Apple ProRAW - The Best of Both Worlds


As interested as I am in iPhone 12, ProRAW is what really caught my eye during the last Apple Event. There's a key phrase in Apple's description that I think sums it up well:

"ProRAW gives you all the standard RAW information, along with the Apple image pipeline data. So you can get a head start on editing, with noise reduction and multiframe exposure adjustments already in place -- and have more time to tweak color and white balance."

"Get a head start on editing" is really the beauty of this for mobile photographers. Many of us shoot with both an interchangeable lens cameras and an iPhone. But the workflows are much different.

For my Olympus PEN-F for example, I shoot in RAW+Jpeg, use the Jpegs when I nail it, and go to the RAWs if the photo needs a bit more work. On my phone, I rarely shoot in RAW because I have to use a different camera app and the workflow isn't as smooth. Plus, editing RAW files on the phone isn't that fun.


With Apple ProRAW, I don't have to start from scratch with my mobile RAW files. I can enjoy the magic of computational photography, then tweak the results to my personal tastes without compromising the file. This is something that I would love to see expand beyond iPhone photography.

The catch is, you'll need a new iPhone to use it. I won't be able to tap ProRAW from my perfectly capable iPhone X (a device that I'm quite fond of). If I were to upgrade, being the photographer that I am, I would certainly opt for the iPhone 12 Pro Max with the 65mm telephoto and the Sensor-shift OIS for the 26mm camera. That bad boy will cost $1,399 with 512GB of memory. Whoa. I truly am buying a camera system, aren't I?


We're not exactly sure when ProRAW will be released. We do know that it won't be on the iPhone 12 as shipped. So there will be some waiting time. That's not really a huge problem since there are plenty of other features to explore and learn in the meantime.

So I think I'm going to wait and see how things shake out. I'm not shooting as much right now anyway because of the pandemic. I'm totally in love with my Fujifilm X100V when I do get out. And as I said earlier, I'm still quite enamored with my iPhone X.

But I am very enthusiastic about Apple ProRAW. And I know there will be a day when it will be my go-to format for mobile photography.

When I talk about camera manufacturers paying attention to what's happening in the smartphone space, this is the kind of stuff I'm referring to. Imagine having ProRAW on your favorite digital camera? That would be sweet. Stay tuned.

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS

Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

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