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Learn how to Make Your Smartphone Photos So Much Higher

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Smartphone cameras and the software that routinely processes the photographs have grow to be so good at creating improbable photos on the fly that the majority people don’t even carry a separate camera anymore (well, apart from some Gen Z-ers going retro). There are many apps that may slap a filter on an image to make it look even higher, but for those who really need to raise your mobile photography skills, consider the format the professionals use: RAW.

Editing a RAW file is more work, nevertheless it allows the photographer to have more control of the sunshine and color within the image after it’s been captured — and in some cases, enough pixels to significantly crop the photo and still have it look sharp. Here’s a guide to getting began.

“RAW” means raw data — and numerous it. Many phone cameras routinely capture and save images as JPEG or HEIC files, which crunch down and discard a number of the image data to scale back the file size. Nonetheless, once you decide to capture images as RAW files, you get uncompressed and unprocessed data from the camera’s sensor. Without the compression, RAW images contain more detail and colours to work with. However the files could be huge.

There are numerous specialized camera tools that capture and edit RAW files available within the app stores. (More on those later.) But for those who’re just dabbling for now, here’s how you can use the choices available on the latest iPhone and Android models, in addition to other free tools.

On an iPhone 12 Pro (or later Pro and Pro Max models) running not less than the iOS 14.3 operating system, you’ll be able to capture and store RAW files by going to the important Settings app, and selecting Camera after which Formats. Tap the button next to Apple ProRAW, which is Apple’s variation on the RAW format. On iPhone 14 Pro models, you’ll be able to select the resolution to store your RAW files: 12 megapixels or a whopping 48 megapixels.

Then open the iOS Camera app, line up the shot and select the RAW feature at the highest right of the screen. Now all you may have to do is tap on the shutter button to save lots of the file to the camera roll.

A 48-megapixel file allows for photos with good detail even with significant cropping, however the file size of every photo could be 75 megabytes or larger. If you may have an iPhone with a terabyte of space, the larger file sizes are less of an issue, but phones with less storage can run out of space fast.

Only images taken with the iPhone’s important camera could be saved on the 48-megapixel resolution. Those snapped with the phone’s wide-angle or telephoto cameras (or photos captured in night mode or with a flash) are routinely saved on the 12-megapixel resolution.

Finding the RAW settings on an Android phone varies based on the device and its manufacturer, so check your phone’s support site for specific instructions.

If you may have one in all Google’s Pixel phones running Android 13, go to the Camera app and tap the Down arrow within the upper-left corner, then select More Settings after which Advanced. Next, tap the button next to RAW + JPEG control. The camera will capture the image in each JPEG and RAW formats, nevertheless it saves the larger files right into a separate RAW folder on the Google Photos app.

On Samsung’s Galaxy phones, the Camera settings features a Pro mode and advanced picture options to save lots of images as RAW files. Within the settings, go to “Format and advanced options” and tap the button for RAW copies. For late-model Galaxy phones, Samsung also recently released its free Expert RAW camera app, which is out there within the Galaxy Store.

If you may have an iPhone, you need to use Apple’s Photo app to edit RAW files. For Android phones, Google Photos offers “limited” support for the format, but its older photo-editing app, Snapseed, has a tool to edit RAW files. The Snapseed app, which is free and works on each Android and iOS, has a support site with a web based tutorial and an instructional video on YouTube for beginners.

At first glance, RAW files can seem flat, murky and hulking. But once you begin to process them in a compatible photo-editing program, you’ll be able to make the most of all that extra data.

Within the editing app, you need to use the onscreen slider and other controls to regulate a picture’s white balance, which neutralizes color casts; change the exposure; pull parts of the image out of shadows; deepen colours and more.

Some photographers prefer to handle RAW files using tools in Adobe Lightroom, which have mobile versions for Android, iPhone and iPad devices (free, with in-app purchases). Adobe’s site has a tutorial, as do many web sites specializing in digital photography.

To edit your photos on a much bigger screen, you’ll be able to store the files in a cloud server or transfer the file out of your mobile device to a desktop computer using Wi-Fi or AirDrop, after which use either Adobe Lightroom’s subscription desktop version or one in all the various desktop photo apps (including Apple’s Photos for Mac).

Once you’re ready for more advanced techniques using RAW files, you’ll be able to buy or subscribe to the myriad specialized photography apps in your app store, including VSCO (for Android and iOS) and ON1 Photo RAW (also for Android and iOS). For those using iPhones and iPads for editing, you might also consider the apps Halide Mark II, Darkroom and RAW Power.

Once you’re done editing your RAW image, you’ll be able to reserve it as a JPEG or other common formats for sharing, printing or making art out of.

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