it isn’t really a RAW file in the generally accepted sense.

On the other hand, it could still be a useful file format if it allows more manipulation in post while maintaining/improving image quality compared to a standard JPEG file out of the iPhone. Better still if it provides superior final images than could be obtained in post with a single actual RAW image from the iPhone (i.e. if working with a hypothetical “merged” RAW file from several pics taken in quick succession will be superior in important ways to working with a single iPhone image captured in actual RAW from a third party camera app).

So many questions. Time will tell.
 
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LiE_

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Mar 23, 2013
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My guess is that it won't be actual RAW, most likely Apple will allow users to fine tune some of the post processing via some sliders that are usually baked in.
 
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Camera M

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Jan 11, 2018
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Apple has been supporting RAW since iPhone 6s over 5 years ago. Files were packaged into a DNG for compatibility.

Since RAW is raw data out of the sensor, most of the processing that was done by the image signal processor to make the image look better could not be integrated into RAW. Noise reduction was a great example of this.

I personally don't shoot RAW most of the time anymore due to HEIF images looking much better regardless of the lack of control.

Process for a HEIF image:
Auto exposure->Auto White Balance->Auto Focus->Noise Reduction->Local Tone Mapping->Highlight Details->Image Fusion->Face Detection->Facial Landmarking->Segmentation Mask->Semantic Rendering --> HEIF

Process for RAW image:
Auto exposure->Auto White Balance->Auto Focus --> DNG

Apple ProRAW is a RAW based format with all the above steps for a HEIF file are included as instructions for the RAW editor.

My article on Apple ProRAW
 

robgendreau

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Jul 13, 2008
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I agree with Camera M. I still use DNGs from my iPhone, but have noticed that I do miss out on some of that great processing the phone can do (that's a great app, BTW).

There are some things I want to tweak in the rendering process without having to go backward from a HEIF or JPEG. But a lot of things to keep. It was a bit hard to get away from my obsession with raw as in the sense of pure, but realizing the many cameras do some NR and other stuff before generating even a proprietary raw finally enabled me to get over it. Long exposure frame reduction in-camera is a good example of that; I don't need or want to do that myself, and I still get a raw file with all the latitude I need. Lens corrections in raw in some camera bodies is another example. I know some hate that, but I am not going to spend the time to do it manually.
 

cupcakes2000

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Apr 13, 2010
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I was always under the impression that when shooting in raw non of the in camera settings are taken into account, whether selected or not. (aside the exposure triangle obviously). I shoot canon so that’s where im at, other systems maybe different.
I agree with Camera M. I still use DNGs from my iPhone, but have noticed that I do miss out on some of that great processing the phone can do (that's a great app, BTW).

There are some things I want to tweak in the rendering process without having to go backward from a HEIF or JPEG. But a lot of things to keep. It was a bit hard to get away from my obsession with raw as in the sense of pure, but realizing the many cameras do some NR and other stuff before generating even a proprietary raw finally enabled me to get over it. Long exposure frame reduction in-camera is a good example of that; I don't need or want to do that myself, and I still get a raw file with all the latitude I need. Lens corrections in raw in some camera bodies is another example. I know some hate that, but I am not going to spend the time to do it manually.
 

MacNut

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I was always under the impression that when shooting in raw non of the in camera settings are taken into account, whether selected or not. (aside the exposure triangle obviously). I shoot canon so that’s where im at, other systems maybe different.
When you shoot raw, you are telling the camera what you want it to do. It's grabbing all of the data form the sensor and leaving it untouched. JPEG is letting the camera guess what the best settings should be.
 

mailman199

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Nov 4, 2008
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They need to update their photos software too. Too many missing features from the desktop version. How could you edit RAW on that software.
 
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cupcakes2000

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Apr 13, 2010
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When you shoot raw, you are telling the camera what you want it to do. It's grabbing all of the data form the sensor and leaving it untouched. JPEG is letting the camera guess what the best settings should be.
Thanks, I know what the differences are, I’m a professional photographer by trade.
I was commenting on what @robgendreau seemed to be insinuating which was that long exposure noise reduction and other such setting affect the raw output. I don’t believe that that is the case.
 

r.harris1

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Feb 20, 2012
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Thanks, I know what the differences are, I’m a professional photographer by trade.
I was commenting on what @robgendreau seemed to be insinuating which was that long exposure noise reduction and other such setting affect the raw output. I don’t believe that that is the case.

In personal experience with Nikon and a handful of other vendors, long exposure noise reduction does actually affect the raw image. Two images are taken, one of which is the black frame. The resulting raw file has had the black frame noise removed from it. The only time the setting wouldn't affect the raw file is if the shutter speed is faster than whatever the threshold is for the raw frame capture to kick in, but that just being pedantic on my part :). I have no direct experience with Canon.

There's an interesting article about what does and doesn't affect the raw file that I'll try and find.

Edit: https://photographylife.com/which-camera-settings-affect-raw-photos
 
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