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What is RAW: the format that will change how you take photos with your mobile

What is RAW: the format that will change how you take photos with your mobile

What is RAW: the format that will change how you take photos with your mobile

RAW may seem like something very advanced, or unknown, but it is the future of mobile photography. And we explain to you in Omicrono everything you have to know.

Your phone no longer just takes pictures. Now it uploads photos to the Internet instantly, broadcasts video to the whole world live, and even transports us to another world. And, among all the advances that mobile photography has made, RAW is still a pending issue. One that many phones have yet to apply.

What is RAW? Where does it come from?

The RAW is a photo format that saves the image as captured by the sensor. That is, it contains all the information that our camera has captured. Nothing is saved. It usually takes some compression to take up less, but this compression has no effect on the original data in the photograph.

The grace of this format is that, by containing all the information, it gives us much more freedom to edit the photograph. Loss of quality formats, such as JPEG, do their own treatment for the image, which may not be adequate. The RAW us open the door for us to do the treatment we want a posteriori. It is as if we reveal a photo from an analog camera, only that we do it with a digital sensor.

This format without losscomes from the cameras, and professional equipment like scanners or high-end printers. This equipment generally needs to achieve the highest possible quality. And the RAW allows to maintain the high quality of a content to obtain good final results.

Anyway, there is no single format. Each manufacturer creates its own RAW format, with its specifications and for its products. For example, Canon cameras use .cr2. Nikon’s take the photos in .nef, and the open format used by much of the industry is DNG, a format that Adobe created.

Why is it important for mobile photography?

Jpeg-vs-raw-processor-diagram

Until now, our phones have been taking JPEG images. This means that even if it doesn’t seem like it, the mobile is doing a tremendous job processing the photo. You have to determine the lighting you want, the colors that will appear, and even the white balance, by yourself. And obviously something can go wrong. AND being jpeg we can’t do anything to fix it. If it is RAW, yes we can.

In addition to giving us the possibility that the photos come out as we want, it also brings us higher quality. This not only means that you will be able to upload better quality photos to Instagram, it also means that you can take better advantage of the possibilities of your camera. Because yes, the camera that carries your mobile is brutal at a technical level, and with the RAW you can take advantage of it even more

Why don’t we use RAW on mobile yet?

For three simple reasons:

  • The first is files weight. With very little compression, these photos have large sizes, reaching 20 MB per photograph. Having limited space on a phone, it was not feasible for all photos to be in this format.
  • The second is power needed to work with them. Mobile phones have not had much power until recently, and RAW files need enough to be mobile.
  • The third is that the quality of the cameras has not made it necessary until very recently. Now, that the cameras of the mobiles begin to have a remarkable quality, is when

The truth is that thosedifficulties have been solved over time. Mobile phones now can work with those large, slow files, and they have quality cameras. So now is the perfect time to start introducing RAW in mobile phones.

What phones can take photos in RAW?

We divide the section again into two points:

  • In Android, and if the phone is sufficiently evolved, anyone who has Android Lollipop or a higher version.
  • In iOSwe find it from iOS 10

With which applications can I edit photos in RAW?

Both operating systems have a number of applications that allow us to play with the RAW format.

  • Both to take the photos and to edit them, Lightroom for Mobile it’s a titan. The Adobe app has been free for a long time, works similarly to the Desktop Lightroom, and even syncs photos. It is available on Android and iOS.
  • If you are looking for an application to take photos in RAW, FV-5 camera It may be what you are looking for. It has all the manual settings you can expect from a camera, and allows us to take it out without loss. It is available for Android for 3.
  • On the other hand, and if you are looking for a simpler image editor, Snapseed Google can meet your needs. It is an image editor that is based on simplicity and automatism, and that, of course, is compatible with photos in RAW format. It is available free for Android and iOS.