What is Apple ProRAW? The camera tech explained

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Are you intrigued by Apple’s imaging tech? Then read on to find out what is meant by ProRAW, and which iPhones offer it.

Apple has a range of technical terms that it likes to use to describe its display technology and camera proficiency, but sometimes it can be hard to understand exactly what all these words mean. Take ProRAW for instance; what does this do, and are ProRAW images superior to others? This article explains all you need to know.

What is ProRAW?

ProRAW is an image format. Much as you can have jpeg images or PNG images, ProRAW is another type of file format that can be used for images, and it is typically very large.

As the “raw” in its name suggests, these images are largely unprocessed, meaning that very few changes have been made to the image and the resulting file is, therefore, able to be edited however you wish rather than having already been subjected to some tweaks.

Many smartphones will actually give you the option to shoot raw images such as this, but what makes Apple’s ProRAW different to those?

Well, Apple’s ProRAW actually retains a couple of the brand’s imaging techniques, including Deep Fusion and SmartHDR, so that these images still keep hold of Apple’s trademark detail and punchiness even though they haven’t gone through the usual range of other post-processing changes.

How can I shoot ProRAW images on my iPhone?

Though it might sound like a format more suited to photography specialists, it’s actually fairly straightforward to shoot in the ProRAW image format on an iPhone, so you can play around with it yourself to judge its usefulness.

Simply open the Settings app, select Camera and then Format, and then under the Photo Capture subheading simply toggle the Apple ProRAW button to green. However, before doing this do bear in mind that the file size will be far larger than the typical images produced by your iPhone; CNN estimates the average size to be 25MB, as opposed to 2MB for a typical smartphone photo, so you may find yourself running out of storage space if you frequently shoot ProRAW images.

Which iPhones can take ProRAW images?

ProRAW was introduced in 2020 and is still a premium feature, so not all iPhones can offer it. The following Apple smartphones can all take ProRAW mages:

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