The release of the first developer beta of iOS 14.3 last week also marked the debut of Apple’s new ProRAW format on the iPhone 12 Pro series. First announced at Apple’s October iPhone 12 event, ProRAW is a new image format from Apple that will allow iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max users to capture 12-bit RAW photos. Apple claims ProRAW photos will provide greater flexibility in editing while still offering its noise reduction, Night mode, and Smart HDR processing benefits.
With the feature finally making its way into the hands of developers and public beta testers, how good is Apple’s ProRAW format? Firstly, Apple’s ProRAW image format is available for the primary as well as the ultra-wide camera. Secondly, Apple still applies a certain degree of post-production and noise reduction to images stored in ProRAW format which is a necessity given we are talking about tiny smartphone cameras here.
Talking about post-processing ProRAW photos in Lightroom or other similar powerful image editing app, YouTuber A Better Computer has made a video highlighting the flexibility offered by Apple’s image file format. The results are pretty impressive, though it all boils down to just how well you know your way around Lightroom and image editing.
As shown in the video, Apple’s ProRAW format is better than regular RAW thanks to all the noise reduction that Apple applies.
For regular users, ProRAW option is not really going to be that useful but if you tend to edit your photos after taking them, the new 12-bit image format is going to be useful. Even for pro users though, the ProRAW format is only going to be useful when taking photos in low-light scenarios. There’s little difference in photos taken during daylight and you won’t really be able to eke out much from ProRAW photos compared to regular HEIF/JPEG photos.