How to Use ProRAW on Your iPhone 12 Pro

Apple's update that enables RAW camera capture and makes your photos more editable is now available.

Apple's latest version of iOS adds a new camera feature to the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max called ProRAW. Shutterbug or not, it's a perk you'll want to check out.

What Is ProRAW?

You're probably familiar with JPEG, the file format most phones and even professional cameras use for photos. It's the most common format due to its ability to compress image data and reduce a picture's file size without dramatically affecting quality. There are similar advantages to HEIC, a newer format Apple uses that creates even tinier file sizes while still maintaining good image quality.

But when it comes to editing JPEG photos, on Instagram or your default photo-editing app, the amount of tweaking you can do is limited. You might not be able to fix that over-exposed sky, for example. That's because JPEGs/HEICs don't have as much image data to work with, since a great amount of that data gets discarded when the file is compressed. That's why most professional photographers shoot in RAW. The RAW format is lossless, meaning it contains unprocessed image data straight from the camera's sensor. That richer data set can make all the difference in fixing a blown-out sky, correcting white balance, or tuning the colors of plants and humans to look more natural. The tradeoff is the file size; a RAW image is several times the size of a JPEG or a HEIC.

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