2021-01-22

Austin Mann on ProRAW (and the iPhone 12 Pro Cameras)

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Austin Mann:

Honestly, I never thought we’d see a RAW format from Apple on iPhone, because I understood how important the computational aspects of iPhone photography are and I didn’t imagine a world where we could utilize that computational power AND still get the control we’ve wanted and needed.

Good news: the team at Apple is much smarter than me and figured out how to do both! With ProRAW, the iPhone camera only leverages the computations that are absolutely necessary for accurate imaging, but gives us complete control over preference parameters like white balance, noise reduction, sharpening, and more. […]

You’ll see the most significant impact in extreme scenarios — ones where the general algorithms can’t do all the work. Shooting scenarios like indoor mixed lighting (cool and warm), extremely low light (like shots of stars), super high dynamic range images (like shadowy foreground with sun-lit red rock in the background).

Just a few examples but they really show off where ProRAW can make a dramatic difference.

Also worth noting: Mann’s extensively-illustrated and inspiring reviews of the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max from a photography perspective.