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How to Take Raw Photos on the iPhone 13 With Apple ProRAW (Highest Quality)

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Most phones have camera apps that produce images “ready to share,” meaning a compressed JPEG file, with pre-set contrast and saturation and without many capabilities for editing. If you want to create a larger file, uncompressed and with many more capabilities for editing, cropping and printing, the key is to use Apple ProRAW.

This will create a file in a format called DNG. The main difference between DNG files and the more common JPEG or HEIC files is the amount of data saved and the quality of the image. The DNG file can be 10x larger, and has much more latitude than JPEG or HEIC in how they can be edited. 

In this tutorial, you will learn how simple it is to activate your Apple ProRAW on your phone and start using it right away.

How to Take Raw Photos Using Your iPhone 13

The Basics: How to Turn On ProRAW

The Camera app on your iPhone 13 comes with a variety of options to set up your preferences and create beautiful images. Any of the settings you use can be easily changed while in the camera mode as well as in the settings.

  1. Open the Settings 
  2. Tap Camera
  3. Tap Formats
  4. Set Photo Capture to Apple ProRaw
  5. Make your first high quality Raw Image!

Once your camera is set to Apple ProRaw you can make photos that will produce a higher file size. This option is the best for images that you would like to edit further, crop significantly and print.

Compare the Difference 

The Apple ProRAW option will deliver a file with more resolution, less compression, and less contrast and saturation, so you can make any changes in post-production without compromising the colors or details of your image. This will make photos will look better printed, too. Below, this is the image on the left.

The HEIC or JPEG option will deliver a compressed smaller file with contrast and saturation already set, as well as sharpening. This file can be edited, but the colors may change significantly and as you zoom in you may see more those changes. This photos are easier and better to share online. This is the image on the right, below. Note that the compressed image is one tenth the size of the raw image, about 4MB to 40MB.

Best Practices for ProRAW Photography

So, be aware: the RAW File size is 10x larger. This means your storage may fill up quickly if you are a photographing heavily. For best practices, turn on the Apple ProRAW option for images that you would like to work on the editing and possibly print and turn off for images that won’t be edited, like everyday snapshots moments you send to your friends or family.

You can always turn this option on and off easily by pressing on the RAW button on the top right corner while you are in camera mode and had previously turned on your Apple ProRAW option. 

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