KEY POINTS

  • iPhone now stores photos as raw, unprocessed images
  • ProRaw makes lossless imagery possible but takes up a huge amount of storage
  • iPhone holders can turn the feature on through the iPhone setting

While there's no doubt that Apple’s newest photo format brings in the flexibility of raw photo editing, it could be at the cost of sacrificing your phone's performance. The new ProRaw feature has reportedly been proven to eat up a huge amount of storage in every use, says a report by USA Today.

Apple introduced ProRaw in 2020 to iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The feature made it possible for photographers to explore their computational photography ability using their Apple devices.

As iPhone 12 series holders capture their moments, they are prompted to save their images in various formats. They may choose from TIFF, JPEG or RAW.

JPEG is the most common output format for photography. The format is saved with the most flexible adjustments fit for everyday use.

A photo in JPEG format goes through a lot of processing and compression. Some of the details are reduced at a lower quality and size to make it compatible with sending via different platforms.

RAW format photos, on the other hand, are literally raw, without compression and processing. The output is as to how the photos are actually taken.

Using the ProRaw feature, iPhones produce RAW quality photos, and images in this format come in much larger sizes. According to USA Today, a standard JPEG photo uses about 1MB of space, while a RAW format picture could consume up to 25MB.

Because it leaves room for editing and utilizing, more photographers prefer to take their photos using Apple’s latest image-processing format. The ProRaw uses the industry-standard DNG file extension that makes images compatible with third-party apps, giving photographers limitless possibilities.

Apple’s Senior Manager of Camera Software Engineering  described ProRaw as one that “provides many of the benefits of our multi-frame image processing and computational photography, like Deep Fusion and Smart HDR, and combines them with the depth and flexibility of a raw format.”

Meanwhile, there's good news for iPhone users who prefer to save on storage space. This is because ProRaw does not activate on iPhones by default.

A user will have to turn the feature on through the iPhone setting first. When taking pictures, they also have the option to toggle ProRaw On and Off.

The function automatically turns off when the camera is closed. An iPhone 12 series holder needs to head over to the phone settings to turn it on permanently.

apple-sale-iphone-12 The new iPhone 12 line. Photo: BestBuy