As expected, Apple has once again bet big on the pro-grade camera to make high-end iPhones a lucrative choice for mobile photographers and photography enthusiasts. The triple camera system has received notable improvements along with the addition of ProRAW for DSLR shooting. In this article, I will talk about what ProRAW is and how you can take RAW photos on your iPhone. If you’re ready to give this brand new feature a head start, now is a good time to start.

What is ProRAW and how to take RAW photos on iPhone?

If you love photography, you may already be familiar with RAW. For the uninitiated, RAW is an image format that consists of minimally processed data. RAW shooting means you can capture as many colors as possible in an image as well as information such as pixels and image metadata.

What is the difference between ProRAW and RAW?

In more ways than one, Apple ProRAW is different from RAW. For starters, ProRAW takes advantage of multi-frame and computer photography technologies such as Smart HDR as well as Deep Fusion and integrates them with the depth and flexibility of a RAW format.

Despite the application of computational photography technologies, ProRAW leaves plenty of room to edit crucial elements like exposure, contrast, and color to the same depth that can be achieved with RAW. And that’s exactly what separates ProRAW from RAW.

As ProRAW offers basic processing, it becomes a bit easier to edit images. Thus, it comes in quite handy in terms of photo editing. Unlike RAW images that require you to edit from scratch, ProRAW saves you from wasting time dealing with basic stuff.

How to use ProRAW on iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

At the “Hi, Speed” event on October 13, Apple said ProRAW would be rolled out later this year. And true to its word, ProRAW was released as part of the iOS 14.3 beta. It will soon be released to the stable versions of iOS 14.3 in the coming weeks. To use it, go to Settings -> Camera -> Format and enable the toggle for ProRAW.

As far as first impressions go, the ProRAW format looks promising. We’ll dig deeper when we have more time to test this new feature.

Best Camera Apps to Take RAW Photos on iPhone and iPad

Whether you want to have more flexibility when shooting RAW images or want to capture RAW photos even on your old iOS device, third-party camera apps are for you. Among several options, these are my favorite camera apps for taking RAW photos.


If you are looking for a free and reliable manual camera app which can let you take RAW images on your iPhone and iPad, seriously consider RAW+. While it might not be the most powerful camera app with a wide range of features, it covers all the bases to be a notable choice.

The app comes with 8 white balance presets including automatic and custom kelvin that you can use to improve the quality of your RAW photos. Featuring a simple interface, it allows quick access to shutter and ISO controls via the sliders. Additionally, RAW+ also supports RGB Histogram and also consists of a grid and level overlays.

To make sure you can take better photos, RAW+ throws highlight and shadow clipping warnings. Thus, it would be a little easier for you to take impressive photos. Note that the freemium version of this handheld camera app may allow you to take only up to 100 free shots. And if you want to remove this limitation, you will have to opt for the pro version of the app.

To install: (To free, $6.99 for full version)

2. Halide Mark II – Professional Camera

Going by the wide array of features, Halide Mark II is one of the best iPhone camera apps for taking RAW photos. So if you don’t mind spending a relatively high price on a solid list of professional camera features, it’s worth having at your disposal.

The app has a modern looking interface with features like focus peaking and focus magnifier. Moreover, it has Smart RAW which allows you to capture top notch RAW photos by optimizing the settings. With fully manual exposure controls such as shutter speed, ISO and white balance, it gives you the control you need to take impressive images.

Notably, Halide comes with a unique feature called ” Blanket “ which allows you to take two photos with a small delay to capture both a maximum processed image Smart HDR with Deep Fusion and Smart HDR with DNG RAW. Besides, exposure tools such as histograms, 14-bit XDR RGB waveform and color zebra stripes play a vital role for you to capture high quality RAW photos.

Moreover, the handheld camera app also allows you to take portraits of pets and objects on your iPhone XR and iPhone SE 2020. Considering everything, Halide is a handheld camera app top notch for iOS.

To install: ($11.99/year, $35.99 for full version )

3. ProCam 8

Both in terms of versatility and knack for capturing pro-quality photos, ProCam has long been a top bet. So, just in case you don’t want to settle for a below-average manual camera app, I recommend giving it a try.

Probably the best part of ProCam 8 is an excellent set of manual controls. Whether it’s white balance controls, true focus peaking, or shutter speed control, it’s got you covered. Additionally, he also has provides overexposure warnings to keep you under control.

What caught my attention in this application is the scrolling and stepping system which draws a lot of inspiration from DSLR cameras. Also, AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) with RAW support and lossless TIFF file format compatibility make it a complete camera app for iOS.

To install: ($6.99, also offers in-app purchases)

How to Capture RAW Photos on iPhone and iPad

In this guide, we are going to use RAW+ to capture RAW photos on iPhone and iPad. The camera app is available for free and requires iOS 11 or later. So make sure you have installed the app before you start.

  1. To throw RAW+ on your iOS device.

2. Now, fine-tune camera settings according to your needs.

3. Once you have adjusted camera settings, press the shutter button to take the RAW photo.

Easily capture RAW images on iOS device

That’s all we can say about it! This is how you can take RAW photos on iPhone or iPad. While it would be better if Apple made ProRAW available even on older but capable iPhones like the iPhone 11 Pro and Xs Max, third-party camera apps do a more than decent job of filling the void.

What do you think of Apple ProRAW and is it enough to merit immediate attention from professional photographers? It would be great to have your feedback in the comments section below.