The power of RAW: Professional iPhoneography
There's been a lot of debate surrounding the iPhone X and whether it actually squares up to a DSLR in any way, shape or forum: and surprise surprise, it kind of does.
Sebastiaan de With is a photographer and one of the original creators of potentially the best camera app to come out of 2017, aka, Halide. If you haven't heard of Halide, it's essentially a photography powerhouse right in the palm of your hand, but long story short, "It's a premium camera for your iPhone".
Now de With is not only exploring and shooting on an iPhone X — the latest and greatest camera to ever be attached to an iPhone everrrr — but he's also exploring manual controls, and, most importantly, RAW capture.
De With breaks down the process of shooting a RAW photo into three steps:
1. A sensor captures the light:
Basically when you snap a photo, light from the camera shines through several optical elements before falling on a smaller-than-a-pinkie sensor behind the lens. This specific lens captures light.
2. Software translates detected light values to a specific image
3. The image is saved as a file, just like a JPEG
For steps two and three, data is then passed into the imaging processor. This means that a chip will take what the sensor 'saw' and convert it to a JPEG file to store on your iPhone. This step is called processing.
RAW > JPEG?
So what are the benefits of shooting RAW compared to JPEG? Well with a JPEG, you have to make sure you get it right the first time, while with RAW and all its extra data, you can go in and edit to fix mistakes while still having a ton of room to experiment.
Why not RAW?
But should you always shoot RAW? No. Absolutely not. RAW photos take up a TON of space and can be incredibly slow loading, and sometimes your RAW photos may look, well, icky. Why? Well, there may be a few reasons…
1. Always Check for RAW Support
2. RAW Skips Apple's Magic
One really incredible thing about shooting on a newer iPhone is the ability to have an image you've just shot look so incredibly polished and precise.
This is because Apple uses things like advanced noise reduction, merging several exposures to boots highlight and shadow details, and picking the sharpest frame in a set of images to get the stillest, clearest photograph.
3. Portrait Mode
Simply put: bye-bye portrait mode.
Is your photograph overcooked or too RAW?
What do you think? Are you a big fan of shooting RAW images with your iPhone? Do you have a favorite third-party camera app we should totally check out?
Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!
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Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau
Luckily for us there are third party apps like Halide, ProCamera, VSCO, etc. But sometimes I still got the feeling that not the full potential of RAW-shooting and editing is used due to IOS restrictions. Too bad, so sometimes I prefer a (bulky) DSLR camera. While keeping my iPhone in my pocket.