can iphone take raw photos

Can iPhone Take RAW Photos?

With the advancements in smartphone camera technology, the iPhone has become a popular choice for photography enthusiasts. One question that often arises is whether the iPhone is capable of capturing photos in RAW format. In this article, we will explore the capabilities of the iPhone when it comes to shooting in RAW, the benefits of RAW photography, and how to enable RAW capture on your iPhone.

Understanding RAW Photography

Before diving into the capabilities of the iPhone, it is important to understand what RAW photography is and why it is preferred by many professional photographers. RAW is an uncompressed image file format that contains all the data captured by the camera’s sensor. Unlike JPEG, which applies compression and processing to the image, RAW files retain all the details and allow for greater flexibility in post-processing.

When shooting in RAW, the camera captures and stores the raw sensor data without any adjustments or processing. This means that the resulting image may appear flat and dull compared to a JPEG image, but it provides a wealth of information that can be manipulated during post-processing to achieve the desired look.

iPhone’s RAW Capabilities

Starting from the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models, Apple introduced the ability to capture photos in RAW format using the built-in Camera app. This feature allows users to take full advantage of the iPhone’s powerful camera sensors and capture images with greater detail and dynamic range.

When shooting in RAW on an iPhone, the camera captures and saves the image data in the DNG (Digital Negative) format. DNG is an open standard developed by Adobe that stores the raw sensor data along with metadata such as white balance, exposure, and lens information.

It is important to note that not all iPhone models support RAW capture. As of now, only the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max have this capability. If you own one of these models, you can enable RAW capture by following a few simple steps.

Enabling RAW Capture on iPhone

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

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the arrow icon at the top of the screen to access the camera settings.
  3. Scroll down and tap on “Formats.”
  4. Under “Photo Capture,” select “Apple ProRAW.”

Once you have enabled Apple ProRAW, your iPhone will capture photos in RAW format alongside the regular JPEG images. This gives you the flexibility to choose between the two formats depending on your needs.

The Benefits of Shooting in RAW

Shooting in RAW format offers several advantages over JPEG, especially for photographers who want full control over their images during post-processing. Here are some key benefits of shooting in RAW:

  • Greater Dynamic Range: RAW files retain more information in the highlights and shadows, allowing for better recovery of details in post-processing.
  • Flexible White Balance: Since RAW files store the original sensor data, you can adjust the white balance without any loss of quality.
  • Non-Destructive Editing: RAW files allow for non-destructive editing, meaning you can make adjustments to the image without affecting the original data.
  • More Control over Exposure: RAW files provide more latitude for adjusting exposure, allowing you to recover underexposed or overexposed areas.
  • High-Quality Output: By starting with a RAW file, you can achieve higher-quality output when exporting the final image.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can all iPhone models shoot in RAW?

No, only the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max support RAW capture.

2. What is the file format for RAW photos on iPhone?

RAW photos on iPhone are saved in the DNG (Digital Negative) format.

3. Can I shoot in both RAW and JPEG simultaneously on iPhone?

Yes, when you enable RAW capture on your iPhone, it will save both the RAW and JPEG versions of the image.

4. Do I need special software to edit RAW photos on iPhone?

No, you can edit RAW photos on your iPhone using various photo editing apps available on the App Store. Apple’s own Photos app also supports editing RAW files.

5. Are there any downsides to shooting in RAW?

One downside of shooting in RAW is that the file sizes are significantly larger compared to JPEG. This can fill up your device’s storage more quickly. Additionally, RAW files require more processing power to edit, so editing large numbers of RAW photos may be slower on older iPhone models.


The iPhone has come a long way in terms of camera capabilities, and the ability to capture photos in RAW format is a welcome addition for photography enthusiasts. By shooting in RAW, iPhone users can take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities and have greater control over their images during post-processing. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur looking to enhance your photography skills, enabling RAW capture on your iPhone can open up a whole new world of creative possibilities.


I am a technology writer specialize in mobile tech and gadgets. I have been covering the mobile industry for over 5 years and have watched the rapid evolution of smartphones and apps. My specialty is smartphone reviews and comparisons. I thoroughly tests each device's hardware, software, camera, battery life, and other key features. I provide in-depth, unbiased reviews to help readers determine which mobile gadgets best fit their needs and budgets.

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