Can iPhone Take Raw Photos

In today’s digital age, smartphones have revolutionized the way we capture and share memories. One of the most popular smartphones, the iPhone, has become a go-to device for photography enthusiasts. With its advanced camera capabilities, users often wonder, “Can iPhone take raw photos?” In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of iPhone photography and explore its potential to capture stunning raw images. So, let’s embark on a journey to unleash the power of photography with your iPhone.

Can iPhone Take Raw Photos: Exploring the Possibilities

The ability to shoot in raw format is a feature highly sought after by professional photographers. Raw photos contain unprocessed data straight from the camera’s sensor, providing greater flexibility for post-processing. Although initially limited to DSLR cameras, the iPhone has evolved to support raw image capture, empowering users to achieve exceptional results.


Understanding Raw Photography

Before we dive deeper into the world of iPhone photography, let’s first understand what raw photography entails. Raw images, unlike JPEG files, are not compressed or altered in any way by the camera’s internal processing. They retain the maximum amount of data captured by the camera sensor, providing more latitude for adjustments in exposure, white balance, and other parameters during post-processing.

Unleashing the Power of iPhone Photography

The iPhone’s sophisticated camera system and cutting-edge technology make it a formidable tool for photography enthusiasts. With each new generation, Apple continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with a smartphone camera. Let’s explore how you can tap into the potential of your iPhone to capture stunning raw photos.

The Evolution of iPhone Camera Technology

Apple has consistently made significant advancements in camera technology with each new iPhone release. From the introduction of the dual-camera system to the integration of advanced computational photography, iPhone cameras have come a long way. These advancements have brought professional-level features to the palm of your hand.

The Advantages of Shooting in Raw

  1. Greater Control: Raw images provide photographers with greater control over the final output. You can adjust various aspects of the image, such as exposure, white balance, shadows, and highlights, without sacrificing image quality.
  2. Enhanced Dynamic Range: Raw files preserve a wider dynamic range, allowing you to recover more details from the shadows and highlights during post-processing.
  3. Improved Detail and Sharpness: By capturing raw photos, you retain more fine details and achieve sharper images compared to JPEGs, which undergo compression and sharpening algorithms.
  4. Color Accuracy: Raw files capture a broader spectrum of colors, enabling more accurate color grading during post-processing.

How to Capture Raw Photos on iPhone

With the release of iOS 10, Apple introduced the ability to capture raw photos on select iPhone models. However, it’s important to note that not all iPhones support raw image capture. Here’s a list of iPhone models that can take raw photos:

  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max

To enable raw capture on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Camera.
  3. Under the Formats section, select High Efficiency.
  4. Enable the Apple ProRAW option.

Once you’ve enabled Apple ProRAW, your iPhone will capture both a raw file and a JPEG image every time you take a photo in the default Camera app.

Post-Processing Raw Photos on iPhone

Now that you know how to capture raw photos on your iPhone, let’s explore how you can unleash their full potential through post-processing. There are several apps available on the App Store that allow you to edit and enhance raw images directly on your iPhone. Here are some popular options:

  1. Adobe Lightroom: Adobe Lightroom Mobile offers powerful editing tools specifically designed for raw images. You can fine-tune exposure, white balance, tone curves, and more to bring out the best in your photos.
  2. Halide: Halide is a feature-rich camera app that supports capturing and editing raw photos. It provides manual controls and advanced features to give you complete control over the image.
  3. Darkroom: Darkroom is a versatile photo editing app that supports raw editing. It offers a wide range of editing tools and filters to enhance your raw photos and bring your vision to life.

Remember, the key to achieving stunning results lies in experimentation and finding the editing workflow that suits your style and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can all iPhone models capture raw photos?

No, not all iPhone models can capture raw photos. Only specific iPhone models starting from iPhone 6s and later support raw image capture.

2. Do I need a third-party app to capture raw photos on my iPhone?

No, you don’t need a third-party app to capture raw photos. The default Camera app on supported iPhone models allows you to capture raw photos by enabling the Apple ProRAW feature in the settings.

3. Can I edit raw photos directly on my iPhone?

Yes, you can edit raw photos directly on your iPhone using various third-party apps available on the App Store, such as Adobe Lightroom, Halide, and Darkroom.

4. Are raw photos better than JPEGs?

Raw photos offer greater flexibility and control during post-processing compared to JPEGs. They retain more details, provide a wider dynamic range, and allow for more accurate color grading.

5. Can I convert raw photos to JPEG on my iPhone?

Yes, you can convert raw photos to JPEG on your iPhone using editing apps or the Photos app itself. However, keep in mind that converting a raw photo to JPEG may result in a loss of some of the advantages offered by raw files.

6. Can I shoot raw photos in low-light conditions?

Yes, shooting raw photos in low-light conditions can be beneficial, as raw files retain more details in shadows and highlights. However, be mindful of camera shake and noise, as they can be more noticeable in low-light environments.


In conclusion, the answer to the question, “Can iPhone take raw photos?” is a resounding yes. With the evolution of iPhone camera technology and the introduction of Apple ProRAW, iPhone users can capture raw images and unlock the full potential of their photography. By embracing the power of raw photography, you can elevate your iPhone photography to new heights and create stunning visuals that leave a lasting impression. So grab your iPhone, venture into the world of raw photography, and let your creativity soar.


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