How to Enable Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max

Jan 11, 2021 - Leave a Comment

How to Enable Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max

If you recently purchased an iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max for it’s excellent camera and use it to take photos frequently, you’re in for a surprise. As long as you’re running iOS 14.3 or later, Apple has added the ability to capture photos using Apple ProRAW image format. Many of you may not necessarily be sure of what it means, but we’ve got you covered.

In simple terms, the new Apple ProRAW format will allow you to capture 12-bit RAW image files with your iPhone. For those who aren’t familiar with RAW files, they’re basically uncompressed image files that lack any processed data. Most of us already know how computational photography is heavily relied on by smartphone cameras these days, including the iPhones. Apple ProRAW makes sure you get the image files that the camera sensor actually sees without the addition of computational photography.

You may find this image format to be extremely useful if you’re a professional photographer and you want granular control while editing your shots.

How to Enable Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max

Before you go ahead with the following steps, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14.3 or later since this option isn’t available on older versions. Once you’re done, simply follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Launch the “Settings” app from the home screen of your supported iPhone.

    iOS settings icon
  2. In the settings menu, scroll down and select “Camera” to access your iPhone’s camera settings.

    How to Enable Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max
  3. Here, you’ll find the Formats option right at the top. Tap on it to proceed.

    How to Enable Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max
  4. Now, you’ll find the “Apple ProRAW” setting under Photo Capture. Tap once on the toggle to start using the format while taking photos.

    How to Enable Apple ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max

That’s all you need to do. Pretty straightforward, right?

The next time you launch the Camera app on your iPhone, you’ll find the “RAW” option just above the viewfinder. The format is still disabled by default and your camera will continue to shoot photos in the HEIC or JPEG format. However, to take a shot in ProRAW, simply tap on the “RAW” toggle once and you’re all set as long as it’s highlighted.

Apple ProRAW isn’t a feature that you keep enabled at all times. It’s best suited for very specific shooting conditions like low light, night, or high contrasty scenarios that include bright lighting and dark shadows. However, if you want to keep it enabled at all times, you can go to Settings -> Camera -> Preserve Settings and enable the toggle for “Camera Mode”.

Keep in mind that each Apple ProRAW image has a file size of approximately 25 MB. This makes it roughly 8-12 times larger than regular HEIF or JPEG files. So, you may run out of storage space pretty quickly if you take a lot of ProRAW shots. And, if you use iCloud for photo storage, you may need to upgrade your iCloud storage plan to store these massive files on Apple’s servers.

If you use a regular iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Mini, you will not be able to access the Apple ProRAW image format for taking photos, because this feature is limited to the Pro models only. We’re guessing this is due to memory limitation since non-Pro models pack only 4 GB of RAM compared to 6GB on Pro models. It’s also likely that Apple considers this as a “Pro” feature and therefore limited it to just the more premium devices.

We hope you were able to shoot uncompressed pictures for a more flexible post-processing experience with Apple’s new ProRAW image format. If you’re a professional, what’s your take on this new addition? How often do you use RAW while shooting pictures with iPhone camera? Let us know your opinions and share your experiences in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

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