RAW or JPEG? It is the ultimate question for many shooters. Until recently, it is an issue faced by those shooting with a DSLR. Fortunately, technology has made big leaps, and now you can shoot in RAW format on your mobile device.
What does it mean to shoot in RAW?
When you create an image with your mobile device, the resulting image that comes out is mostly likely, a jpg (or jpeg) image. This means the internals of your phone applied contrast, sharpening, saturation, and other adjustments. For many, that’s perfectly fine. If you want to shoot and share, go for it!
That said, some shooters are going to want to exercise more control over their images and to do that, they need to capture their images in the RAW format. What is it? It is an electronic negative. The camera captures the image but makes no internal adjustments. It leaves that up to you. Here is an example of two images. One in the RAW format, the other is after changes are made:
That is a remarkable difference. By shooting in the native format, the image contains more “information” allowing you to do more detailed edits to bring out the beauty in a picture.
All hail the power of third party applications.
I am not sure about Android, but with the iPhone, you cannot shoot in RAW with the native camera app. You need a third party app. Thankfully, plenty can do the work.
Here are four:
1. Adobe Lightroom (Cost: Free but Creative Cloud subscription needed for syncing, Platforms: iOS and Android)
If you have a subscription to Adobe Cloud, this app will likely be the only one you need. The app itself is free, and you can make adjustments within the app itself. However, where it offers much more is with a Creative Cloud subscription. With that, you can sync photos made on your phone to your desktop and edit images in the desktop version of Lightroom. The app features filter presets, adjustments for color, clarity, contrast and exposure.
2. RAW by 500px (Cost: Free, Platforms: iOS and Android)
500px is a terrific place for people to share their photos and create galleries. Some of the finest photography I have ever seen is published at that site. They released an app for shooting RAW, and it has features such as filters created by users in the community, model release creation and export, upload capabilities to the 500px website and other social networks.
3. ProShot (Cost: $4, Platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows)
One of the few apps available on iOS, Android, and Windows, it combines features important to both photographers and videographers. If your device can shoot in 4K, this app supports it. It also does slow motion video up to 240 fps and features manual control of exposure, ISO, shutter speed, white balance.
4. ProCam (Cost: $5, iOS only)
The final app on the list is available only on the iOS platform. It is packed with features including manual control of exposure, shutter speed, white balance, AE lock, and long shutter speeds. You can shoot in for different size formats, 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9. There is a night mode and burst mode. The app is made more for shooting, so editing tools are limited and to get filters you have t pay an addition $2 for The Master Collection or $1 for The Urban Collection. It could get costly but the app is terrific.
So are you a RAW shooter or do yo prefer to let the camera and favorite apps do the work? Let me know in the comments if you use any of these apps or use something else.
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