Back in October, Apple announced that 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max will support the new ProRAW image format, which will combine Smart HDR 3 and Deep Fusion with uncompressed data from the image sensor. A few days ago, with the release of iOS 14.3, ProRAW capture was unlocked on this pair of iPhone 12 Pro, and I immediately set out to test it.
The idea is to show how different it is from shooting a JPEG on an iPhone, publishing a sample and calling it every day. But with the progress of the test, it turns out that this is not a simple thing, so the following article was born.
Preface to the methods and ideas used in this article. I took a lot of photos with my phone (which happened to be the iPhone 12 Pro Max at the time), and then shot them in regular old compressed JPEG (HEIC in this case). I also used a few different apps (but mainly Apple’s Photos) to edit it on the phone-I added some micro-contrast, a little warmth, a vignette-similar small improvements. I also often use a suitable camera to take exclusive RAW images, but I find that shooting RAW on a mobile phone is no better than the excellent computational photography of the mobile phone.
Therefore, in this article, I will test whether it has changed. Can you get better photos by using Apple ProRAW instead of JPEG? I will use the phone’s own tools to edit images on the phone itself (an exception is further mentioned). Now, there is no more foreword, let’s go deep.
Apple says that ProRAW can provide you with all RAW image data as well as noise reduction and multi-frame exposure adjustment, which actually means you can get the correct exposure in highlights and shadows, and start with noise reduction. However, you will not get sharpening and color adjustments. This means that you have to start with less clear, less glaring images, and you need to take some steps to make DNG look as pleasant as JPEG before you can finally get the net benefit.
Here are some complete side-by-side images of the untouched JPEG in the phone and the untouched (converted) DNG in the phone. Please note that the color of DNG images is faint compared to JPEG.
The next batch of images are JPEG edited on the mobile phone to taste and the corresponding DNG edited on the mobile phone to taste. The idea here is to see if ProRAW provides obvious benefits after editing. ProRAW gives you better control over sharpening, white balance and highlights. The biggest difference in favor of ProRAW is the extreme dynamic range test lens (shooting directly in the sun)-the information and details in the shadows are clearly superior.
But Apple’s Smart HDR 3 and Deep Fusion can increase the contrast and brightness of certain colors (such as orange, yellow, red, and green), thereby making trees and turf brighter and more pleasing to the eye. There is no easy way to restore brightness through basic photo editing with Apple’s “Photos” app.
Therefore, it is better to extract JPEG directly from the phone in the end, even after editing ProRAW DNG, there is no benefit of using them. Use JPEG under normal, well-lit conditions.
Next, I took the DNG from the phone and brought it into Lightroom on the PC. I was able to get more details from the lens (with less noise loss), and there was a significant difference in the shadow information in the RAW file.
But this is not new-by editing DNG, you can always get more benefits from images. However, it takes more time, and the trouble of using complex third-party software and the generated images do not justify this. The phone performs well within a second, and needs to capture the image and adjust the image for you.
I expect to get the most benefit from ProRAW in low light conditions, but Apple’s regular JPEG is as good as DNG. The edited ProRAW image has very small edges on noise and more highlight information, but adjustments require a lot of fine-tuning.
A big advantage of ProRAW is that it can be used in conjunction with the iPhone’s night mode. However, looking at the images side by side, I don’t see a meaningful reason for the need to edit DNG files through JPEG. you can?
I set out to study whether I could capture and edit ProRAW on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and whether it would be better than before-shooting in JPEG and then easily editing the image on the phone to get a better image. No. Computational photography has become so good that it can basically do all the work for you, I might add it right away.
Editing and using ProRAW instead of JPEG always get a lot of additional benefits, which will provide you with a lot of additional sensor data. But this is useful for adjusting white balance or for artistic, moody editing (changing the overall look and feel of the image). That’s not what I want to do-I used my phone to capture the world I saw with some enhancements.
If you want to use Lightroom or Halide apps to shoot RAW on your iPhone, you should enable ProRAW immediately and never look back. With its advanced noise reduction function alone, its level is better than other applications.
If Apple enables the JPEG + RAW shooting mode (such as on an appropriate camera), it will be very good, I am sure that the A14 chip has enough space. You may need ProRAW files for editing, and the rest depends on the convenience of fully edited JPEGs.
ProRAW can be used in night mode, but not in portrait mode, which is very useful. RAW files have the full potential of editing faces and skin tones.
ProRAW has a place, and it’s great that Apple unlocked it for its Pro iPhone 12. There are many people who want to freely edit images “in their own way”. For these people, ProRAW is the Pro version of RAW. But I will stick to my smart calculation JPEG, thank you very much.
Hope you can also test xperia 1 ii raw. This also applies to other technical websites and other reviewers. The potential of xperia 1ii is inconclusive.
Post time: Dec-30-2020